Creating and Implementing Effective Goals

Creating and Implementing Effective Goals

Creating and Implementing Effective Goals

Goal Setting



Creating and Implementing Effective Goals


A goal is an intended outcome or objective which can be established for long-term or short-term results. Although this worksheet is focused on your job at [COMPANY], goals can be written and applied to all aspects of your life. The most successful goals are:

  • Linked to company goals
  • Written
  • Reviewed often
  • Shared

Goals provide direction and identify specific areas of focus. Developed using the SMART model, they will help establish time frames and specific actions that will help employees be successful.

Types of goals

There are three types of goals that will be considered for this exercise:

  • Productivity goals address your day-to-day job functions; these can be both long- and short-term plans and are often developed during the annual assessment process
  • Developmental goals are focused on your growth within the company; often developmental goals include long-term plans
  • Career goals are the long-term goals that you have within the company for your career beyond one year. These goals are meant to prompt you to create a clear direction for yourself and provide your supervisor with your thoughts on the future.

Description of a SMART goal:

A SMART goal is developed by including these components. SMART goals are:





Time bound

Specific / Know what you are targeting for your SMART goals and be as specific as you can. To help determine your direction, consider:
  • Company, business line, region, department goals
  • [COMPANY] competencies
  • Past performance assessments
  • Supervisor and peer input
Some target areas might be:
  • Sales
  • Productivity
  • Utilization
  • Bookings
  • Quality
  • Efficiency
  • Visibility
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Service
  • Proposals
  • Writing

Measureable / SMART goals are measureable in some way. It is important to be able to be able to measure:
  • Progress
  • Completion
Without those measurements, it is difficult to truly identify whether the goal has been accomplished successfully. For instance, a goal of ‘increase utilization’ does not provide enough information to provide a measure of success, nor does it challenge you to make significant improvements.
Action-oriented / Using an action word to describe the goal is an effective way to create urgency and influence changes in your behavior. Action words include:
  • Increase
  • Improve
  • Decrease
  • Reduce
  • Develop
  • Create
  • Complete
  • Achieve
  • Accelerate

Realistic / Challenging yet attainable and within the employee control. To determine if a goal is realistic, answer these questions:
  • How does it support the company, business line, region, and department goals?
  • What steps need to be taken to accomplish the goal?
  • What are the obstacles that would prevent me from reaching the goal, and can I overcome them (do I have control)?
  • Who and what are my resources for accomplishing this goal?

Time bound / Setting a deadline and milestones is key to achieving goals. These dates should be realistic, challenging, written, and reviewed often.

Setting SMART Goals

SMART goals can be developed using this formula:

(action, measure) / + / Noun
(specific) / + / ‘by’ / + / Quantity
(measureable) / + / ‘by’ / + / Timeframe
(time bound)
Increase / utilization / by / 5% / by / January 31
Complete / R&D study / by / August 20
Improve / visibility / December 31
Complete / MBA / by / October, 2012
Increase / bookings / by / 150,000 / by / June 1
Decrease / editing time / By / 2 hours / week / by / February

The formula above addressed specific, measureable, action-oriented, and time bound but there was no mention of ‘realistic’. Once a goal has been considered and written, it is essential to ensure it is realistic. To be sure a goal is realistic, identify:

  • Actions that need to be taken to accomplish the goal
  • Obstacles that could prevent success (and how you will overcome)
  • Resources that might provide support and guidance

To complete the goal by identifying that it is realistic, at the end of each goal, write: ‘This goal will be accomplished by…’ and make your list of


Here are some examples of SMART goals:

  • Complete quarterly SHE site visits at all project sites by the 4th week of each quarter. I will accomplish this by:
  • Scheduling the visits well in advance on my calendar with high importance
  • Ask one person from each project site to make a commitment to keep me on track
  • Communicate with my supervisor my plan and schedule (and the time I will be out of the office)
  • Asking my supervisor to make this a key objective in my performance review
  • (Create and) deliver ‘Auditor Tipsand Techniques’webinar monthly beginning in January and ending in November. I will accomplish this by:
  • Setting aside 1 hour per week specifically for creating this workshop
  • Asking Auditor team to contribute ‘best practices’ for inclusion
  • Committing to schedule of monthly webinars by establishing dates, times, and publicizing early
  • Conduct project reviews on 90% of C2 projects by June 30. I will accomplish this by:
  • Making a running list of C2 projects with dates for reviews
  • Contacting all C2 project managers with commitment of dates and times for reviews
  • Create a standard document for conducting the reviews
  • Reward PMs on C2 projects if I reach my goal
  • Increase bookings with Exxon account by 20% by June 30. I will accomplish this by:
  • Measuring, maintaining, and publicizing a high level of quality on current projects
  • Ask team members to identify additional opportunities – this could be a competition
  • Schedule 3 meetings with the Exxon client representative to talk about needs and how [COMPANY] could help
  • Share plans with key account representative and ask for support
  • Teach and mentor sales techniques to two junior staff members (resulting in 10% increase in their sales) by end of December 2010. I will accomplish this by:
  • Identify junior staff members who have indicated a desire to learn sales
  • Create mentor plan for each individual
  • Schedule mandatory meetings in advance on our calendars
  • Ask each for an action plan to accomplish goals
  • Lead ‘Efficiency Task Team’ to implementation of three processes by October 31. I will accomplish this by:
  • Attending workshops in ‘Effective Feedback’ and ‘Setting Expectations’
  • Conducting a brainstorming / discussion meeting to determine best processes to work on
  • Provide team members with clear goals and direction
  • Maintain meeting schedule bi-weekly and measure progress
  • Provide ongoing updates to leadership team on projects, cost benefit analysis, and progress


Using the formula above and your own goals, write SMART goals in the following form Share your goals with your supervisor and ask for suggestions for making the goal more specific, measureable, action-oriented, realistic, and time bound.

Goal-writing exercise worksheet

Verb / + / Noun / + / ‘by’ / + / Quantity / + / ‘by’ / + / Timeframe

I will accomplish this goal through these actions:

Verb / + / Noun / + / ‘by’ / + / Quantity / + / ‘by’ / + / Timeframe

I will accomplish this goal through these actions:

Verb / + / Noun / + / ‘by’ / + / Quantity / + / ‘by’ / + / Timeframe

I will accomplish this goal through these actions:


Goal Setting and Achieving Worksheet

To take your goal setting and achieving experience to the next level, use this form to plan out each goal in detail.

SMART Goal / Today's Date:
Target Date:
I will know I'm successful when . . .: / Completion Date:
Obstacles / Solutions / Resources
# / Order / Steps to achieve this goal / Due Date / Notes

Creating a Development Plan

Where business goals are focused on the employee job and performance, developmental goals focus on employee growth and development for both the fiscal year and beyond. They often tie to business goals but can also address career interests.

Each employee should have 3 – 4 development goals on a written development plan. Each development goal can be developed more thoroughly by following these steps:

What would you like to be doing differently in at the end of the fiscal year?

Example: Improve knowledge of [COMPANY] business development processes in order to book more sales and create better client relations.

What skills and behaviors will you need to develop, change, or improve in order to reach your objective for your development plan?

(including experience, education, and techniques) / Behaviors
(including habits, traits, and presentation)

Follow this up with your list of actions and obstacles that you will need to address focusing particularly on the skills you will need to develop and the behaviors you might want to change.


Career Interests

The final type of goal is career interests. Career interests will help to identify what you want to be doing over a longer time period. They will also help when creating and discussing development goals. When developing your clear career interests, ask these questions:

  • What is the next logical step in my career?
  • Who is currently in a position that I would interested in?
  • What are the opportunities in my department, region, geography, business line?
  • What are the different careers within [COMPANY]?
  • How does my experience and education apply to the business diversity within [COMPANY]?

Career interests are more broadly stated than development and business goals. In order to prepare for your discussion with your supervisor about your career interests, answer these questions:

What are your shorter-range (less than two years) career goals?

Example: I would like to continue managing projects while increasing my role in business development, specifically working on proposals and client relations

What are your longer-range (more than two years) career goals?

Example: Within 5 years, I’d like to move full time into business development as an account manager with the ultimate goal of leading a group of sales managers as a key account manager

If you are interested in working in other [COMPANY] business lines or geography, what are your preferences?

Example: With the above direction in mind, I would be open to discussing a move within the current geography; I’m also interested in assignments in the UK or Europe.

© The Employee Engagement Group1

All Rights Reserved