Learn everything about performance review goals, including what they are, why they’re essential, and their advantages. Also, discover six examples.
Both Independents and clients often face the looming threat of career stagnation. It's an insidious phase where growth seems elusive, and every task feels monotonous. But there's a strategic tool to counteract this inertia: performance review goals.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of performance review goals, including what they are, why they’re important, and their benefits. We’ll also take you through long- and short-term career goals examples for a performance review.
What are performance review goals, and why do they matter? 🤔
Performance review goals, often called work evaluation goals, are objectives set for employees or Independents to measure their contributions, competencies, and overall performance during a specific period. These goals serve as benchmarks against which an individual's work is assessed, guiding both immediate tasks and long-term career aspirations.
Reasons you should set performance review goals 🥅
- Motivating and engaging employees: They provide a sense of purpose and direction, moving you toward beneficial objectives to ultimately achieve success.
- Identifying improvement areas: You may need to objectively assess your strengths and weaknesses (sometimes we can think we're not good at something when we are, or vice versa).
- Improving productivity and morale: When you feel like you’re working toward something beneficial, your productivity levels typically increase, making it easier to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
- Supporting organizational goals: Being busy doesn't always mean being productive, but performance review goals can direct you toward work that ultimately benefits your or your business’s growth.
- Helping employees advance: Often, you don’t move forward in your career because you lack the skills necessary for a promotion. Performance review goals highlight what you need to improve to stay ahead in the game.
6 performance review goals examples ✍️
Now that you know about performance review goals, let's look at six long-term career goals examples for a performance review — these will help you better understand what to include when setting goals for yourself. Remember, each primary goal needs subgoals, which are essentially specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for each performance review example demonstrated below:
1. Problem-solving 🌟
This is your ability to recognize, analyze, and solve problems. These skills are relevant in every part of life, mainly when dealing with interpersonal or customer-based issues. Here are a few action items to accomplish this:
- Participate in courses aimed at improving problem-solving
- Identify existing problems and develop solutions for them
- Take up hobbies to promote creative thinking
2. Communication 👂
Communication is essential in the workplace and as a freelancer — when done effectively, it allows you to share ideas and opinions and learn from others through active listening. Here’s how to ace it:
- Dedicate a portion of the day to checking and replying to emails
- Complete an online communication course
- Pay more attention to what others say and focus less on your response
3. Customer satisfaction 🤓
Your business needs customers to be successful, and customer satisfaction is more than just doing the job. It’s how you speak to customers, the aftercare you provide, and how you handle complaints. Here are a few short-term customer service goals for a performance review:
- Increase your response time to customer emails
- Begin using customer satisfaction surveys to record and measure progress
- Include an FAQ and a chatbot on your site to help customers with simple questions
4. Professional development 🧑💼
While doing the same job and performing the same tasks will make you proficient in that role, you’ll need other skills to advance to better positions in your career. For example, you might set a few leadership goals for a performance review or whichever line of work you’re a part of. Here’s how:
- Seek information about what’s needed for better positions
- Take online courses to learn or bolster the necessary skills
- Perform tasks related to a better job in your free time to practice
5. Networking 🌐
For career development, networking is an essential skill for Independents and full-time employees. Not only can you grow your customer base, but you can also reach out to former clients for testimonials and find more work opportunities when necessary through colleagues. Here’s how to master it:
- Cultivate existing relationships by sending thank-you emails or arranging one-on-one meetings
- Look for a mentor (a person with significantly more experience than you) to gain insights and guidance
- Attend conferences related to your field at least twice a year, and actively look to make connections
6. Public speaking 🗣️
Your ability to talk to people will be helpful in many professional scenarios. Many management roles will require you to head meetings (in person and online). Your public speaking skills will also influence your one-on-one conversational skills, potentially landing you more gigs.
- Begin speaking in front of smaller groups and gradually increase the audience size
- Attend public speaking courses to learn more about engaging an audience and improving body language
- Learn strategies to improve the delivery of your spoken content
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How to write performance review goals 📝
Crafting performance review goals isn't a mere box-ticking exercise; rather, it's a structured process that helps set the direction for your professional journey. By proactively in formulating your goals, you establish a clear roadmap for improvement, accountability, and success. Here's how to create it:
- Self-reflect: Before diving into goal-setting, take a moment to introspect. Consider your achievements, challenges faced, and improvement areas over the past review period.
- Consider broader objectives: Ensure your short-term performance review goals dovetail with your long-term career aspirations, establishing consistency in your professional trajectory.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses: Analyze what you’re good and bad at. Although no one likes to admit they could be better, you must do so to reach new success levels.
- Create an actionable plan: Create a list of all the resources you'll need to achieve your goals and consider the challenges you might face.
- Set a timeline: Each plan should have a timeline, as this is a great way to measure progress and add a sense of urgency, or motivation, to reach your goals.
- Perform ongoing evaluations: As you work through the steps to achieve your goals, keep evaluating the steps to determine progress and efficiency.
Best practices for conducting a performance review 🔥
Self-performance reviews can be very effective if used correctly. Here are a few things you should do when performing a self-performance review:
- Be honest: Openly talk about your strengths and weaknesses to conduct a meaningful self-performance review. Downplaying areas that need improvement won't help you to develop the skills you need.
- Set SMART goals: SMART goals ensure you set achievable and well-defined goals. This brings focus and clarity to your performance review and helps align your goals with your professional objectives.
- Seek feedback prior to review: Sometimes, our opinions of ourselves are very biased, resulting in a skewed perception of our strengths and weaknesses. If possible, find an external source to provide feedback that would likely be more objective than yours.
- Highlight achievements: As much as staying real and accepting your weaknesses are essential, so is showcasing your successes. Recognize your strengths and how they've contributed to an organization.
Find the right talent with Contra 🥳
Performance reviews are a cornerstone in the corporate world, illuminating the way forward for both clients and Independents. For clients, the ability to gauge, understand, and enhance performance is crucial. This understanding allows you to align with the right talent that resonates with your business objectives. If you're a client, Contra allows you to effortlessly connect with proficient Independents tailored to your business needs. Similarly, if you’re a freelancer looking for work, join Contra for Independents to promote your services and match with clients on our commission-free platform. Sign up now.