Compensation & Benefits Strategy

Employee Goal Setting Toolkit

What it does:

The Employee Goal Setting Toolkit contains step-by-step guidance and supporting resources to empower employees to set effective goals.

How to Use it:

Provide employees with direct access to this resource to help them set their own goals.


1. Questions to Ask Your Direct Manager

Before you begin with the goal setting and alignment process, ask some of these questions to your direct manager to develop your individual goals that align with the overall organizational objectives.

2. Goal Alignment Template

Use this template to develop and map your individual goals and success measures based on the Manager Goal Communication Sheet you received from your manager and your initial conversation with your manager. Example of an objective is included below.

3. S.M.A.R.T. Goal Checklist

While filling the Goal Alignment Template, use this checklist to verify whether the goals you have set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. S. M.A.R.T. goals ensure that managers and employees have mutual understandings of expectations.

Post creating and reviewing your goals, share the final version of the Goal Alignment Template with your manager.


· How do you perceive the value-add of this function to the business?

· How well has the function delivered value in the past three years? Where has it succeeded and where has it struggled?

· Where we have struggled to deliver value why do you think that is? Where we have succeeded what are the drivers of our success?

· What are the short-term priorities of the business? Are any of these at risk?

· Where do you see the greatest potential for our function and my sub-function to support those priorities?

· What are the long-term strategic objectives for the business?

· What do you view as being the key organizational drivers of success in achieving those objectives (i.e. what does the organization need to get right in order to succeed)?

· Where do you see the greatest potential for our function and my sub-function to support those priorities?

· How well does my function partner with other functions to deliver business outcomes? Is there a greater need for us to collaborate more effectively with other parts of the business?

· Are there specific issues or needs that you would like me to focus on in my first 90 days?

· Are there process, structure, technology or people issues in the function that you would like me to pay particular attention to?

· What will success look like for me in the first year? What about in the first three years?

· What are the right success metrics for those goals?

· Are there specific internal clients or stakeholders you would recommend I meet with as I consider my goals and objectives?

· Are there external clients or other stakeholders I should meet with as I consider my goals and objectives?



Employee Name

Position Title

Manager’s Name/Title

Objective setting is an important part of our performance management process. It is an opportunity for managers and employees to clarify what’s expected, what associates are accountable for, and why it matters.

Using all the key business and functional objectives along with the managerial goals, employees can connect their work to what’s important for the organization (e.g. Communicate the Big Picture).

Business Unit Objective

Your Aligned Goal

Goal Description

Success Measures



Enter the Organization Objective

Identify your objectives for the upcoming year. These should come from core job accountabilities and/or specific projects and objectives.

Mention the action steps that you need to take in order to achieve the goal.

Choose 1 to 3 measures; where possible, align your success measures to your manager’s and senior leader’s success measures.

Enter the target date for achieving the goal.

Indicate how the goal aligns with your manager’s and senior leader’s goals.

Ex: People

Ex: Expanding mentoring acceptance

Ex: Improve the program by implementing new concepts

Ex: Track progress of mentoring by using rating process. Current at a “4” achieve “5” level.

Ex: End of Q2

Approved by: _____________________ Date: ____________________


While goals are forward-facing and provide the company with the direction in which it will move, SMART goals, or objectives, serve as mile markers along the road indicating progress and maintaining motivation.

Employees should follow the below checklist to set SMART goals to ensure that there are no gaps in understanding of expectations.

Is the goal results-based?

Does the goal define specific metrics (quantity, quality, timeliness, cost, etc.)that can be objectively measured?


Time Bound


Does the goal clearly define expectations in terms of actions and outcomes?

Does the goal avoid generalities and use action verbs?


Is the goal challenging, but within reason?

Does the employee have the skills and experiences necessary to achieve the goal?

Is achievement of the goal within the employee’s control?

Can the employee reasonably be expected to successfully complete the number of goals assigned?


Is the scope of the goals appropriate given the employee’s job responsibilities and level?

Does the goal clearly connect to departmental and/or organizational goals?

Does the employee understand how his/her goal contributes to the organization’s objectives?

Does the goal specify a date or elapsed amount of time by when each goal needs to be completed?

Things to Consider:

Is the scope of the goals appropriate?

Are there too few or too many goals?

Are the measures practical or achievable?

Do I have the skills needed to achieve the goals?

Understand the components of SMART goals to make goal achievement realistic