Goal-setting is an important component of employee motivation. Setting and achieving goals keeps employees looking forward to new accomplishments and rewards, pushing their performance to ever-increasing heights. The best goals include each of four vital components; great employee goals are specific, time-bound, measurable and reasonably attainable. Reviewing a few examples of great employee goals can help you to craft goals for yourself or your employees that include all four characteristics.
Productivity can be defined as the amount of productive work accomplished within a specific time-frame. Productivity can be measured in units produced, customers served or other measures of output. Setting productivity goals for individual employees has the long-term effect of increasing overall company productivity, allowing a company to get more work done in the same amount of time and with the same number of employees. An example of a great productivity goal for an assembly line worker, using the four characteristics of an effective goal, could be “to increase the number of units produced per hour by 5 percent between each semi-annual performance review.” An example of a great productivity goal for a data-entry clerk could be “to increase typing speed by five words-per-minute each month until reaching 60 words-per-minute.”
Efficiency is a similar concept to productivity, but it approaches output in a different way. Efficiency can be defined as the speed, accuracy and consistent quality with which an employee works. More efficient workers make fewer mistakes and can increase their productivity without decreasing their quality standards. An example of a great efficiency goal for a customer-service representative could be “to keep the number of service calls which last over five minutes to under ten per day,” to encourage the rep to interact more strategically with customers and anticipate their needs.
Educational achievement can make employees more valuable to their employers, in addition to enriching their lives in other areas. Setting goals is a proven way to reach educational milestones, and companies can benefit from collaboratively setting educational goals with their employees. Valuable educational achievements include things such as college degrees, company-sponsored training programs and professional certifications. An example of a great educational goal for an aspiring manager could be “to fulfill all seven management training modules before next year’s performance review.” An example of a great educational goal for someone at the top of their pay grade could be “to enroll in an Associate’s degree program this Fall semester, and to complete my degree within three years.”
Personal Development Goals
Employee performance relies on a range of qualitative factors in addition to easily measurable quantitative issues. Intangible characteristics such as leadership skills, communication effectiveness, conflict management skills and strategic contributions in team settings can be just as important to employees’ success and their employers’ competitiveness. Examples of great intangible goals for personal development include “to decrease the number of negative confrontations at work between each performance review until no confrontations arise,” or “to speak up and contribute in all team meetings during a specific project.”