Great Goals for Work Performance Reviews

by Morgan Rush; Updated September 26, 2017
Preparing work performance goals ahead of time focuses your review around positive plans.

Work performance reviews can be stressful for employees and employers alike. Employees may feel anxious about receiving negative feedback from supervisors or talking about target areas for improvement. Managers may resent the paperwork and time associated with completing and documenting the reviews. Identifying effective goals for work performance before employee reviews take place can help discussions stay focused and positive. Before sitting down with your boss, prepare a list of goals that you’d like to work on for the coming year.


One way to demonstrate your motivation and commitment to company excellence is to create project-based goals. These goals are effective because you can break them into smaller chunks. If you’re randomly called upon to talk about your progress toward goals identified in work performance reviews, you can discuss tasks completed in preparation for your project’s success. Examples of project-based goals include improving payroll systems, developing new products, creating an employee wellness program or introducing a recycling system.

Professional Development

Employers like to see evidence that workers continue to acquire new skills and knowledge. During work performance reviews, demonstrate your commitment to continuing education by discussing professional development goals. This might include attending workshops, completing an additional college degree, reading industry literature or working with a mentor. These goals should directly relate to your current job position; otherwise, it might sound like you’re preparing for a new job or career.


Work performance reviews can also address quality in your job responsibilities. For example, maybe you’d like to reduce the number of errors made by employees under your supervision, aim for “excellent” ratings on customer satisfaction surveys or reduce workplace accidents with increased safety precautions. Frame these goals in terms of current success; you don’t want to spend too much time talking about mistakes and problems during your work performance review. For example, “Although 95 percent of our customers rate my service as ‘superior,’ I would like to boost the remaining 5 percent into that category.”


Another great goal for work performance review includes increasing business volume. Employers want to hear that you’re motivated to be more productive, because this can translate into higher sales and profits for the company. Increasing business volume might include handling more sales calls, processing more contracts or producing more goods. Before the performance review, identify ways to quantify improvements. Specific goals with measurable results give you something to work toward. Name your target number for sales, contracts, claims or products. Don’t overstate your ability, as your employer will take a dim view of your efforts if target goals aren’t reached by the next work performance review.

About the Author

Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.

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