Performance management is a critical component in the overall functioning of an organization. According to a study by Clear Review, 84% of managers believe that employee burnout can be handled with effective performance management. Apart from addressing employee burnout, performance management can help motivate employees to achieve the set goals, retain them in the organization for a longer time, and help them reach their full potential.
Setting the right performance management goals is not as easy as it sounds. Goals set for employees must be achievable yet challenging enough that motivates them to do more than the bare minimum. On the other hand, if you end up setting goals that are far-fetched and impossible to achieve, it would be demotivating for the employees to miss achieving their targets multiple times continuously. This can damage the culture of an organization along with its performance.
Effective goal-setting helps employees visualize their version of success in an organization and how they work to achieve it. It helps in achieving long-term success and handling day-to-day operations with ease. Without a clear set of goals, the organization is mainly working like a loose cannon without any sense of clarity and purpose.
Here are some performance management goals examples that can help you achieve effective goal-setting in your organization:
How to set effective and real performance management goals for employees?
One of the biggest challenges in performance management goal-setting is simultaneously keeping the goals real and challenging. If they are too easy to achieve, they may not provide employees the right sense of satisfaction and not help them achieve their full potential. At the same time, if the goals are too challenging, an employee may lose interest, and the entire exercise can fail. Following the SMART framework, you can set effective and real performance management goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. At the time of goal-setting, you must keep the SMART framework in mind and set goals that meet this requirement.
Setting relevant and realistic performance goals in an organization has clear benefits. Some key advantages are as follows:
- It provides clear directions to managers and employees.
- It provides adequate clarity on the short-term and long-term goals of the organization.
- It acts as a guideline for conducting a performance review.
- It offers opportunities for deeper employee engagement in the organization.
- It helps improve productivity and organizational performance at the same time.
5 examples of SMART employee performance goals
You can set SMART goals for your employees in several ways. Here are some performance management goals examples that can help you get the goal-setting right at your organization:
Collaboration development goals
Managers can further divide the SMART goals into several categories. The first category in this list focuses on the collaboration goals you can set at an organization. These goals help you increase the level of collaboration among employees. For instance, a good SMART collaboration performance management objective can be explained as follows:
Goal: Help Jane prepare the sales deck for Europe by January 31.
- Analyze the sales deck for other markets.
- Analyze the competitor strategy in the European market.
- Give constructive feedback after each call.
As the goal fits nicely into the SMART framework, it will help an organization achieve its target and improve collaboration among the team. Research by Stanford University has shown that collaboration goals help improve productivity, motivation, and team performance. Collaboration goals also help employees to look beyond the work-induced tiredness and have more resilience in their approach.
Professional development goals
Performance management goals also focus on the professional development of the employees. By following the SMART framework, you can set goals to help employees get better at day-to-day work and acquire additional skills to help them do their job more effectively. A quality professional development goal in the SMART framework can be explained as follows:
Goal: Spend 60 minutes each week during Q3 to complete the advanced supply chain management course and complete the assessment by Q4.
This goal is again a good fit, following the SMART framework, to help your team improve supply chain management and use these skills in day-to-day operations on the job. As you allow employees to invest in professional development, it helps in sending the right signals about the organization's readiness towards assisting employees get better at their job. As you see learning and development as a means to better performance and productivity, an organization can emerge as a pro-employee name in the industry.
Self-management development goals
Self-management goals can help employees improve in various areas, including productivity, accountability, adaptability, focus, decision-making, time-management, etc. As these skills help achieve short-term and long-term objectives in any role, it becomes essential for a manager to ensure that employees are working on self-management goals. A good example of a self-management goal that can fit well in a SMART framework is as follows:
Goal: Complete six introductory digital marketing training sessions and help set up the next session for new learners.
Self-management goals help employees manage their actions, time, feelings, and thoughts in the workplace. Purposeful self-management can help an employee improve productivity and a manager increase team efficiency.
Soft-skills development goals
As the name suggests, these goals help employees improve soft skills that will help them get better at their job. Be it external soft skills like conflict management, adaptability, self-promotion, and interpersonal skills or internal soft skills like self-awareness, growth mindset, self-compassion, and perceptiveness. All these are required for an employee to work efficiently. An example of a SMART-based soft-skills development goal is as follows:
Goal: Improve interpersonal skills by improving written and spoken communication in three months.
Soft skills are important for employees to emerge as leaders in the long run. An organization needs to focus on soft skills as they improve not only the employees' daily performance but also their work experience.
Process and workflow development goals
Process and workflow goals help employees do their job more efficiently. It can relate to any domain and can be strategic or problem-solving in nature. Process and workflow development goals enable employees to improve product knowledge, domain knowledge, system design, process design, or organizational structure. These goals are integral to an employee's day-to-day work and for the organization's long-term growth. Here is an example of a process and workflow development goal as per the SMART framework:
Goal: Complete the customer care software demo by August 15 and deploy it within 10% of the team as a pilot project. Measure performance after a month.
Process and workflow development goals can help an organization set the right context and expectations among employees. Like professional development goals, it shows the concern of an organization towards developing skills in employees and helps strengthen the employer's reputation in the marketplace.
Goal-setting at an organization
Once you start following the SMART framework for performance management goals at your organization, it is vital to understand how it fits in your organization.
Following are some questions to use in the next employee survey to understand and assess the perception of goal-setting in your organization
- Do you understand how your role contributes to the organization's growth?
- Has the organization been able to share a strategy on how to achieve the set objectives?
- Has your manager played an active role in setting your goals at the organization?
- Has your manager helped you with a clear strategy for achieving the set goals?
- Are your goals set in a way that challenges you to achieve more than what you initially expected?
- Do you believe this organization appreciates people who speak openly about the challenges in achieving the set goals?
- Does this organization play an active role in checking how employees progress towards achieving the set goals?
These questions can give you the right template to understand employees' thoughts before making radical changes in the performance management process. You can also take help from a solution like Mesh that can help you strengthen the performance management process at your organization. Book a free demo today!