It has been observed that 63% of organizations use the SMART process to manage and track performance-related goals, while 38% use KPIs.

This goes on to show that goals are only as good as their measurability and trackability.

Vague and abstract goals that are impossible to quantify or measure will not yield any goals, especially when it comes to employee performance. It is the responsibility of managers to make sure that they format and structure performance goals the right way to bring in optimum results. 

Why Do Managers Need Performance Goals?

Everyone in an organization feels motivated to work only when they have a clear idea of the goals they have to achieve. If the goals are fuzzy and vague, employees feel confused. A lack of clarity in the things they have to achieve makes it difficult to work productively towards the goal.

Because of this reason, it is highly important that managers set clear performance goals for their employees. 

There are a lot of reasons why organizations deem performance goals important:

  • It helps managers identify any areas of improvement for the employees. If goals are set properly, managers can track the performance of the employees to spot their strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Performance goals increase employee engagement and productivity. If employees have a clear and attainable goal to work towards, they will have a clearer picture of what to achieve. It in turn increases their level of engagement and productivity.
  • It is an excellent way to increase employee morale. Performance goals help employees see the bigger picture, which gives them a sense of purpose. 
  • In order for employees to advance in their careers, performance goals are mandatory.

When managers develop performance goals for the employees, they have to make sure that the goals are S.M.A.R.T in nature. If the performance goals set up by the managers are vague and unattainable, it will do more harm than good. So managers must make sure that the goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant, and 
  • Time-bound

21 Performance Goals for Managers

When we approach performance goals, it is always best to divide them into different categories that the managers, employees, and the organization find relevant. Rather than grouping all these aspects under the single umbrella of performance goals, dividing and focusing on specific areas give better results. 

Professional Development Goals

Every employee strives to get ahead in their career in the organization. In order for this to be a reality, they need to see a clear future in the company. Managers can help employees get far ahead in their careers by helping them devise the right performance development goals.

  1. Within the next six months, take two online courses that are related to [certain skill or area].
  2. This year, go to at least three workshops or conferences in your field to stay up to date on the latest news and trends.
  3. Get certified in [certain area] within the next nine months to improve your career standing.

Productivity Goals

Whenever we think of performance, it is automatically associated with productivity. So the most relevant category of performance goals is without a doubt, productivity goals. High-quality work and an efficient the workplace pave the way for increased productivity among employees. These goals can help managers with it:

  1. Set up a task management system like Asana or Trello to make things run more smoothly and boost output by 20% in three months.
  2. Set clear goals and stick to set times for meetings to cut their length by 15%.
  3. Use the Pomodoro Technique to get more done and stay focused. Your goal should be to boost output by 25% in six months.

Teamwork and Collaboration Goals

Most activities and projects done by an organization are in groups and teams. Employees have to do a large majority of their work as a part of a team rather than as individuals. So, teamwork and collaboration become a crucial part of performance goals. 

  1. Encourage people from different departments to work together by holding planning meetings once a month to come up with new ideas for projects that affect the whole company.
  2. Set up a mentoring program so that experienced employees can help new hires or people who want to learn specific skills. This will encourage people to share what they know.
  3. Set up a peer review method for projects to make people more responsible and get useful comments from other team members.

Time Management Goals

Organizations always work according to a fixed timeline and in order for it to deliver the projects in time to the clients, employees have to know how to manage their time. We also know that time management is a crucial skill for employees in any field. 

  1. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to set priorities for tasks so that you can focus on important and urgent tasks and spend 20% less time on low-priority tasks.
  2. Plan regular breaks during the job to stay focused and avoid getting burned out, which will eventually lead to more work getting done.
  3. To get the most done and avoid getting sidetracked, set aside specific blocks of time for projects or jobs.
  4. Time-tracking apps like RescueTime or Toggl can help you figure out what tasks are wasting your time and how to cut them down.

Self-Management Goals

One might not always be under the supervision of a manager and there are organizations that do not believe in the concept of micromanagement. In situations where employees are given the freedom and flexibility to work at their own pace, they need to have specific self-management goals. 

  1. To improve your general health and mental clarity, make time every day for exercise, meditation, and deep thought.
  2. Set limits between work and personal life by setting set work hours and not responding to work-related emails or calls outside of those times.

Problem-Solving Goals

Setting problem-solving goals helps employees learn how to find, study, and fix all kinds of problems at work. Employees may have to come up with answers to technology issues, issues with customers, or even issues between employees.

  1. Use an organized approach to fixing problems, like the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) method, to deal with problems that keep coming up and make things better.
  2. Set up a suggestion box or a digital site where employees can share their ideas for how to solve problems or make things run more smoothly. This will help create a culture that supports innovation.
  3. Hold root cause analysis meetings on a daily basis to find out why problems happen and take steps to stop them from happening again.

Communication Goals

A key part of running a great business is being able to communicate clearly. Employees should be able to share correct information, come up with new ideas, and listen to (and value) what their coworkers have to say. Communication goals are meant to help employees get better at talking and writing to others.

  1. Offer writing classes or training to help people get better at writing emails, reports, and other types of written communication by making them more clear, concise, and professional.
  2. Set up regular ways for employees to talk to you, like town hall meetings or weekly emails, to keep them up to date on company news, projects, and successes.
  3. Hold training classes on active listening to help people talk to each other better and make sure everyone on the team feels heard and respected.

Soft Skills Goals

Soft skills are at an all-time rise among employees in an organization as it is extremely important in developing a healthy work environment. Emotional intelligence is also highly valued among employees.

  1. Help people develop empathy and emotional intelligence by giving them workshops or other tools on how to understand and deal with their own and other people's feelings.
  2. Offer leadership development programs or chances for employees to take charge of projects or efforts to help them become better leaders.

Customer Service Goals

A company is only as successful as the number of satisfied customers they have. In order for organizations to increase their performance, goals specific to improving customer service is necessary.

  1. You can respond faster to customer questions by using a tracking system or customer service software to keep track of contacts and make communication easier.
  2. Improve the product understanding and skills of customer service reps by giving them access to up-to-date product information and regular training events.
  3. Encourage a mindset that is focused on the customer by stressing how important it is to keep customers happy and giving employees the freedom to go above and beyond to meet customer needs.

Set the Right Goals to Get the Right Results

If you have no idea where to start when it comes to setting performance goals, a foolproof idea is to conduct an employee feedback survey. ThriveSparrow is one of the trusted employee survey tools available in the market, which you can customize according to your specific needs to collect employee feedback. The intuitive reports provided by the tool helps you find the problem and shape a solution for it accordingly.