When a company hires me as a consultant, I ask to see their performance review plan. If there is no plan in place, then this is where my work with the organization begins. A performance review plan must be tied to performance objectives. In other words, if there are no clear performance objectives, then there is nothing to which to tie your employee performance review. The employee, in dialogue with the manager, should direct their activities to these predetermined and mutually agreed upon set of objectives. You cannot evaluate employee performance without a clear link to the objectives of the organization.
Performance objectives evolve from the initial job description. For example, an account manager or a sales manager may have similar generic objectives including familiarity with client needs, communication with the client, delivery of services/products and customer satisfaction.