Manager Goal Setting Toolkit

Helping employees set and reach goals is a critical part of a manager's job.  Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger corporate objectives, and setting the right targets makes this connection explicit for them, and for you, as their manager. Goal-setting is particularly important as a mechanism for providing ongoing and year-end feedback. By establishing and monitoring targets, you can give your employees real-time input on their performance while motivating them to achieve more.  Follow this course to discover the tools you need to effectively assist employees with goal setting and employee development.

The material in today's course reflects CEB HR Leadership Council's Manager Goal Setting Toolkit Guide.

Manager Goal Setting Toolkit

Key Manager Questions for the Goal Setting Process

Consider there questions before goal setting meetings to ensure the clear communication of relevant goals for employees.

The following questions help managers to ensure that employees understand how their goals relate to strategic objectives:

  • How much do my employees know?
  • Why should they care?
  • What is their primary interest of concern?
  • What questions will they have?
  • Do they have past experience with this?
  • Are there other burning issues that they will expect me to address?

Goal Setting

The following questions help managers to ensure that employee objectives are achievable and relate to business objectives:

  • Are the goals relevant to the business?
  • Is the scope of the goals appropriate?
  • Are there too few or too many goals?
  • Are the goals coordinated with others' goals?
  • Are the goals result-based and measurable?
  • Are measures of success set at the right level?
  • Are goals practical or achievable?
  • Is achievement of goals under employee's control?
  • Does the employee have the skills necessary to achieve the goals?
  • Is the goal truly a goal or a competency?


Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals Checklist

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based.  S.M.A.R.T. goals ensure that managers and employees have mutual understanding of expectations.

Ask yourself are the goals:

  • Specific – what do you want to achieve?
  • Measureable – how will you know when you’ve reached it?
  • Attainable – is it in your power to accomplish it?
  • Relevant/Realistic – how do you know that you can achieve this goal?
  • Timely – by when do you want to achieve this goal?

Understand the Basics

Who: The direct manager and employee should collaborate to set meaningful goals.

What: The manager and employee should discuss what the individual's performance goals are and how they connect to the organizations objectives.

Where: The discussion should take place in a private forum, away from disruptions.

When: The manager should hold a goal-setting discussion 1-2 weeks after the performance review or when the employee begins a new project.

Why: Setting and communicating to specific challenging goals can boost employee effort, and performance.  Clearly set goals provide an objective unambiguous basis against which to measure performance.


Setting S.M.A.R.T Goal Quiz

  • The direct manager and employee should collaborate to set meaningful goals.
  • The manager and employee should not discuss how performance goals connect to the organizations objectives.
  • The discussion should take place in a private forum, away from disruptions.
  • The manager should hold a goal-setting discussion 1-2 months after the performance review or when the employee begins a new project.
  • Setting and communicating to specific challenging goals can boost employee effort, and performance. Clearly set goals provide an objective unambiguous basis against which to measure performance.

Skill Improvement Grid

Skill Improvement Grid for Employees

Use this grid to map goals to current skills and behaviors and identify areas of development.  Employees should work with their direct report to check the accuracy of the goals and assess the alignment of goal with those of peers and the department.  Ensure that the goals support the employees' development goals based on any recent performance feedback.

  • What do you want that you don't have? (Achieve)
  • What to you want that you already have? (Preserve)
  • What don't you have that you don't want? (Avoid)
  • What do you have not that you don't want? (Eliminate)

Future Performance Conversation Checklist

Use this checklist to identify unknown future performance interest that may align with the goal setting process.

Capabilities

  1. Ask the employee about skills he/she want to learn in the future.
  2. Talk about the skills the employee must lean and the development area the employee needs to work on in order to continue to provide value in their role.
  3. Discuss how the employee's strengths can contribute to the organization's vision and future goals.
  4. Motivate the employee to change the past negative behavior.

Career Interest

  1. Ask the employee about their future career interest and aspirations.
  2. Discuss whether the employee's future career aspirations align with the organization's vision and purpose and, if not, then how can the two align.
  3. Discuss the possible career paths available to the employee given the organization's vision for the future.
  4. Discuss how the career progression would look for at least two positions above the employees current position.

Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is developed by the employee, supervisor, and HR business partner (HRBP).  As the plan is built, the employee, supervisor, and HRBP will outline developmental objectives and career goals. The employee, supervisor and HRBP will select learning activities for achieving these objectives and goals.

The purpose of the IDP is twofold. First, it ensures that the employee maintains the current level of job proficiency though continued training and development activities.  Secondly, the employee charts a career path by identifying new knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue as well as learning activities needed to reach the established goals. 

An IDP is not a performance appraisal.  The IDP focuses exclusively on the employee’s growth and development.  Actual performance will certainly enter into the discussion, but the IDP discussion is not a performance review.  Performance appraisals and IDP discussions are two separate but related conversations.  The performance appraisal reviews the past and the IDP discussion plans for the future.

The attached document is an example of an IDP.  Following this course, select an employee to collaborate with and complete the attached IDP.  Submit the completed template to the instructor via email for feedback.  

*To protect the employee's privacy, do not include the name or any other sensitive information*

IDP_TCW Template