3 Powerful Performance Goals to Set for Your 2021 Workforce

Performance Goal-Setting Accessibility

We all want to grow in our career, but often employees don’t have the education they need to set accurate goals or even take the time to think of what those goals might be. This is especially true now. As we’ve written here, it’s an unusual performance review season and must be approached carefully within your organization.

Make goal-setting accessible by:

  • Explain your goal structure. Whether you use a systematic approach or specific software, there is usually a uniform structure to performance goals. If you use the SMART system, focus on how to build a SMART goal. If you are focused on KPIs as the basis for future goals, show them where to find that information. A reminder that SMART goals are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
  • Provide examples of measurable and effective performance goals. Many people can easily create goals when they see what others are doing. Not only does this complement the explanation portion, but it also gives workers a guideline to follow.
  • Show how they tie into performance reviews. Goal-setting should always be connected back to performance in general, but as you guide them through the goal-setting process during performance review season specifically, really align the two concepts and show how they build off one another. This is more crucial if you have not been using a goal-setting process.

Creating Variety in Performance Review Goal-Setting

There are three types of goals: process, performance, and outcome goals. Process goals are specific actions or ‘processes’ of performing, performance goals are based on individual abilities and standards, and outcome goals are based on competition.

  • Process Goals: Here are the skills you need to improve upon or work toward.
  • Performance Goals: Here is where you should be based on your abilities and strengths.
  • Outcome Goals: Here is where you should be, compared to similar roles/team members/competitors.

Incorporate Goals into Ongoing Performance Management

Bake accountability into the system. By explaining, guiding, and offering a variety of goal-setting options, you invite the employee to take ownership of the goals they set. You can also buy-in to their performance with the following best practices:

  • Create a game plan. After proposing solutions and timelines, ensure that someone is there to get feedback. You need to know what is behind a missed goal. There may be conflict on the team or someone sabotaging the team’s success. It could be a cultural mismatch or poor leadership. You’ll never know if you don’t work with the team to create a plan for which solution and which team members are responsible for fixing the issue.
  • Work with your managers, directors, and team leads to build parameters into your process to see when someone is struggling with their goals. Allowing flex with goal deadlines sets workers up to succeed.
  • Build trust with responsiveness. Performance management relies a great deal on members of the team being honest with one another. If your company uses 360-degree performance reviews, you’ll get a much more well-rounded picture of where the issue is when it comes to achieving goals. If you have a review system with multiple inputs throughout the entire project, you’ll get even more insight into which team members need more management and oversight than others.



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Meredith Wholley

Meredith Wholley


As a Digital Marketing and Events Manager for ClearCompany, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events with HR practitioners.