Dealing with difficult to reach performance targets
I have written articles in the past about what you can say in an interview setting when asked about past job performance. I also go through this in my interview coaching sessions.
Performance is a difficult thing to talk about, not if you're performing well. But when you're not delivering as well and that you know there are clear reasons for this that are out of your control, that's what makes things hard. Especially made difficult when you know you are doing your very best, and it only takes a little peer pressure from your colleagues about meeting performance targets that can set you off in a bad mood.
I am not a fan of performance targets, especially when they are unreasonable, unachievable and set at a level in comparison to a high achiever, who for whatever reason seems to reach such objectives, but are not necessarily attainable by others in the same role. Performance targets are necessary for organisations trying to justify employing staff and reach profit targets. There's also nothing wrong with performance targets. They can help you know what to work to, and use as a benchmark for your worth as an employee. They can also help justify for you any pay rises, which is always a bonus. Performance targets can be worthwhile, especially when a commission payment is involved. However, if you find yourself struggling to achieve performance targets that you feel are unreasonable and unattainable, essentially setting you up for failure, then there are several options available to you to consider. However, one thing to consider is having a serious conversation to your manager about why such targets are challenging to reach, what level of targets you feel is realistic and why.
The key is to stay focused, organised and in control. Reflecting on what you're doing, how you're doing it and what you could be doing better is always a good start. Talking to others about what works for them and inviting others to support and help you reach your goals is also a great idea too.
Remember though, if you are applying for a job, it's so important to be honest about your performance in previous roles. I have written an article on why dishonesty in a job application is not good is an interesting read and something to think about and consider.
Matthew Coppola, Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions