How to write performance goals: 10 sample phrases

Well-written performance goals help energize employees and point them in right direction. They help managers conduct more effective performance reviews. But some managers and HR pros have trouble finding the right words. Here are 10 phrases to adapt, from 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals by Paul Falcone.

1. To encourage initiative: “Seek ways to assume responsibilities beyond your current job description.”

2. To require punctuality: “Be on time for all meetings, which shows you respect your colleagues’ time.”

3. To foster a better attitude: “Ensure that your tone, body language and other nonverbal cues convey the proper respect and attitude toward others.”

4. To improve communication: “Anticipate what your manager will need to know, and provide that information.” For managers: “Keep team members informed of each other’s actions.”

5. To spur creativity: “Build relationships among peers that foster collaboration and discussion of new ideas.”

6. To boost customer service: “When we lose a customer, follow up to discover what we could have done differently.”

7. To nurture diversity: “Appreciate the unique perspective, skills and experience that each person brings to the team.”

8. To improve planning: “Begin projects by identifying all the resources required, including staff, funding, materials and other support.”

9. To promote better listening: “Show by asking open-ended questions that you are engaged in conversations.”

10. To foster leadership: “Discover the problems that prevent team members from performing at the highest possible levels.”

Editor’s Note: Helping your employees write strong performance goals is extremely helpful when it comes time to sit down for performance reviews. The goals will help guide the appraisal and give you specific employee responsibilities and metrics to evaluate during the performance meeting.

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