Performance Goals

Performance Goals

Performance Goals Jonathan Poland

Performance goals are targets or objectives that are set for an employee’s work, typically in collaboration with their manager. These goals are often established at the beginning of a business year or quarter, and are used to evaluate the employee’s performance at the end of the performance period. Performance goals can be related to a variety of factors, including productivity, quality of work, customer service, teamwork, and leadership.

These goals are important because they provide employees with clear benchmarks to strive for, and they are often used as part of the performance evaluation process to determine promotions, compensation, discipline, and dismissals. By setting performance goals, employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and can work towards meeting or exceeding these expectations. The following are examples of performance goals.


Productivity is the amount of work you produce in an hour, week, month or year.
Deliver 4 designs to clients each month.


Efficiency is the amount of resources consumed for an output.
Reduce the cardboard used in packaging by 12% by introducing an algorithm that efficiently matches orders to box size.


If you are in a position to increase revenue, this is often a primary type of goal.
Increase sales of our line of premium men’s belts by $590k with promotional campaigns.

Cost Reduction

Reduction of unit or overhead costs.
Reduce the unit costs of our peanut products by securing long term supply contracts with local organic farmers.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a commonly captured metric that is based on asking customer’s to rate their experience after an interaction such as a purchase or return. If you can measure your performance in terms of customer satisfaction, this tends to be convincing.
Achieve average customer satisfaction of 91% for customer inquiries.


Directing and controlling teams, often measured in terms of the team’s goals.
Deliver systems for the intranet redesign project. Measurements: stakeholder satisfaction, cost, on-time delivery, project quality metrics such as first month production incidents.

Change Management

Change management is the process of driving forward change in an organization in the face of resistance, negative politics and defeatism.
Quickly recognize and promote talent, creativity and effort and sideline mediocrity, defeatism and poor ethics. Measurement: exceed all goals communicated to stakeholders

Process Improvement

Increasing the productivity, efficiency, quality or yield of repeated processes.
Improve the sales process to include an approval step for special discounts and large irregular deals that will detect low profitability relative to risk. Measurement: improve gross margins to 29.5% and reduce unprofitable accounts by 25% over three years.

Internal Controls

Internal controls are processes and procedures that ensure that business is conducted in the best interests of stakeholders.
Establish an independent compensation committee that will review the job level and salary of all new hires above level 8 to ensure that salary and authority is consistent with their career history. This is intended to prevent inflated salaries and job titles.

Business Capabilities

Business capabilities are things that your business can do. These are typically viewed as competitive strengths. Developing or improving business capabilities is an extremely common type of performance goal.
Improve the quality of our menu items, reduce cost and supply risk by baking our own bread in the kitchen each morning. Measurement: reduce bread cost by 10%, improve customer satisfaction with sandwich taste by 22%.

Risk Management

Risk management is the process of identifying and treating risk. The results of risk management can be measured as a dollar value of reduced risk exposure.
Reduce risk exposure related to supply chain disruption by $22 million by diversifying suppliers.


Compliance is the process of ensuring that you don’t violate laws, regulations and standards as an organization. The best way to do this is to set and achieve internal standards that are far greater than the minimums set out by government.
Improve the safety of our children’s bicycle helmets with redesigns of models that have performed poorly in testing. Target: achieve the highest safety score of all models on the market from all of the top three safety testing labs.

Human Resources

Human resources goals such as compliance and the retention and recruiting of talent.
Measure employee satisfaction by team and aggressively communicate this information to the entire organization to encourage managers to improve employee retention. Goal: reduce attrition to less then 3% for high performers.


Goals related to recruiting such as filling roles quickly, improving the performance of new hires and reducing recruiting costs.
Improve our ability to recruit talent from top 200 universities in key fields by engaging candidates more early in the annual university recruiting cycle. Measurement: percentage of filled positions, average performance ratings of university recruits


Procurement is the process of purchasing materials, parts, components, products and services. This is essential to revenue, cost, quality and compliance.
Push supplier A to improve the quality of part A by plating it with titanium without a price increase. This is forecast to reduce product returns by 9% with benefits to product ratings and customer satisfaction.

Project Management

The management of projects is either measured in terms of project objectives or the objectives of a project management office.
Deliver project to requirements, budget and schedule. Measurements: schedule variance, budget variance, stakeholder feedback.

Business Analysis

Delivering analysis such as requirements documents.
Engage stakeholders to develop and deliver requirements for the data center cooling efficiency project. Measurement: requirements acceptance by end of Q1.


Leadership is influencing others to get people moving in the same direction to achieve a goal. This requires no authority and can be practiced by any employee at any level of an organization.
Take the lead to investigate and fix the root cause of product quality problems by engaging customer service and operations teams.


Increasing your visibility in your organization and/or industry.
Join monthly governance meetings, actively participate and take on valuable action items. Measurement: attendance rate, action items completed


The process of connecting with people to build out your personal network.
Attend industry conferences to meet customers, competitors and industry experts. Measurement: attend at least 2 conferences this year.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture are intangible elements of firms that impact organizational performance such as norms, habits and expectations. Improving organizational culture is typically an executive or management role.
Create a means for frontline operations and customer service representatives to share wins, improvements and inspiring stories with the rest of the organization. Target: discover and communicate at least one story at each all-hands meeting this year.


Governance is the oversight of organizations, departments, programs or business functions.
Review IT projects with a collective budget of more than $2 million to ensure financial discipline, compliance and information security. Measurement: reduction in the severity and frequency of project cost overruns, compliance violations and information security incidents.

Product Quality

The quality of tangible products that are sold to customers.
Improve the formulation of our ice cream products to remove chemical additives without reducing customer perceptions of taste and quality. Measurements: formulation free of chemicals, customer perceptions of taste and quality, unit costs, sales improvement on launch to market.

Service Quality

The quality of intangible value delivered to customers.
Improve the quality of business class flight service with upgrades to service practices, food and amenities. Measurement: customer satisfaction improvement to 75% or higher.

Work Quality

Work quality is the value of work that you produce.
Improve the quality of designs to improve client acceptance rate to 25%.


Traditional design such as graphic design, user interface design and product design or the use of design thinking to solve business problems.
Redesign the sales system to improve its usability and learnability. Measurement: feedback from administrators, sales managers, sales people and new employees.


Creativity is the process of developing non-obvious value. This is a talent that some professionals demonstrate on a fairly consistent basis and others never demonstrate. Creativity can be measured in terms of business results that exceed mediocrity.
Develop a product label that strongly catches the eye and is perceived as premium by our target market. Target: greater than 60% on market testing questions – “which of these products is most noticeable?” and “which of these products is the most expensive?”


Goals to take leaps forward with brave experimentation that may fail.
Make use of recent advancements in composite materials to develop at vehicle platform that is at least 4x stronger than the closest competition.


Developing valuable knowledge.
Develop competitive intelligence to predict the direction of the product roadmaps of our primary competition.


Communication such as presentations, meetings and reporting.
Improve weekly security reports to more vividly communicate urgent issues to management. Measurement: stakeholder feedback

Public Relations

Communications to external stakeholders such as investors, regulators, communities and media representatives.
Conduct a product roadshow to create awareness of the superior efficiency of our new line of solar panels. Measurement: reach at least 10,000 media representatives, investors and industry insiders in one-on-one conversation, media coverage generated by events, feedback from participants.

Public Speaking

Live verbal and visual communications to groups. In many cases, an employee has a goal to gain public speaking experience in preparation for moving higher in an organization.
Deliver talks at developer conferences to promote our platforms, technologies and best practices. Measurement: complete at least three talks, audience feedback

Decision Making

Making a pending decision or improving decision making processes.
Improve the project approval process by developing a return on investment analysis for prospective projects.

Problem Solving

Solving a problem or improving the process of solving problems.
Analyze the root cause of flight delays out of New York and take action to these reduce delays by at least 50% next year.

Time Management

Making better use of time. This is usually measured as reduction in the time it takes to complete a repeated activity.
Reduce the overhead of the requirements gathering phase of projects to one hour per story point by introducing and continuously improving a requirements discovery canvas that quickly surfaces key issues.


Introducing technologies such as scripts that automate manual work to reduce toil.
Automate the conversion and packaging of client deliverables such as images, templates and code to reduce the average duration of this activity to 20 minutes or less.

Software Development

Developing applications or systems.
Develop a tool that automatically calculates gross margins for a sales proposal.


Developing metrics and other measurements that increase visibility into things such as performance, risk, compliance or customer experience.
Measure the new revenue rate of business units to provide visibility into which areas are growing organically. Measurement: deliver weekly report with full coverage of business units by start of Q2.


Operations are the core revenue generating processes of a firm. These are often heavily optimized and measured using management accounting.
Improve the throughput of production line #4 by 15% by replacing industrial robots at workstation #6 that have been identified as bottlenecks.

Customer Service

The goals of frontline customer service managers and representatives.
Improve customer service by checking in groups of more than 5 people before they arrive so that tour bus crowds are quickly cleared from the lobby. Measure: 100% of groups checked in before they arrive, time how long it takes to clear a crowd from a tour bus from the lobby before and after the new process.

Customer Relationships

Building relationships with customers.
Contact all new customers 14, 30, and 45 days of purchase to ask if they have any questions or problems. Measurement: 100% of customers contacted to discuss purchase, percentage of customer issues and questions that are resolved.


The primary goal of salespeople and teams is usually to close deals with secondary goals such as customer retention.
Close deals representing $50,000 in MRR in the quarter.


Marketing is the entire process of bringing goods to market and selling them including elements such as product development, promotion, branding, pricing and distribution. Marketing has a rich set of metrics that are typically used to measure goals.
Develop a creative campaign that raises top of mind brand recognition to 25% for the product category “energy drink.”


Governments and businesses are in a unique position to do more than generate propaganda for causes but to actually physically change the world in a positive or negative way. Sustainability is the goal of making the world a better place or at least reducing the damage your organization does to the environment and quality of life.
Replace our entire delivery fleet with electric vehicles powered with renewable clean sources of electricity. Measurement: reduction of emissions of harmful gases and particles.

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