Performance goals are work objectives that an employee needs to achieve within a stipulated period. The employee and their reporting manager set these goals in mutual agreement as per the role and job position. In this article, we will discuss with examples the employee performance goals to inspire you to write yours.
As a manager, setting goals for employees is an important part of your function. It gives the employees a direction and motivates them to perform to the best of their abilities. Likewise, it gives managers a benchmark to fairly review the performance of their direct reports.
SMART goals: meaning and significance
The acronym SMART stands for Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Together, they form the standards for setting performance targets and doing performance reviews.
SMART goals are specific (and not vague), measurable (with defined numbers), possible to achieve under realistic conditions, pertinent to the role and position, and have a definite timeline. It sets the ground for the scope of work and the conforming action plans. It further forms the baseline for reviewing the performance against the criteria of SMART goals.
While setting SMART goals, managers and employees use an effective goal-setting tool called OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). It helps set progressive goals that align with employees’ professional goals, are easy to measure, and motivate them to work towards achieving the goals. OKRs drive deeper employee engagement by giving them an accurate and insightful understanding of the goals and objectives to achieve.
- Work at 2x capacity to increase production volume and performance ratings.
The above example is of a not-so-smart goal. It is generic as it does not define precisely what, how, and when to achieve it. Working at double capacity also seems to be an unattainable target.
- Work for an additional hour daily to increase production rates by 25% and soar my performance rating from B to A+ by the next quarter.
The above example is of a SMART goal. It defines a specific and attainable target of working an hour extra every day that will increase productivity and performance score. The precise numbers help to measure the results, and the timeline defines the due date by when to achieve the goal (in the next three months). It also seems to be a relevant goal, assuming the production rate is directly related to the employee’s performance rating.
10 employee performance goals with examples
When managers assess the performance of their direct reports, they evaluate them under different categories. The review report contains a set of performance review questions. The answers to these questions form the basis of the evaluation. Here are the category-wise goals with examples.
1. Collaboration goals
These are the goals that you realise when you work in alliance with other team members to accomplish a particular task.
- Work with the Sales team to make a product development plan in the next quarter that addresses a specific customer problem and increases product demand by 30%.
- Team up with XX to conduct three masterclasses on ‘Generating Social Media Impact’ in the third quarter.
2. Professional development goals
Set these learning and development goals for your long-term career growth. It helps you stay updated with current skills and enhance your competitiveness in the job market.
- Enrol in the 2-month SEO Certification and Training program in Q2 to learn SEO optimization skills and enhance my writing portfolio.
- Expand my professional network and gain insights into my industry by 25% by the end of this year by liaising with business heads and managers and attending 3-to-5 professional events.
3. Communication goals
Aim at these goals to improve your soft skill of communicating effectively with people in your personal and professional lives.
- Improve my written communications skills by the quarter-end by writing five professional memos and emails daily to my team and incorporating their suggestions.
- Practice active listening and using and interpreting non-verbal communication during 1:1s and team meetings in the next two months.
4. People management goal
Set this goal to refine your people management skills and prepare yourself for future leadership roles in managing people.
- Take new projects in the next six months that require me to lead a team of 8-10 people and manage their work responsibilities.
- Initiate getting to know my 25 direct reports better by holding one-on-one meetings with each of them for the next month.
5. Customer service goals
Strive to increase customer satisfaction ratings. These hold a significant value in understanding performance reviews.
- Efficiently handle 50% more customer queries and complaints to increase customer satisfaction rating from X to Y.
- Prepare questionnaires for 100 target customers to get their feedback on our products and services.
6. Personal development goals
Aim for enriching your personality and empowering yourself with intrinsic abilities like managing your feelings, beliefs, time, and behaviour.
- Learn and practice 4 Pomodoro sessions daily to effectively manage my time.
- Take 2-3 psychometric assessments every week to know my emotional intelligence quotient, and interact with one new team every day to understand and manage my emotions and of others.
- Practice empathy for a month to self-reflect on my perspectives and behaviour towards others.
7. Process and workflow goals
These goals focus on learning systems and processes to get expertise on specific domains, products, and functions, understand the workflows in detail, and perform your day-to-day tasks more efficiently.
- Gain proficiency in XX software to acquire knowledge on preparing dashboards and metrics and start presenting monthly dashboard reports to the team from June’22.
- Learn to prepare data-driven PowerPoint presentations to present in the next quarterly management meeting.
8. Decision-making goals
If indecisiveness is your weak point, then aspire to make a goal to master this skill to make the right and timely decisions when required.
- Get training on restricting subjective perceptions and building an analytical viewpoint within two months to exercise discretion in challenging situations.
- Learn to analyse and interpret data metrics to make quick decisions on potential projects upcoming next month.
9. Performance goals
Focus on specific performance targets and strive to achieve them through actionable plans.
- Take the ownership to create three innovative digital marketing strategies in August’22 and track results.
- Explore north-west market zones to hit a quarterly sales quota of XX units.
- Get approvals for five new product samples from three high-ticket clients.
10. Productivity goals
Your managers appreciate you when you deliver productive performance. Thus, enhancing your productivity must be one of your performance goals.
- Reduce the service delivery turnaround time from 3 to 2 days by expediting the approval process.
- Cut down the paper use by 20% by sending virtual copies of meeting agendas and discussion documents.
Goal-setting is an essential factor when it comes to employee performance. You need to set SMART goals to achieve distinct targets that help you grow both personally and professionally. The next time you set performance goals, ensure you categorise them differently, as may be applicable to your role.
Keep your company and employees on track with their goals via Mesh. Our performance management tool lets you drive transparency and visibility and collectively share goals and pivotal results!