What are standards of performance?

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Standards of performance were originally part of Management By Objectives (MBO). They are even more specific and exact as compared to employee goals or employee objectives because, not only do they outline what is expected from the employee, but they also specify how well the employee is to do the job.

Standards of performance (also called performance standards) include a "standard" by which to measure success. For example, a standard of performance for customer service may look something like this:

Increase personal sales by 10% during the coming year, and receive no more than 1 customer complaint per month.

This is probably not a perfectly written standard of performance but you can see that the "no more than 1 complaint per month part is a criterion or standard to be reached.

For more help on setting goals, objectives and standards get your free preview of Performance Planning For Managers


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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
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