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Writing personal evaluations can be tricky. While employees can't realistically make themselves out to be perfect, giving a supervisor a list of flaws – even if it comes with a plan to change for the better – is also not desirable. Setting realistic goals is a good middle ground. It provides an opportunity to show an employer what has already been achieved, while providing a list of things that can still be improved.
Goals for a performance evaluation should be specific, making clear the changes and improvements that are to be expected before the next evaluation period. Whether it is performance related (recruit more customers), personal development (add more input in group meetings) or career development (earn a degree in two years), try to avoid general statements. Saying, "I want to advance in my career," is vague and lazy. A specific goal might read, “It’s my goal to get promoted to shift supervisor in six months.”
Make it Measurable
Create goals that are measurable or quantifiable so progress can be analyzed with actual numbers. A general statement might read, “I want to increase sales,” or, “I want to communicate better with my co-workers.” However, a measurable goal might read, “I will raise my sales by at least 25% over the next fiscal year,” or “I will send my co-workers a weekly status report on my current projects.”
When setting goals for a performance evaluation, it’s important not to set oneself up for failure. Although big ideas and expectations sound nice, one can crash hard if aiming too high. Set goals that are challenging, but not impossible. Create a plan of action to achieve each goal before submitting them to a superior. This makes it easier to tell whether or not a goal is achievable in a certain time frame.
Make it Relevant
The goals on a performance evaluation should be relevant to the employee's current position. While setting a goal to one day become president of a company is admirable, it would have no current relevance if it came from a clerk in the company's merchandising department. Relevant goals are the small steps that need to be taken between a current position and the long-term goal -- for example, pitching new clients or coming up with ideas to market the company’s brand. Choose goals that can be accomplished now.
Create a Timeline
For each goal, submit a clear timeline along with the plan of attack. Depending on the amount of time between evaluations, break down job aspirations into weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly goals.
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