How To Set Employee Goals (with examples)

Setting employee goals and providing clear examples is key to improved performance.
Written By
September 28, 2022
Written By

Goal setting can greatly motivate your employees to achieve personal and company objectives. Goals can make employees more accountable, drive them to their highest potential, and even improve mental health. 

Given the advantages, it seems so obvious to set goals. Well, a Harvard Business Study established that 86% of people don't have goals. About 14% have a general plan in mind, and only 3% write down their goals.


People who physically document their goals are three times more likely to achieve them than people with a general plan in mind. So, how do you approach goal setting for employees? The following steps can help:  

Step 1: Figure out broad company objectives 

At the workplace, business goals should take precedence. You should have a list of specific objectives for each quarter and across every department. Aside from economic objectives like increasing market share or dominance, companies need social, organic, and human objectives.  

Step 2: Set SMART goals 

This goal-setting methodology is often taught at school and in professional courses. It’s probably not the first time you’re encountering SMART goals. 


So, here is a quick refresher:  


  • Goals need to be specific: Concrete goals are clear in their desired outcomes. Not “I want to increase sales,” but “I want to grow my profitability by 200%.”   
  • Measurable: Measurable goals have key performance indicators, for instance, the number of units sold.  
  • Achievable: Employers must set realistic and achievable goals in line with the employee’s workload, resources, and skills. 
  • Relevant: Employees need to feel that the goal is worthwhile and aligned to their role, current priorities, and company mission.  
  • Time-based: Deadlines make it clear to the employee about when they are expected to deliver.   

If you’re wondering how to set goals for employees here is an example, here is a SMART goal assigned to a salesperson: 


“We expect you to increase your profitability by 200% in Q4, 2021, by increasing the number of office chairs sold by at least 50% from the last quarter. It’s achievable because our website has grown in traffic, and we will be increasing Ad spending. As a general trend, more people are setting up remote offices, as more businesses promote hybrid offices.” 


Step 3: Provide enough resources and support for the attainment of the goal  


Don’t merely assign goals and sit back. Provide enough support by assigning adequate resources to the employee and thinking about the best ways to help them succeed. Ask for progress reports and any feedback about difficulties they are facing.  


Step 4: Stay organized with goal tracking software 


Using technology can make the process of assigning goals more intuitive and trackable. Consider a remote work software such as WorkPilot to set, track and assign goals to team members.  


What are some employee goal-setting examples?   


As a team leader, you should not only focus on project and business goals. Effective goal setting focuses on more areas, and here are some employee goal-setting examples:  


  • Performance goals: Short-term objectives should be tied to specific projects and tasks, such as “Hit quarterly sales of at least $20,000.”  
  • Productivity goals: The focus is on increasing the amount of value created per unit of time, for example, “Try to increase typing speed by at least 60 words per minute.”  
  • Professional development goals: It encompasses the training, certification, and education required to make an employee more competent. An example of a professional development goal for an employee may entail, “Obtain a new certification in project management.”  
  • Personal development goals: Personal development is a lifelong process that focuses on enhancing the self. Encourage employees to set their own professional development goals, for instance, “Improve my time management skills.”   
  • Virtual communication goals: Good virtual work environments are becoming more critical as work gets more remote. An example of a virtual communication goal at work may entail, “Ask questions more during meetings and on chat to prevent misunderstandings.”  


Did you know WorkPilot makes it easy to set and track goals for your teams? Try a free account and begin setting goals for your team within minutes!

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