Goal SEtting TIps

Clear performance goals and objectives are identified and communicated at the Performance Planning meeting at the beginning of the Performance Excellence cycle, as well as throughout the year. These may need to be reassessed as new duties or projects arise. You and your supervisor should identify goals you can work on throughout the year.

When Identifying Goals Consider:

  • What are your major areas of responsibility? What skills/behaviors are needed to complete these responsibilities?
  • Identify strengths to leverage. In what ways do you already excel in your role?
  • Specify who, what, where, and why for the goal to ensure shared understanding of the expectations.
  • Development planning areas could cover four different kinds of development:
    1. Improve areas of performance, skills or behaviors. How might you strengthen your effectiveness and/or skills?
    2. Enhance skills and performance, such as obtaining a new skill, increasing knowledge, taking a course, etc.
    3. Long-term career advancement. What strengths do you have? What do you enjoy doing? Where do you want to go in your career? What opportunities would help you do this?
    4. Career exploration, such as doing a few new job tasks, job shadowing, mentoring, etc.
  • Use the  Goal Setting and Development Plan form (PDF)  for assistance.

Use SMART Goals When Creating Performance Goals:

  • Specific: well-defined, clear and unambiguous; specifically define what you expect done/delivered. 
  • Measurable: define specific criteria for measuring progress toward accomplishing each established goal.
  • Achievable: requires you to stretch but is not impossible to achieve.
  • Relevant: the goal is related to the department’s mission and/or a specific project or program.
  • Timely: the time frame is clearly defined or progress toward achievement is tracked at regular intervals.

Sample Words to Help Write Goals:

  • Use an action verb: Increase, Complete, Conduct, Attain, Achieve
  • Make it measurable: How much? How many? How much better? How much faster? Costs how much less?
  • Answer by when - Phase 1 by June 1, Phase 2 by August 1, By the 5th day of each month
  • Follow these criteria - Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic, Time Bound