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Why do we need performance goals?

Setting goals is one of the most procrastinated tasks in a small business.

The Harvard Business Review found that 70% of employees are unsure of how their daily contributions are connected to the company’s overall goals. We all know that by setting and achieving goals, we can be more successful. By not having clear performance goals it is hard to give and receive feedback on how individual efforts are meeting these goals. If we want positive long-term performance and organization goals, we need clear standards.

In order to set goals, you first need to identify what you want to achieve. Once your end goal is set, you can establish your S.M.A.R.T. Goals to get there.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented. Using these kinds of goals will help you break your goal into smaller more manageable stepping stones. S.M.A.R.T. Goals make the road less daunting and more successful.

S. Specific. These goals have names, and details, not generalities. If you want to hit a particular sales goal. Name it. Don't just say you want to increase your sales. Give it a number.

M. Measurable. If you have a number, then you'll know whether you hit it or not, right? An increase of $1 would still be an increase, but if your real aim was to increase your sales by $50,000, we have very different aims.

A. Achievable. Take your long-term goal and make smaller goals that will get you there. Want to increase your sales by $200,000 in 6 months? Great! Then let's set an increase of $21k the first month, $26k the second month, $31k the third month, and onward. If you consistently hit your smaller goals, at the 6 month mark, you'll have actually increased your sales by $201,000.

R. Relevant. Your goals should be relevant to the roles of those aiming to achieve them. Your HR person might have goals related to increasing employee retention, while your salesperson might have a specific sales increase goal, and maybe your administrative assistant has a goal related to having filing done in a timely manner.

T. Time-Oriented. If you do not give yourself small deadlines leading to the longer term deadline, you'll spin your wheels and not get very far. Part of having a specific goal is also having a specific timeframe to complete it.

Make sure you're setting aside time to reflect on your progress along the way. This doesn't have to be complicated. Simply evaluating the processes of achieving a specific goal and determining what went well and what could be improved on is quite sufficient. So long as you are taking this time regularly and methodically, you'll find the process helpful in achieving your goals.

Set your performance goals in-line with tasks assigned to others within your organization. This give people a specific aim and purpose for what they do in their role within the organization. This all seems rather daunting, but with a little organizational help, you can have yourself and others set for success! Need some assistance in putting these steps into practice? Contact us today!


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