Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 17, 2020

15 Performance Goals For Delivering Uncommon Results At Work

15 Performance Goals For Delivering Uncommon Results At Work

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.[1] They are also described as performance expectations related to work to be accomplished and/or core competencies.[2]

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.[3]

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.

Advertising

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 [4]. 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.

Featured photo credit: Adeolu Eletu via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever How To Set Goals Effectively And Grow Continuously Prioritization of Task: 7 Methods to Become a Pro 7 Comprehensive Methods on How To Meet Deadlines

Trending in Smartcut

1 Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success 2 How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success 3 Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them) 4 How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change 5 13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 4, 2020

Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success

Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success

Google the term “essential skills for success” and you’ll get over 490 million results, with most of them consisting of lists. The top 5 essential skills for success, the 10 essential skills for success, etc. And in most of these lists, perspective taking isn’t in there. I think that this is a big mistake.

Perspective taking is an essential skill in almost all aspects of business. From sales and marketing, to negotiations and employee management, perspective taking is a key component for a leader’s success.

What Is Perspective Taking?

Perspective taking is the ability to take on someone else’s point of view when thinking. It’s a simple concept, and it’s something that most of us do all the time, mostly without even thinking about it.

One study analyzed the way in which people gave directions to a landmark. Not surprisingly, the directions they gave depended on whether the person asking was perceived as being out of town or a local. Out of towners were given much more detailed directions because the person assumed that they were less familiar with local landmarks and how to navigate the city. Locals were assumed to know the general layout of the city and how to navigate within it.[1]

We are always collecting data about other people’s state of mind through their behaviors, verbal, and non-verbal cues. If someone has tears in their eyes, we assume they are upset. We understand that hyperventilation, fast talking, and anxiety can mean that the person is panicked. Their tone of voice can convey anger, sympathy or happiness. These are all social cues that we instinctively process and use to formulate socially acceptable responses.

For example, if a friend expresses sadness because their football team lost, then a joke may be an appropriate way to snap them out of it. But if they are sad because a family member has just died, showing them support is going to be a better response.

You may be reading this and saying to yourself that perspective taking is just another term for empathy; but there are very distinct and important differences, especially in a business setting.

Empathy Vs. Perspective Taking

Empathy is the ability to take on and relate to someone else’s feeling or emotions. Perspective taking removes all the emotional aspects and is strictly concerned with how the other person perceives a situation. This is a very important distinction in a professional setting.

Studies have shown that people who negotiate with empathy end up giving away more and getting less than people who negotiate through perspective taking.

Perspective taking, according to a study published in the April 2008 issue of Psychological Science, involves understanding and anticipating an opponent’s interests, thoughts, and likely behaviors, whereas empathy focuses mostly on sympathy and compassion for another.[2]

Advertising

“Perspective takers are able to step outside the constraints of their own immediate, biased frames of reference… Empathy, however, leads individuals to violate norms of equity and equality and to provide preferential treatments.”

In general, perspective taking works better in business settings, and empathy works better in a social setting.

How to Develop Perspectives

Perspective taking is, to some degree, an innate human characteristic. Most of us can understand when someone is in a bad mood, angry, or excited, and we can anticipate their behaviors based on those factors.

It’s fair to note that there is a subgroup of people who have social deficits that can make perspective taking more difficult or even impossible (some personality disorders, autism, etc.), but for the most part, perspective taking is an innate ability that can be sharpened and honed as a skill.

Try this experiment:

With your dominant hand snap your fingers for 5 times. Now with the other hand, trace the capital letter E on your forehead. This little trick is designed to measure how well you take other people’s perspectives into account.

If your E faced the left side of your body, it would be easy to read from someones else’s perspective. If it faced the right side of your body, it would be easy for you to read. It’s certainly not definitive, but a fun little exercise.

Now, for those of you whose “E” faced the right side of your body (full disclosure, I’m included), here are some ways to develop your perspective taking skills:

  • Consciously put aside your feelings so that you can concentrate only on the other person’s perspective.
  • Do not approach the situation with a “mission” mindset. Always approach with curiosity: “What is it that makes them to act this way?”
  • Use open ended questions that can help you draw out the interests and motivation that the person may not be verbalizing.
  • Be clear about your own position and the weaknesses it has.
  • Remove any personal intentions you may have so as not to project them on the other person.
  • Use what you know about the person, their background, their mood, their intentions and expectations. Imagine how they are seeing the current situation.
  • Once you have an understanding of their perspective, try to anticipate what their reaction will be so that you can adjust your responses in order to move them towards the outcome you desire.
  • Validate their position (you don’t have to agree with it) by paraphrasing back to them what you think their position is.
  • Use the mirroring technique[3], mimicking movements, postures, and facial expressions to put them at ease and create a connection.

Perspective Taking and Personality Types

When we talk about perspective taking, the more information we have about someone, the better. Understanding the basic personality types (in business) will help you to understand another’s perspective and the best way to interact with them.

Analytical Personalities

These people are orderly, precise, and tend to be “by the book” procedurally. They are often described as low key, quiet, and reserved.

Advertising

Their offices are often sparse with few plants or pictures. They can be dry and impersonal when interacting with others.

How to Approach Them

Analytical personality types tend to be uncomfortable with small talk and personal interactions. Be sure to give them their space. They respond to evidence-based arguments and like facts. Be prepared to make logical arguments that can be backed up with data.

Driver Personalities

Someone with a driver personality will be very result-oriented. They tend to be very high energy, impatient, and controlling.

Their offices can reflect their personality with large desks and clocks that are strategically placed and only visible to them. Their walls are often decorated with awards and pictures of famous or important people.

When interacting with them, they can come off as loud and aggressive.

How to Approach Them

Because drivers are result-oriented, keep small talk to a minimum. Don’t be afraid to match their assertiveness, but don’t try to dominate them. Driver personalities like to have more than one option to choose from.

Amiable Personalities

These are the proverbial team players. They typically have excellent social skills and are good listeners.

When interacting with an amiable personality, they come off as warm, caring, and relaxed. They tend to dress and decorate their offices with bright colors that project positive energy.

How to Approach Them

You should approach the amiable personality on an emotional level. They like small talk and the ability to connect on a more personal level. They tend to be noncommittal and make slower, more contemplative decisions. They are emotional decision makers and can be very loyal customers.

Expressive Personalities

These people are the life of the party! They’re outgoing, not afraid of the limelight, and have a positive outlook on everything. Expressive personalities tend to be very high energy and very enthusiastic about goals.

Advertising

Their offices tend to be brightly decorated, and it’s not unusual for a lot of clutter to accumulate. They are often seen dressing more flamboyantly and wearing a lot of jewelry and accessories.

When interacting with them, they will speak quickly using a lot of hand gestures, jokes, and stories to get their point across.

How to Approach Them

Expressive personalities react well to enthusiasm and fun. It’s important to listen to them closely as their stories and jokes will let you know where they are coming from. They respond well to the use of vibrant language and subjective statements (I feel, I think, etc.). Don’t argue with an expressive personality and try to close the sale quickly as they can make decisions quickly.

Using Perspective Taking to Succeed at Work

When you break it down, almost every aspect of business involves an element of negotiation. In sales, you are negotiating with customers, and with employees the negotiations can be about compensation and, internally, sales, marketing, accounting and human resources all need to negotiate amongst themselves.

By honing your perspective taking skills, you are much more likely to come up with solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

For example, a client balks at buying your latest product because it’s too expensive, and your bosses won’t let you discount it because it the latest and greatest. Try putting aside your interest in making the sale so you can better understand the perspectives of both sides.

Your bosses are afraid that if they lower the price, it will set a precedent and future customers will demand the same price. The customer’s objection is that they can’t afford it because they don’t have the money in their budget.

Now that you have taken your own interests out of the equation, you can concentrate on finding a solution that is acceptable to both parties. It may be that the customer doesn’t have the money in this quarter’s budget, but next quarter they will. You and your bosses still want to see the sale in this quarter, though. This is your opportunity to really shine.

There are several possible solutions that could be acceptable to both parties:

  • “Book” the sale this quarter and accept payment in the next quarter.
  • Book the sale now with 50% down and 50% next quarter.
  • See if management is willing to extend credit and accept monthly payments.
  • Use an outside funding source as an option for the customer.
  • Protect the customer from any planned price increases by getting a commitment today.

The solution may lie in any one of these, a combination of them, or in something completely different. It’s all dependent on the perspectives and motivations of each party and your ability to accurately assess them.

Advertising

The Down Side of Perspective Taking

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of perspective taking and how you can use it to become more successful in your career. However, just like everything else, there is a potential down side that you should be aware of.

Accuracy

Most people are not very good at gauging their own abilities. This is especially true with perspective taking.

In fact, a study was conducted with intimate couples who (presumably) knew each other very well. When asked how their partner would respond to a question, participants were right only about 35% of the time.

If a 35% accuracy rate comes from people who know each other intimately, you can imagine the error rate for those in a business setting.

Inaccurate Information

There’s an old computer programming term that goes by the initials GIGO that stands for garbage in, garbage out. That is to say that if your inputs (knowledge, assumptions and data) are bad, your outcomes are likely to be bad as well. Therefore, if you’re basing your actions on inaccurate information, you’re much less likely to achieve a positive outcome.

People will give you inaccurate information for a number of reasons. The person may not understand what their own motivations are, they may intentionally keep their motivations secret in order to gain an advantage, or they just don’t have the self-awareness to reflect on their own motivations.

Incomplete Information

There are virtually an unlimited number of factors that can affect a person’s perspective, and it’s just plain impossible to know them all. Some factors are deeply ingrained from childhood.

If someone was raised in a strict setting, they may have a very black and white view of things. Other factors are more transitory. For example, if they got yelled at by their boss this morning, their mood will change, shifting their perspective temporarily. These are all factors that influence a person’s perspective.

Final Thoughts

While not perfect, perspective taking is an essential skill for success in many areas of life, from a chess match to negotiating geopolitical treaties.

By taking yourself out of the equation, the motivations of your opponent become clearer. Furthermore, by understanding the other side’s true motivations, you’re in a better position to anticipate their responses and offer them an acceptable compromise.

With the use of perspective taking, all parties can walk away from a negotiation feeling satisfied. This type of win-win scenario lays a good foundation for continued partnerships and sales. It also doesn’t hurt that if you’re the one doing the perspective taking, you’re likely to end up with a better outcome.

More Tips on Perspective Taking

Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next