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According to a report conducted by Harvard Business Review, only 16% of employees know whether their goals align with organizational priorities properly to generate a seamless execution of tasks. Employees working toward achieving their performance goals are 10 times more likely to succeed. 

Performance goals provide direction and focus, improve motivation, and increase accountability within the organization. A study by Forbes has opined that organizations that set performance goals even quarterly can generate 31% more in revenue.

But goal-setting takes work, especially if you don’t know where to start. You can use different goal-setting frameworks, methods, and strategies to streamline your process based on your requirements.

Using multiple employee performance goals examples can help you pave the way for implementing effective performance targets for your workforce.

Adding to that thought, here is a comprehensive guide to creating practical employee performance goals in your organization.

What is a framework for creating effective goals?

A framework for creating effective goals is a structured system that offers step-by-step guides for establishing and attaining goals. Although different goal frameworks are used based on their rules and processes, they generally simplify and manage goals to increase the success rate.

Frameworks can help you break down bigger and more complex goals into smaller tasks that can improve your workforce's productivity. You must know the performance objectives to maximize the impact when implementing these frameworks.

What are the five performance objectives?

If you want your employees to achieve their goals successfully, those goals need structure and clarity. And that’s where SMART or specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-bound goals come in for understanding employee performance objectives.

1. Specific

To achieve their goals, employees should know what they’re working towards. A more specific goal makes the goal achievement process easier and simpler.

2. Measurable

You should measure the progress of your employee while they work towards their goals. Set clear KPIs, the right software or tools, and reference reliable benchmarks to track progress.

3. Actionable

Work on goals that can be achieved with the right actions. Don’t make your performance goals so aspirational that they become unrealistic.

4. Relevant

Employee goals must feel relevant to the business context and your team member’s professional aspirations. Align employees’ motivation with the team goals, which can enhance the effectiveness of the process.

5. Time-bound

Keeping your goals time-bound can make them attainable. It can also ensure that the employees work hard to complete the desired results within a limited time. Using time parameters can also enable you to break employee goals into smaller action tasks and tick off milestones.

SMART performance goals provide a framework to set your employee performance objectives and hit the targets every time.

Different goal-setting frameworks, methods, and strategies

Besides SMART goal-setting, multiple frameworks, methods, and strategies can help set up business employee performance goals. We have selected a few:

1. OKRs

Businesses that introduce objectives and key results (OKRs) framework focus on setting ambitious, challenging goals to contribute valuably to employee engagement and motivation.

The ‘key results’ are the data and metrics you can use to measure progress and understand how employees perform and develop.

According to Google, the ideal spot for an OKR grade is 60-70% because if an employee achieves higher scores and fully achieves their objectives, then their target isn't ambitious, and they aren't being challenged.

2. Backward goals

The backward goal-setting process involves identifying a big, overarching goal and breaking it down into smaller “supporting” goals.

The smaller goals are further divided into tasks and targets, giving you an actionable road map to achieve your original goal. The backward approach to breaking down the goal can be related to the reverse engineering process.

3. BHAG—Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Big, hairy, audacious goals refer to grand, ambitious objectives that are unrealistic in the short term but can provide employees with a sense of aspiration and emotional drive.

For example, Microsoft's BHAG to put a computer on every desk or in every home might sound unrealistic. But their ambitious goal-setting helped them reach a great level of success. Even companies like Google, Tesla, and Nike have set visionary goals to show competitors, staff, and potential partners their seriousness about succeeding and making a difference.

4. BSQ—Think big, act small, move quickly

Thinking big, acting small, and moving quickly involves defining your goal, determining different small milestones, and committing to a manageable timeline.

The goals are time-bound and specific, increasing the likelihood of success. The employees are aware of the deadlines, and completing smaller milestones can build solid momentum for achieving the big goal.

5. Goal pyramid

The goal pyramid enables you to organize your goals visually. You can keep the biggest employee performance goals at the top and long-term and smaller goals positioned underneath.

You can also add daily tasks to support your mission in the bottom layer to get a better understanding. The goal-setting is a simple approach to organizing and breaking bigger goals visually.

6. One-word goal-setting

The one-word goal-setting approach focuses on choosing one word for the next twelve months as your focus. The word will reflect a recurring theme aligning, so you want to work towards it.

The goal-setting framework eliminates the complex processes and the pressures and barriers associated. It also keeps the employees hyper-focused on what’s most important for them and the organization.

You can understand these employee performance goal-setting approaches better once you see different examples.

5 Employee performance goals examples

We have filtered result-oriented examples to achieve different outcomes that can help you set employee performance goals.

1. Employee performance goal example for collaboration

Collaboration is essential for all departments and teams and impacts employee productivity, motivation, and job satisfaction. With collaboration, employees become more innovative and better problem solvers.

But since it isn’t a simple, measurable performance objective, you can assign employees collaborative goals and then measure the success based on communication and legibility.

Here are examples of employee goals and objectives for collaboration:

Example 1: You can improve the inefficiency in the collaboration between your sales and marketing teams by following specific ways:

  • Exchange weekly reports
  • Marketing and sales managers have at least three cross-departmental meetings monthly
  • Collaborating on an internal initiative or upcoming projects

Example 2: If one employee has to help their coworker complete the H1 mid-level sales pitch script, it requires solid implementations of internal collaboration goals.

The key results of this example can be:

  • Going through the past years of similar scripts together and understanding the reasoning behind the updates made
  • Sitting together on 3 calls to test the scripts
  • Giving constructive feedback after each call

Goals that help colleagues achieve their goals can encourage collaboration and social unity among employees. It can impact their productivity, resilience, motivation, and performance.

2. Employee performance goal example for professional development

87% of millennials rate learning and development opportunities important to them at work. You need to provide a helping hand to your employees to do their jobs well and grow by setting up professional development goals.

Example 1: If your new social media marketing hires highlight they want to learn more about performance marketing, then you can set up a great professional development goal of completing a course related to the subject within a specific time. Or you might already have a learning path that caters to that development need.

Example 2: You can assign your marketing team to take 90 minutes a week throughout the current quarter to complete the digital marketing institute’s paid marketing training.

Employees want to stay up-to-date with current developments, best practices, and important technical skills to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive job market.

3. Employee performance goals example for self-management

It includes setting up goals for employees to help them adapt to changes at work, take ownership of a project, and manage deadlines without getting sidetracked.

‍Self-management can help improve employee performance, productivity, and achieve professional and personal goals.

For managers, it's about letting employees flourish and not micromanaging them. Self-management means integrating self-awareness and enabling employees to feel successful in their roles.

Example 1: Employees struggling with deadlines but have a good work end-product may have issues with time management.

You can implement an excellent self-management goal to channel the employees toward learning to prioritize work tasks.

Example 2: A great self-management goal for employees can be to complete 2 Pomodoro sessions daily throughout the next 20 days to plan and execute 3 customer education webinars effectively.

Helping employees gain self-management skills can empower them to manage their feelings, time, thoughts, and actions.

4. Employee performance goals example for developing soft skills

Unempathetic employees who restrain themselves from communicating with the team can be an issue. So goal setting for soft skills ensures employees invest time and effort to optimize their communication with colleagues and subordinates.

Example 1: Ask your employees to create individualized, two-month action plans to help them become better communicators.

Keep track of their learning process throughout their journey and help them identify their shortcomings for better results.

Example 2: You can create an objective for your employees to seek out at least 2 opportunities to improve emotional resilience in the next quarter.

The outcomes of the approach will be:

  • Refrain from reacting right away
  • Document the conversation’s outcomes
  • Analyze the thinking/feeling process
  • Establish a dedicated action plan to adopt a perspective and response aligned with the desired transformation

Both external and internal soft skills can enable your employees to develop as leaders, professionals, and human beings.

5. Employee performance goals example for people management

People management skills go beyond managerial tasks and enable employees to motivate peers and communicate across teams. You have to set up goals for better people management to encourage employees to be open to receiving and giving constructive feedback.

Example 1: Encourage your employee to manage and head at least one project each quarter.

Example 2: Conduct multiple pieces of training sessions that can help employees be great coaches and mentors, run effective team meetings, and be ready to take the driving seat in different departments.

Apart from these examples, you can develop different creative ideas to enhance your goal-setting results.

Time to implement solid employee performance goal-setting frameworks!

Apart from implementing the above-mentioned employee performance goal-setting examples, another way to improve your team's performance in your organization is to leverage the benefits of Empuls. It is an all-in-one advanced employee engagement platform.

Empuls enables you to build trust and enhance your connection with your employees, resulting in increased employee engagement.

It also improves your organization’s work culture and employee performance. With Empuls, you can also foster recognition and reward culture and make the entire process fun.

So what’s making you wait? Get started with revolutionizing your workforce’s performance with Empuls’ free trial today!


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about employee performance goals.

1. What are employee performance goals?

Employee performance goals are targets that employees are expected to achieve. Defining employee goals enables employees to understand the work expected from them by the organization.

2. What are good goals for a performance review?

Performance review goals are important for development, motivation, and corporate protection. While setting up the performance goals, ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals.

3. What is the difference between performance and outcome goals?

Performance goals enable you to focus on the details of employee performance and not the result. But outcome goals help you focus on the big picture of what the employees are trying to achieve.

4. Does setting goals improve performance?

Yes, setting goals can encourage better employee performance, as it helps them build a greater connection with the organization.

5. How to write performance goals?

You can write your employee performance goals using the SMART method of setting goals. It can ensure that your employee performance goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The goals enable employees to understand what is expected from them and the deadlines.

6. How do you measure performance goals being achieved?

You can measure performance goals by setting measurable objectives and key results (OKRs), using sprint methodology, deploying task management tools, and creating employee performance metrics.

7. How does goal setting improve performance?

Setting goals helps guide employees' focus, trigger new behaviors, and creates a result-oriented work culture. Having a motivated and focused workforce the overall performance of their work also improves.

8. How to set performance goals for employees?

Improve your team's performance and enhance business growth by setting measurable goals following these steps:

  1. Review company objectives
  2. Invite employees to participate
  3. Use the SMART method
  4. Track and update periodically

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Karishma Bhatnagar

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Karishma is a passionate blogger who comes with a deep understanding of SEO tactics. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her in the mountains, experiencing the fresh breeze & chirping sounds of birds.