About Goal Setting

1. Three Quick Facts about Employee Goals

2. How to Create a Good Goal 

3. Example/samples of Work Goals


Three Quick Facts About Employee Goals

  1. Individuals and teams perform better when they have goals.
  2. When performance goals are set appropriately and communicated clearly, job satisfaction increases, motivation improves, and there is increased acceptance of the performance management process.
  3. Goal setting consists of a series of conversations between the manager and employees that result in a plan of action and a description of the deliverables that will define success for individuals and for the workgroup.

Conversations that result in understanding and agreement about what will be achieved, how it will be measured, and, at some level, how the work will get done.

Adopted from FYI for Performance Management by Eichinger, Ruyle and Lombardo


How to Create a Good Goal

They are aligned with business strategies.

At each step down the line, the goals increase in specificity so they can be embraced and owned by that particular level.

There is agreement about what's to be achieved and how it's to be done.

Achieve this is through collaborative goal setting. Managers who don't trust employees to help draft goals miss an opportunity.

There is a line of sight that enables employees to see how their achievements impact the organization.

Help them to see the big picture, to have a clear view up and down and across the organization

Performance goals and development goals are often related but are different; they should be addressed independently and individualized for the performer.

Create performance goals that focus specifically on accomplishments that will impact the business. Create distinct development goals to focus on what the employee will learn. Keep these types of goals independent to make it easier to coach employees and to review and appraise their performance

Goals are grounded in reality.

The specifics are nailed down.

The results can be readily measured.

Choose standards for which measurement methods and processes exist, for which the cost of measurement is not prohibitive, and for which there is shared understanding of the meaning

There is stretch built into performance goals to extend the employee's reach and impact.

Set the bar high, but not completely out of reach.

Results to be achieved are noted clearly in written documentation. 

There are clear time frames and deadlines stated in performance goals.

Due dates provide focus.


Example of a Work Goal:

Example of Completed Goal - Performance Management (image)

For additional examples of work goals, see Samples of Employee Goals.


Last updated Apr. 18, 2013