Goal Setting for HR Managers

by Wendel Clark; Updated September 26, 2017

Human resources managers can increase the performance of employees through the use of goal setting. Goal setting establishes clear goals for employees and firms to achieve. This can lead to increased performance at the individual and company level. HR managers should be aware of the types of goals to set and how to select, measure and change them.

Types of Goals

There are two types of HR goals, individual goals and company goals. Individual goals include personal performance measures, such as sales or individually generated revenue, and personal development goals, such as increased education or certification. Company goals are HR goals for the company as a whole, such as reduced employee turnover and increased earnings per employee. Both individual and company goals are important to a firm's HR success.

Selecting Goals

HR goals should be selected according to the SMART framework, which states that HR goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. An example of a SMART goal for HR would be to increase the sales per person in the domestic sales division from $10,000 per month to $12,000 per month over the next year.

Measuring Goals

To know if HR goals have been successful, it is important to measure them. A common way for HR managers to do this is with a gap analysis. A gap analysis takes the desired goal and measures the improvement needed to reach it. Managers should perform a gap analysis before implementing goals and then perform it regularly to see if the goal has been met.

Changing Goals

It is important for managers to monitor their goals and make changes if necessary. If a goal is not successful, the manager must consider why and then decide whether it is possible to achieve the goal or if it should be changed. Managers must also be aware of external forces, such as changes in the labor market, that may require changes in HR goals.

About the Author

Wendel Clark began writing in 2006, with work published in academic journals such as "Babel" and "The Podium." He has worked in the field of management and is completing his master's degree in strategic management.