Employee Goals

Employee Goals

Employee Goals Jonathan Poland

Employee goals are specific targets or objectives that are set for an individual employee in order to align their work with the overall goals, strategy, and objectives of the organization. These goals are typically focused on specific areas of performance, such as productivity, quality, customer service, or innovation, and are used to measure and evaluate an employee’s contribution to the organization.

Setting employee goals is an important aspect of performance management, as it helps to ensure that individual employees are working towards the same goals and objectives as the organization as a whole. Employee goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This means that they should be clear, achievable, and aligned with the overall goals and strategy of the organization.

Employee goals should be aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization, but they should also be tailored to the individual employee’s skills, experience, and development needs. This may involve setting goals that focus on specific areas of development, such as leadership skills, technical expertise, or customer service skills.

In addition to helping to align employee performance with organizational goals, setting employee goals can also have a number of other benefits. It can help to motivate and engage employees, as it provides them with a clear sense of purpose and direction. It can also help to improve communication and collaboration within an organization, as employees are able to understand how their work fits into the bigger picture and how it contributes to the overall success of the organization.

In conclusion, employee goals are specific targets or objectives that are set for individual employees in order to align their work with the overall goals, strategy, and objectives of the organization. Setting employee goals is an important aspect of performance management and can have a number of benefits, including improved alignment with organizational goals, increased motivation and engagement, and improved communication and collaboration within the organization. The following are illustrative examples of employee goals.

Market Expansion

A manager of a business unit has a goal to sell an existing product to a new market in order to increase revenue by 20%.


A marketing director develops a goal to distribute services to new geographies to increase revenue by 33%.

Closing Sales

A salesperson develops a goal to close sales worth $1.1 million in a quarter.

Share of Wallet

A sales manager targets increasing share of wallet by 7% by upselling new services to large accounts.


A product development manager targets two product launches in a year with an initial market penetration rate of at least 5% within three months of launch.

Customer Service

A customer service representative aims to improve their ability to read customer needs and preferences to achieve an average customer satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Customer Relationships

An account representative plans to touch base will all major accounts on a quarterly basis to identify at least 10 opportunities for upselling.


An organic cosmetics company targets direct purchase agreements with several organic farmers to reduce costs for a key product ingredient by 10% or more.


An accounting manager targets reducing overtime costs by $50,000 a year with software that automatically performs reconciliation of accounts.


An architect aims to reduce the effort required to develop project mockups by 3 days per project with tools for developing 3D models that can then be used in animation architecture and ordered as physical models from a partner.

Turnaround Time

A billing manager targets a reduction in the turnaround time to set up a new customer in billing systems to one business day from three.


A logistics manager plans to introduce reusable and returnable boxes for end customers to reduce the use of cardboard by 30% within three years representing cost savings of $14 million.


A human resources manager has a target to implement segregation of duties for hiring and setting compensation. They aim to have 100% of new hires under these controls so that executives can’t hire their friends and give them unreasonably large compensation packages.


A product manager aims to reformulate 12 cosmetic products to remove a microplastic that is dangerous to marine environments. They aim for the firm’s products to be 100% microplastic free within 8 months.

Decision Making

A human resources manager seeks to improve hiring decisions by introducing team interviews at the peer level. This is designed to improve the culture fit of candidates and detect situations where managers are bringing in friends who aren’t well suited to a role. This effort will be measured by the average first year performance review scores of new employees with a goal of a 7% improvement in average scores.

Problem Solving

A software developer has a goal to improve mean time to repair for incidents to 17 minutes from 26 minutes.


An investor relations employee has a target to improve average response time for inquiries from analysts, major investors and the media to 2 business hours.

Risk Management

An agricultural company targets a reduction of concentration risk by producing 4 new crops to represent 10% of revenue within a year.


A brand manager targets brand recognition of 44% with a large promotional campaign.


A chief marketing officer of a fast moving consumer goods firm develops a goal to transform the brand image of a product by improving product and packaging quality. The target is to increase prices by 20% while at the same time increasing unit volumes by 5%.


A quality assurance manager targets uptime of 99.9% for an IT service that has experienced significant downtime in the past 4 months. This will be achieved by assigning the firm’s top software architect to identify and implement stability and operability upgrades.

Information Technology

A chief information officer has a goal to perform a health check for 190 major systems and applications to identify stability and information security risks.

Information Security

An information security specialist has a goal to decrease mean-time-to-patch to 3 business days for business critical and high risk systems.

Software Development

A software developer sets a goal to reduce their defects per thousand lines of code to 15 from 20.


A senior software developer plans to coach two junior software developers. This will be measured with feedback from the developers and their managers.


A database administrator targets successful completion of training in the administration of cloud NoSQL databases.


A customer service manager has a goal to launch lessons learned sessions that examine real interactions with customers to develop know-how to improve customer service. The goal is to hold sessions monthly with all staff to review at least 3 failed and 3 successful interactions to identify and document new techniques, processes and practices.

Project Management

A project manager targets delivery of a major project with schedule and budget variance both below 5%.


An engineer on a research and development team plans to develop a new lighter weight composite material for snowboards that conforms to a list of 25 requirements. The target is to reduce the weight of finished snowboard products by at least 18% without any loss of quality such as flexibility.

Executive Management

A CEO plans to improve revenue per employee to $370,000 within two years by introducing self-service features into retail locations.


An IT manager plans to retire a legacy system by replacing it with a cloud service. This will result in reduced license fees and other cost savings of $440,000 per annum.


A software developer establishes a goal to become a team lead for mid-sized projects to represent developers with stakeholders. The target is to lead two projects in a year with stakeholder feedback and project metrics such as schedule variance acting as measurements.


A manufacturing manager plans to remove a bottleneck on a production line with new equipment that will increase the throughput of the line by 16%.

Asset Management

A data center facility manager plans to reduce the power costs of a facility by 16% with the installation of a solar panel system.

Metrics & Measurements

A data center operations manager plans to measure electricity consumption at the rack and customer levels in order to manage power constraints at a facility. The goal is to reduce power consumption by 10% by identifying customers who are violating their terms of service.


An IT manager develops a target to provide all business units with a report of the IT costs related to their use of systems, applications and IT services. The goal is to have 100% of costs included in the report for 6 major business units.

Financial Management

A chief information officer develops a program of accounting for the costs of projects and operations to improve accountability for spending. The goal is to give the CEO a revenue-to-IT-spend ratio for six major business units. This will be used to cut IT costs by at least 10% to improve efficiency.

Business Capabilities

A chief marketing officer has a goal to develop the IT and business capabilities required to launch, manage and measure advertising campaigns that are fully coordinated across electronic, physical, direct and broadcast media channels. The goal is to have capabilities fully operational within 9 months within a budget of $3 million.

Process Improvement

A bank finds that 7% of mortgage applications submitted through a website were rejected due to inappropriately static business rules such as automatically disqualifying self employed individuals. This doesn’t match the qualifications used in branch and results in lost sales and compliance issues. The bank improves the application scoring process with an aim to increase approvals by around 7% without any increase in risk levels.

Business Analysis

A business analyst has a goal to perform a gap analysis for a billing process to identify ways to reduce bill generation failures from 100 a month to less than 20.

Human Resources

A human resources manager has a goal to improve the two year retention rate of new employees to 90% by providing more support to new employees including an extensive onboarding process.

Public Relations

A public relations manager has a target to improve positive public perceptions of a firm to 71% by working with media partners to publicize changes to operations and products that reduce environmental impacts.


A house builder has a goal to increase its use of sustainable materials to 80% with a secondary goal to reduce the use of indoor materials that emit volatile organic compounds to zero.


A chief human resources officer develops a goal of 80% of new hires living within 35 minutes of the office at the time of their hire. This is aimed at improving the resilience of the firm as employees increasing commute great distances such that they can’t come into the office if there are transportation and communications disruptions. This will be measured with improvement to average commute time as a work-life balance metric.

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