Goal Setting

How to develop career goals that align with your performance review (with examples)

It’s never easy to go through the performance review process. Often you’re not sure what to expect, let alone remembering your accomplishments in the past year and presenting them in a positive light.

But when done properly, the performance review can derive a lot of value both for you, your manager, and your company. Part of making the performance review process effective is turning the feedback you receive into goals. This will allow you to be more focused in your work, advance your career, and develop professionally.

Below we’ve listed 4 different ways you can develop your own goals, with examples.

  1. Look for feedback from past performance reviews

As you look through feedback you’ve previously received, try to identify patterns that point to potential areas for growth. These can include areas where you’re struggling (such as time management), or skills you’re regularly praised for that you’d like to master. It can be anything from specific skills, behaviours, or processes.

Next, determine what resources you’ll need and your plan of action to reach your goals. Here are some examples:

  • Feedback: Very effective at first calls and initial meetings, but more difficulty when it comes to closing deals

  • Goal: Close 5 more deals than usual by the end of the year

  • Milestones:

    • Follow Central Perk advanced sales training class to increase my effectiveness at closing.

    • Shadow Senior Sales representative to gain insight into how they close deals

  • Feedback: In meetings, have a tendency to speak over colleagues.

  • Goal: Over the next 3 months, improve my ability to listen during meetings and interrupt people less often

  • Milestone: After the first 5 meetings, send a request for feedback to 3 attendees

  • Feedback: Average response time to customer emails has fallen below departmental standard.

  • Goal: By the end of the year, increase my average response time to customer emails to be on par with, or higher than, departmental standard

  • Milestones: Set desktop and mobile notifications to check email more frequently Develop a framework for standard responses, to increase efficiency

2. Look at team goals

After looking at past feedback, team goals are a great way to find inspiration for your own. How does your role contribute to the team’s success? What metrics can you influence through your work?

  • Central Perk organization goal: Increase revenue from recurring customers

  • Customer Support team goal: Reduce initial churn rate by 30%

  • My goal: Focus my personal development regiment on onboarding new customers for the coming period.

3. Align with company goals

If you’re still struggling after going through past feedback and team goals, look at the bigger picture. If not already clear, talk to your manager to understand what your organization’s goals are, and how you can contribute. If you’re really keen, you could even talk to someone in HR to see if there are any extra-curricular initiatives you can get involved in.

Role-based

  • Company goal: Increase revenue from recurring customers by 15% for the financial year

  • Personal Goal: Create new onboarding material for existing customers, to increase their satisfaction and support a positive onboarding experience.

  • Milestones: Develop two concepts and test them with small focus groups Pick and develop winning concept Roll-out new material to all new customers

“Extra-curricular”

  • Company goal: Launch company-wide initiative in support of our ongoing sustainability efforts

  • Personal Goal: Contribute towards Central Perk’s Zero Waste Initiative by reducing department’s paper waste by 30% for the period.

  • Milestones: Set up clearly labeled recycling points on our floor Send email to inform the department of the new recycling points, encouraging them to use them Measure the department’s paper waste month on month

4. Work towards your 5-year plan

Still at a loss for career goals to align with your performance review? Here’s our last tip: think beyond the next few months and consider your long term goals! What do you want to achieve within the next 5 years? What can you do within your current role to help you get there?

  • Goal: Become an expert in performance management, able to advise others on what the best fit for them is

  • Milestones: Streamline and simplify the performance management process within my team Identify and present a new performance management process to senior management Successfully roll-out the new performance management process to at least one department within the next 5 years

We hope we’ve provided you with enough inspiration and examples to get started on your own goals, and take charge of your professional development. Make sure to keep track of your goals, be it on paper, in a spreadsheet, or better still in your performance management system (if you have one).

Remember, your manager is here to help. After your performance review, discuss your goals together so you can get the support you need to achieve them, and have regular progress conversations throughout. You’ll be set for success in your next performance review!

Do you wish goal setting was part of your performance review process? Why not share this article with HR!