Writing and developing goals is a two-step process.
Step one Accordion Closed
Determine what needs to be accomplished. To establish useful, job related goals, ask the following questions:
- Are there specific projects that need to be completed to assist the department in moving forward with its goals?
- Are there specific job functions or behaviors that need to be a point of focus over the course of the next evaluation period due to changes in standards or priorities?
- Are there any performance related issues that need to be addressed in the next evaluation period?
- Would an increase in proficiency in some particular skill be beneficial? Are there strengths and abilities that can be further developed or utilized?
Step two Accordion Closed
Write the goal to include all of the necessary information about how and when it will be accomplished.
The specific answers to the questions asked in step one become the basis for each goal. After identifying a basic goal statement that describes what needs to be accomplished, it should be revised to ensure the following questions are answered:
- How will you know when you have accomplished it? What should the end result be?
- What is the deadline for completion?
- What actions are necessary to get there and how will it be known that progress is being made? What are some of the milestones along the way?
- What extra resources are needed for completion of this goal?
Examples of a detailed, well-written goal
Project goal Tab Open
Job function goal Tab Closed
Performance improvement goal Tab Closed
Skill enhancement goal Tab Closed
Project goal Accordion Open
Develop an exit interview tool that will allow tracking, tabulation, and reporting regarding employee turnover at Northern Arizona University. The tool should be accessible in a number of formats, simple to use, and should generate a 60% return rate. Research other institutions for examples. A draft form should be submitted to your supervisor by 8/31/13, and be revised to present to campus groups by 10/31/13. Final implementation should be completed by 12/31/13.
Job function goal Accordion Closed
Increase the frequency of floor buffing in assigned academic building general use areas to biweekly. The floors in classrooms, hallways, and lobby areas of assigned floors should consistently maintain a high-sheen level. An updated buffing schedule will be provided by 9/1/13, and should be implemented by 9/15/13. Additional training will be available beginning 8/1/13.
Performance improvement goal Accordion Closed
Maintain zero informal and formal customer service complaints, effective immediately. Attend customer service training that is available through the university on 8/15/13. Obtain input from supervisor prior to sending e-mail responses that could be perceived as negative.
Skill enhancement goal Accordion Closed
To further enhance leadership skills, you are being assigned as the chair of the xyz committee effective immediately. During the course of the next six months, you should identify one improvement project for the committee, develop a plan for refinement, and lead the committee members through the project. As part of your preparation, you may want to identify training or research materials in effective delegation techniques. A project summary should be submitted to your supervisor upon project completion.
Examples to improving vague goals
Incomplete: Improve customer service.
Complete: Identify and eliminate the bottlenecks in the processing of students’ xyz paperwork. Utilize the knowledge of other office staff in tracking the processes from start to finish and identifying solutions. A report that identifies the issues should be submitted to your supervisor by 9/30/13 and a plan for corrective action by 12/1/13, which includes the implementation of new processes by 2/1/14.
Incomplete: Be open to new ideas.
Complete: Develop and practice skills for active listening. Identify at least three seminars and training sessions related to this topic and submit a proposal for attendance to your supervisor by 10/1/13. Attend those sessions that are subsequently approved by your supervisor. Practice what you learn in the office. Ask for input from your colleagues and supervisor regarding progress, and utilize that input to continue to improve.