Do you have a clear vision of where you want to be in your career? Setting career goals is not only beneficial for your personal growth but also for your professional development. If you want to be a part of the high achievers, we’ve highlighted 60+ smart goal examples you should set.
In the workforce today, employees are becoming more intentional about their growth. They set development goals to increase their productivity and help them and their managers evaluate and track progress in their next performance review. With these professional goals, employees can develop new personal and professional skills that not only make them better employees but great individuals outside of work too.
On most occasions, goal setting is a collaborative process between managers and employees. Managers act as guides to help them achieve their goals.
Whether or not you choose to do it all alone, we have outlined a comprehensive list of career goals examples you should set before the next performance review.
Why are self-performance review goals so important?
Why should you do a self-performance review? A self-performance review is not only a requirement from your employer but also a valuable opportunity for your own professional development. When it comes to setting self-performance review goals, it's important to keep in mind the benefits that can come from this exercise. By establishing clear objectives, employees can be motivated to push themselves to reach their full potential.
Additionally, setting these goals can help to make self-assessment exercises more productive and transparent since employees will have a clear understanding of what they need to accomplish. Finally, by targeting weak points for improvement, employees can work to become more well-rounded and effective in their roles.
Overall, the process of setting performance review goals can be an incredibly valuable tool for both employees and their organizations.
How to spice up your self-performance review with SMART goals
You might think that a self-performance review is just a boring and tedious task that your boss makes you do every year. But what if we told you that it could be a fun and rewarding opportunity for your own professional growth? That’s right, by setting SMART goals in your self-performance review, you can turn it into a game-changer for your career. Here’s how:
- SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the criteria that make your goals clear, realistic, and meaningful.
- By setting SMART goals, you can align your expectations with your manager and your organization, track your progress and achievements, motivate yourself and boost your confidence, and plan your career path and future opportunities.
- For example, instead of saying “I want to improve my communication skills”, you could say “I want to complete an online course on effective communication by the end of the month, and apply what I learned in my next presentation to the client”. See the difference?
- Setting SMART goals in your self-performance review can help you improve your performance, satisfaction, and potential at work. It can also make the process more fun and engaging, as you can challenge yourself, learn new things, and celebrate your successes.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper, or open a new document on your computer, and start setting SMART goals for your next self-performance review based on our below comprehensive list of examples drafted for you.
Further reading: Free 360 feedback tools to collect feedback from managers, peers, and other stakeholders.
Setting long-term goals for performance review
Setting long-term goals for a self-performance review is essential to achieving success in the workplace. It empowers employees to track their progress, measure their growth and improvement, and stay motivated. With a clear vision of their goals, employees are better equipped to manage their time and resources effectively. Individuals who work as independent freelancers, or for small businesses or multinational companies are recommended to use HR software that has a performance review module to avoid manual tracking.
Long-term goals inspire employees to stay focused on tasks that lead them to success, and managers can evaluate their performance over time. Ultimately, setting long-term goals for a self-performance review is a powerful tool that helps employees maintain productivity and achieve their full potential.
1. Functional goals
Process improvement involves taking charge of business activities that will enhance productivity and meet new organizational standards. Setting these goals aims to improve business functions at your company.
- Improve communication channels across all departments with the use of Slack/Microsoft Teams platform.
- Adopt the use of process modeling to facilitate visualization for identifying improvements.
A workplace that protects the safety, health, and welfare of its employees and the environment at large is a sustainable one. Working towards sustainability so that it doesn’t compromise the comfort of future generations is a goal the HR team or Admin team should aim for.
- Replace disposable plastic cups and bottles in the office with reusable ones.
- Host 4 internal events this year to boost the healthy lifestyle of employees in the company.
Employees in the Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support team should adopt practices that build trust between customers and the company. This way, you can meet their demands on all levels.
- Organize training programs every month to teach employees the ways of customer relationship management.
- Offer live assistance to customers through video calls, phone calls, and direct messages.
It's the management's job to boost the strength of your company by giving it an added advantage. Think about future challenges and define the goal that you should achieve to overcome those difficulties.
- Create a better customer service channel for employees to reach out and leave feedback for company improvement.
- React to incidents and challenges as quickly as possible to prevent complications
A company can’t function well without great talent. With or without a recruiting team, HR-in-charge or management team should be able to apply recruitment strategies.
- Create eye-catching job post templates that impress your potential candidates on social media.
- Invest in recruitment tools that cut down the time of the hiring process.
- Build a relationship with four local universities that give their top talents an assured spot at your company.
2. Productivity Goals
Networking is important for strengthening the organization and increasing its economic value. It also helps to build a relationship with top partners and clients. Networking goals can apply to the management team.
- Collect at least 5 business cards for every networking event you attend.
- Schedule meetings and coffee dates with other managers who might be interested in investing in your organization.
Innovation skills help employees find new and creative ways for business operations—set goals to boost your employees’ creativity.
- Revamp the office environment so employees can work at their comfort for increased productivity.
- Adopt flexible work models, including work from home and workstation.
Automation is the replacement of manual work with intelligent tools. Automation is essential to make tasks a lot easier to complete.
- Use a 360-degree feedback tool to assess employees at the next performance review.
- Implement HR software (free list here) that facilitates the operations of the HR department and streamlines manual processes.
As a current or aspiring leader, it is vital that you make employees feel safe and comfortable at work. Leaders also help other employees achieve their goals and make them better employees.
- Read at least two books every month that teaches emotional intelligence.
- Give constructive feedback to employees after every completed task.
Project management is not only limited to people who want to become project managers. It is for everyone who wants to handle projects more efficiently.
- Take the lead in the project to increase the engagement of your existing audience by creating a social media marketing campaign that sends out a tweet every day for a month.
- Manage the project to get 40% of users on a free trial to sign up for the premium plan.
3. Education Goals
For employees in the IT department, continuously improving software development skills is essential to enhance work performance. A deeper understanding of software development makes employees more resourceful.
- Complete a new coding skill course by the end of the year.
- Earn a Master's degree in computer science for a better background in software development.
Risk management skills prepare employees in the Finance team for the unexpected challenges they might face at work.
- Complete a course in risk management by the end of the year.
- Reduce risk by diversifying the company’s investment by the end of the fiscal year.
Increasing brand awareness is one of the core objectives of the Marketing team. Employees with this ability are great assets to the company.
- Start a referral program that offers customers something valuable in return.
- Publish 100 guest posts by the end of this year.
The marketing field is constantly changing, and marketers should stay on top of the trend to build successful campaigns.
- Attend marketing webinars or online events every month.
- Earn a certificate in Search Engine Optimization or video marketing.
Setting short-term work goals for performance review
How can short-term goals best lead towards accomplishing long-term career goals? Setting short-term work goals is a powerful way to enhance your motivation and productivity. These objectives give you a clear direction and a sense of accomplishment while also enabling your manager to monitor your progress over time. By staying flexible, you can adjust to shifting company mandates and objectives, which can help you achieve greater success in your career.
In fact, many successful professionals credit their ability to set and meet short-term goals as a key factor in their achievements. So why not try it for yourself? By setting achievable, measurable goals for yourself, you can boost your focus, enhance your performance, and take your career development plan to new heights.
1. Functional goals
For employees in the Customer Support department, especially those that see customers face to face daily, ensuring that all customers are satisfied is important.
- Earn a 5-star review from 15 out of 20 customers you support daily.
- Conduct a customer survey for every product launched to get their honest feedback.
Companies often partner with external suppliers to acquire administrative tools and services. The sole aim of procurement goals is to reduce the company’s spending and save more money.
- Share the company’s sustainability standards with product suppliers and manufacturers.
- Get metal suppliers to lower the overall cost of production and increase quality by plating metals with titanium.
Always prioritize your customers' needs. Improve the service quality your company offers for a better customer experience.
- Increase customer satisfaction by 60% by offering travelers free sleeping masks and traveling pillows during flights.
- Develop a customer feedback system and assign qualified customer support to address all feedback (positive or negative).
Ensuring that products sold to customers are not subpar is essential for a strong company reputation. Everyone in the company should take care of this, especially the Product and QA team.
- Thoroughly inspect every product before selling or delivering to customers.
- Run a test for all developed software and send out a beta test version to outsiders before its official release.
Cost reduction goals are usually set by employees in charge of organizational spending. These goals aim at reducing spending and redirecting funds to other important departments.
- Reduce utilities by contacting utility providers and asking for a free audit of the building, and seek suggestions, lower costs, or free upgrades.
- Do a contract review and hire vendors that offer the same services at a cheaper rate.
2. Job Knowledge Goals
Every department needs analytic skills to forecast and approach problems more effectively. Employees just need to set goals that are in line with their duties.
- Attend conferences that discuss the analysis of customer feedback using frameworks and tools.
- Finish Google Analytics courses and master this tool.
Problem-solving skills help employees identify the challenges in a company and come up with ways to solve them. These goals are essential for the growth of the company.
- Get employees to have their masks on at least 7 hours a day and set a notification for hand washing or sanitizing once every two hours.
- Become a certified safety officer by the end of next month.
Understanding the operations of a company can help employees see the goals of that company and how much contribution they need to make to help achieve these goals.
- Ask questions about the operations of the company during a performance review.
- Reach out to the HR manager or the Chief Operations Officer when you need information on the company’s operations.
The ability to speak in public builds confidence and helps employees in giving flawless presentations. Public speaking is also necessary for training managers and sales representatives who need to share or sell an idea.
- Practice public speeches in front of your mirror every morning.
- Attend a seminar as a guest speaker once every quarter.
Design skills are essential for all employees to create better visuals. Acquiring design skills increases versatility and is essential for presentations.
- Attend design training programs with lead designers as trainers.
- Learn how to use the basic format in PowerPoint, Word, or Excel to present in a visually attractive way.
3. Productivity Goals
Motivation keeps employees physically and mentally ready for any task. You must know that motivation comes in tangible and intangible ways.
- Keep your workspace less cluttered to help you feel comfortable and less distracted.
- Award yourself a night out at the movies or a restaurant after a successful week.
- Offer incentives for team members after every month of hard work.
Organizational goals keep things in order. These goals help eliminate forgetfulness and mix-ups at the office.
- Schedule a fixed time for all your tasks and add every event to your calendar.
- Have a systematic way to name your folders and files.
- Sort files and documents according to dates or in alphabetical order.
Efficiency goals ensure that an employee’s delivery is in line with the company’s goals. These goals are set to reduce the number of resources used to accomplish a task.
- Attend all pending requests and messages from the previous workday five minutes after settling in at work.
- Reduce the number of cardboard usage by cutting them according to the size of each order
Maintaining a good relationship with co-workers is only possible when you can communicate efficiently. Setting communication goals will make you more approachable and trustworthy at work.
- Sit with a different group of workers during lunch breaks.
- Have a little chit-chat with co-workers after every delivery or completed task.
Sticking to time helps you meet deadlines and gives you enough time to do a quality check. Time management goals are key to every other goal you want to achieve.
- Reduce the time spent on social media from 5 hours to 2 hours daily.
- Schedule a fixed time for all your tasks and try to stick to that.
Set out to achieve your goals
As an employee, it is only right that you have certain expectations of yourself. These goals prepare you for the challenges you face at work and help you handle them better.
While these goals are important for self-development and company growth, you and your managers must come to an agreement to set SMART goals and avoid disappointments and overkill. By following the SMART framework, you can create realistic and achievable goals that align with your career aspirations. Now it’s time to put these tips into practice and start planning your next performance review.
We've curated a list of free productivity apps to help you automate your work and performance. Check it out to be more productive.