Goal Setting

What Is Goal Setting?

Goal setting or objectives planning is a form of collaborative discussion between a manager, individual employee and a team members. It typically occurs at the start of a performance cycle to set clear and mutual expectations for successful performance. Target planning discussion involves the creation of performance, development, and operational objectives. It also sets clear performance expectations. Objectives are different from routine objectives since they encompass a higher level of the statement. Targets help in providing an overall context for what the project is expected to achieve.

Best Practices for Objectives Planning

Establishing the right targets is vital to completing individual projects and achieving organizational objectives successfully. These are a few best practices that should be employed during setting goals for a team.

HR Goal Setting

Human Resource is an important component of any successful business model. Infrastructure can quickly become fragmented without proper HR management. The same holds true when it comes to setting a goals for a team. The fundamental objective and goal of any HR department a few years ago were to hire the right people for the right job.

However, things have become highly complicated now. The general targets and objectives of the typical Human Resource department have incorporated goals for the purpose of engagement, innovations, productivity, performance, and sustainability of their organization.

HR goal setting can be as simple as identifying and satisfying the needs of all employees, ensuring maximum development and effective utilization of human resources, or something complex like helping achieve organizational objectives with effective HR strategies.

Supervisors not only guide employee performance with measurable and attainable goals but also strengthen business reputation and process. Employee goal setting is one of the most important responsibilities of any manager or supervisor.

It is important to follow all goal-setting principles while setting employee goals. Managers must make sure to involve employees in the process and carry out continuous follow-ups, feedback, and updates. Employee goal-setting can incorporate performance, operational, development, and personal objectives.

Supervisors can work with their individual team members to set goals, like taking 60 minutes each week throughout Q3 to complete optimization training or seeking a minimum of 3 opportunities over the next quarter to improve resilience.

Operational Objectives

Operational objectives refer to day-to-day objectives that are specific to daily requirements and tasks. These are usually created so a business can operate smoothly and more efficiently. Efficient operational objectives make it easier for employees to fulfill their responsibilities. It also propels excellence within the work environment.

Operational objectives are typically characterized by the following:

● Associated with a budget

● Limited to a single division or department
● Can be tracked
● Actionable and measurable
● Have shorter time frames


● Check workstation for potential hazards at the start of a shift

● Reduce injury rates by 45%
● Reduce the number of times a customer contacts within a specified period

Performance Goals

Performance goals are developed for projects, initiatives, or key metrics. They relate to a specific task within the current role. These goals are intended to be clear and measurable as per pre-specified performance standards. Objectives planning must also define clear expectations for success.


Performance goals are:

● Related to deliverables and job responsibilities

● Appropriate to a particular level of position
● Aligned to higher goal levels


● Complete managerial training development course before Q4 ends

● Get hands-on knowledge about new collaboration software before implementing it next fiscal year
● Gain upward feedback to establish improvement areas before Q2 ends

Development Goals

Development goals are set to enhance or acquire specific skills, knowledge, or behaviors that are required to perform at a higher level in the current capacity. These objectives help in preparing a worker for fresh responsibilities in the future.
It is important for development objectives to be aligned with organizational needs – current and future. They should focus on individual employee talents, strengths, and interests.


Characteristics of development goals are:

● Supports higher level performance

● Learning oriented


● Complete an advanced Excel training course by X date to prepare budget reconciliation reports

● Prepare the office assistant team to participate in cross-training to cover critical functions during absences without a hitch by X date
● Improve team leadership skills and communication by X date to chair the planning team and take on greater management responsibilities

Managerial Goals

Management goals are a system of plans that incorporates the results a company is attempting to achieve. These objectives are usually communicated to the employees.

Management objectives tend to clearly define specific objectives and are designed to be attainable. It is important to have a deadline attached to managerial goals to fuel realistic achievement.


● Increase customer base by 15% this quarter

● Train employees on new software before installing them
● Create a diverse workforce by hiring at least 25% from minority groups

S.M.A.R.T Goals

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym referring to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. S.M.A.R.T framework allows for creating carefully planned and clear goals that can be tracked. It is possible that the objectives set in the past were not achieved because they were poorly framed, aggressive, or vague.


S.M.A.R.T goals can easily solve the challenges faced by workers while trying to achieve their objectives. S.M.A.R.T system allows for establishing a strong foundation for achieving all types of goals, whether performance, developmental, project, or any other.