For every job, there are expectations that have to be met, and there are also key performance indicators that are used to rate and grade an employee. Employers set performance goals for their employees to specify work targets as well as project or work deliverables.
Whether you are working for someone or working for yourself, there is a need to set your own performance goals in order to maximize your potential, boost your personal productivity, and exceed the expectations of your employer or clients.
In this article, you will find tips on why you need to set performance goals, as well as 15 performance goal examples that you can set to achieve career and work excellence.
What are Performance Goals?
Performance Goals are short-term objectives that are set for specific duties in your current job position. They are also described as performance expectations related to work to be accomplished and/or core competencies.
Performance goals might be set in terms of improvements to be made, actions to be taken, attributes to develop, and things to cut down on in the work process in order to increase productivity and achieve desired results.
Performance goals can be an agreement between an employer and an employee, or it can be the personal initiative of the employee to meet or exceed their own work targets and boost their chances for a promotion or pay raise.
The focus here is taking your own initiatives, setting your own goals, and helping to achieve uncommon results daily in your career.
Why You Need to Set Performance Goals
Here are some good reasons you should be setting your own performance goals:
To Meet Organizational Requirements
The requirements of your work might be daunting and even beyond your reach. However, when you carefully plan and set goals towards meetings these requirements, you will find untapped energy, resources, and even more opportunities to accomplish your goals.
To Be Both Efficient and Effective
Renowned American management consultant Peter Drucker said:
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Your boss might have to tell you how to do the job right, but you have to take the initiative to work out for yourself what the right job is.
This means looking for uncommon ways to achieve the overall organizational business objectives and going the extra mile in doing what the organization never thought was possible.
To Position Yourself for a Promotion
Setting and achieving your performance goals will earn you a favorable reputation in your organization. It will also open you up to many incentives, including pay raises, promotions, and elevation to a higher office.
The ordinary worker is rewarded for efficiency, whereas the extraordinary worker is promoted for effectiveness.
To Boost Your Employability
Your performance in your current position is the key to your future employment. This holds for people in business too — the satisfaction of your current client might lead to getting a referral for another client.
When you achieve uncommon results by setting performance goals, you are also indirectly opening up future opportunities for yourself.
15 Examples of Performance Goals
The following examples can help you set performance goals that will boost your productivity, impress your boss and coworkers, and set you up for success.
1. Be Punctual at Work, Meetings, and Events
Punctuality is essential to performance. By arriving early at work, meetings, and events, your mind will be calm, concentrated, and organized as you think through the day’s work and start early.
Furthermore, punctuality also sends some positive signals about you to colleagues, seniors, and even your clients. Being on time consistently demonstrates foresight, competence, and reliability. It shows everyone around that you are the master of your life; you can anticipate possible hang-ups and have the ability to change your plans and accommodate those hang-ups.
Set a goal to be on time, and it will boost both your performance and reputation.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regularly
Work requires positive energy, mental alertness, and concentration. Therefore, you need to continually put your body in a state whereby it can perform optimally. Diet and exercise affect the state of your health, which has a direct impact on performance.
You are what you eat, so plan to eat foods for optimal health. Also, plan a regular exercise schedule to put your body in good shape.
3. Take Initiative
Set a goal to always take your own initiative. It is easier to get submerged with work requirements when you forget to do this. You sometimes need to look outside the requirements of your organization, get to know the trends in the larger industry, and apply uncommon techniques to achieve your overall organizational goals.
Taking initiative might not occur to you naturally until you have set a specific goal to do so.
4. Improve Your Work Quality
What is the quality of your deliverables? It’s not good for your personal or company reputation for your deliverables to get rejected often. If there are too many complaints about your work, it probably means that you are doing something wrong.
Your supervisor will be happy to spend less energy on trying to correct your work, and your clients will be happy not to see flaws in your deliverables. Set goals to always ensure you do your best to only send out work with a touch of finesse.
5. Request (and Utilize) Feedback
One of the ways to improve your performance at work is to get regular feedback. Positive feedback will encourage you to identify and, if possible, repeat the actions that brought the previous results, while negative feedback will help you to know what you should improve on.
6. Develop Job Knowledge and Skills
You might have good intentions, but not having the required working knowledge and skills will impair your performance. Set a goal to acquire emerging knowledge and skills required in your industry. You might need to sign up for short courses or simply carry out research to get to know the recent trends and developments.
7. Support and Advance Your Organization’s Vision, Mission, and Values
You need to see your work as helping to accomplish the larger objectives of your organization. Then you can set performance goals to make it happen.
The popular story of the American president John F. Kennedy and a janitor comes to mind here. The president had visited the NASA space center and saw a janitor carrying a broom. The president asked the janitor what he was doing, and the man replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
An ordinary worker would have answered differently. When we see the importance of our “little” efforts in making our organization grow, we’ll become more passionate about our responsibilities.
8. Improve Collaboration With Colleagues
You need to bear in mind that you are not in competition with anyone in your organization. You need the cooperation of everyone to achieve your work goals and the organization’s goals.
Collaboration at work creates a healthy work environment where ideas are freely shared. You will be surprised to see your performance improve as you share ideas freely and collaborate within your organization.
9. Know How the Internal Systems Work
If you are in a managerial position, you might need to shadow the departments in your organization and build a wider understanding of what goes into each department’s daily practices. This will help you to understand the challenges and obstacles your team members are experiencing, and you will be able to manage the situation much better than when that knowledge is lacking.
10. Adhere Strictly to Internal Ethics and Standards
One of the ways to boost your performance at work is to work in compliance with ethical and operational standards attached to your job. It’s good to think outside the box, but policies are also meant to be adhered to. This ensures that your work gets appreciated and that you don’t land yourself in avoidable trouble.
11. Manage Communication Effectively
Effective communication is essential for work performance. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. Communicate clearly in reports, presentations, notifications, meetings, etc.
Also, respond to important emails and other forms of inquiries promptly. Ask and seek clarification when necessary, and don’t make assumptions on matters that have not been clearly stated.
12. Improve Your Visibility Within the Organization
Decide to attend and participate actively in both formal and informal meetings within your organization, and air your views when important issues are being discussed. This will give you access to major developments within the organization, which may not be available to the ordinary staff. With such information, you might be able to plan your actions and work accordingly.
13. Showcase Creativity
Creativity can be described as an uncommon display of skills that brings about uncommon solutions and innovations. The value of creativity is measured in terms of the business results that exceed mediocrity . Be intentional about being creative at work.
14. Master Time Management
Set a goal to always take charge of your time. Prioritize and focus on the most important tasks, arrange your time so as not to exceed deadlines, and create some time as well for learning and leisure.
15. Set Personal Standards
Carve a niche for yourself and set standards for growth. Your goal will be to carry out your responsibilities within the framework of your own personal standards.
These standards are based on your work ideals and how you want to build your reputation at work to give you and your work a cutting edge.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you are currently performing at work, there is always room for improvement. Setting performance goals will help you to look into the areas needing improvement and find multiple ways to carry out your responsibilities — better ways that will help you achieve uncommon results.
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Featured photo credit: Adeolu Eletu via unsplash.com