Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Sample goals for a performance review

Performance reviews occur when you sit down with your employees to talk about how they are doing in their positions. It is a two-way conversation that can help your business be more successful in the coming year and help your employees to improve their professional abilities and skills.

Setting reachable, specific goals will give your employees something to aim for. Involving them in setting those goals can reduce resentment of imposed goals from managers.


According to Fred Nickols of the Distance Consulting company, a work objective should involve an action and standards component. It tells what to do and how it will be measured. It considers the following questions: "What are the problems it faces?

What processes are in need of improvement?

What practices need review?

What are the developmental needs and requirements of the people?" It should be rewritten repeatedly if necessary to attain the exact meaning both the employer and employee intend.

Customer Service

If one of your business's goals is to increase customer satisfaction ratings, you can phrase a front-line customer service representative's performance review goal to address very concrete elements, such as "decrease wait time in line for each customer by at least 30 seconds by March 31, 2011." Having a specific date and a specific number to work toward will help your employee focus on achieving the goal without leaving her wondering how she is going to "make customers happier."


Increasing sales is every business's dream. However, translating that dream into a reality for a salesperson to meet means identifying exactly how you want the employee to do it. For example, you might say in a performance review that the employee should "visit at least three more customers each week with the goal of improving individual sales by 5% by the end of the year."

Nickols suggests the following performance appraisal objective for a vice president of sales or marketing: "Increase the amount of revenue from new sources by not less than £6 million per year for each of the next five financial years." This objective is meant for someone in a position with broad responsibilities.

Personal Relations

An employee requiring an attitude shift before his next performance review will benefit from you both identifying specific behaviours to change and how to change them. For example, an administrative assistant who tends to glare at people when they request things of her could "smile when each person walks into the office to indicate that (she) is ready to help in any way possible." You could further state that "Reducing fellow employee complaints by 90% by the end of October 2011 is the ultimate goal."