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Goal Setting Best Practices

December 07, 2014  |   Performance Management,Uncategorized   |     |   Comments Off on Goal Setting Best Practices

What is Performance Management? Performance management is all about getting results from people. Goals have to be set, progress checked, course corrections made, performance appraisals done, and development needs identified and pursued. For the very best results, all of these things should be done informally and formally throughout the year, by both employees and their managers.

Some Goal Setting Best Practices are as follows:
• Break down goals into smaller/shorter term goals.
• Identify the key drivers to reaching the overall goal.
• Goals should be both leading and lagging.
• Use cross-functional team to do goal cascade meeting.
• Use data to drive decision-making or analyzing goals.
• Update progress on goals frequently. Provide “early warnings” when progress lags plan.
• Each person should have no more than 2 to 3 goals (at any one time period).
• Goal setting discussions with your manager should occur throughout the year. There should be no surprises at the year-end performance review discussion.

What’s the Difference Between Responsibilities and Goals?










Good Goals Use the SMART Acronym as a Guideline:

Specific: Goals should be straightforward and emphasize the results that the individual would like to achieve that are linked to the organization’s strategic plan or mission.

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal that is set.

Attainable: Goals must be within the individual’s capacity to reach. You cannot commit an individual to accomplishing goals that are too far out of reach, or unreasonable.

Relevant: Make sure each goal is consistent with other goals established for the organization and fits with the organization’s immediate and long-range plans.

Time Bound: Setting an end point for each goal gives a clear target to work towards.

Why isn’t this a SMART goal?
“Try to improve our volunteer retention as quickly as possible.”

Why is this a SMART goal?
“Implement a volunteer retention program to increase retention rates by 10% by year end. Launch program by July and work with peers to gather input on our processes and protocol to support the program.

Functional Areas Provide Support at 3 Levels and Should Consider Setting Goals at Each:

Strategic: Addressing significant “game changing” areas of the organization

Consultative: Working collaboratively with the organization to address shorter/medium-term business needs

Operations: Addressing transactional or tactical activities that are necessities but not necessarily significant to driving the organization

Functional Areas Should Also Consider Setting Goals Based on the Following Dimensions:

Cost: Reduce or optimize cost of service provided

Delivery: Improve the delivery of products/services to internal and external customers

Quality: Improve the quality of products/services delivered to internal and external customers

EXAMPLE – Marketing











EXAMPLE – Create a Driver Result Map for Each Area











Contact BCR to find out what kind of support we can provide to guide you through the whole goal-setting process.

Written by: Barb Manny, BCR President and Consultant

BCR is a local, minority-owned firm with more than 25 years experience in serving non-profit, public, and privately held entities in the key areas of Benefits and Compensation Consulting, Performance Management, Human Resource Organization Development, and Human Resource Information Systems and Processes.

Call (847) 236-1208 or email us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can partner to achieve rewarding results.


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