How do I set employee goals

Target agreement: examples, formulations, free templates

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Usually the turn of the year - the end of the year or the beginning of the year - is the typical time for Target agreement discussions. The old year and the performance of the employees are balanced. Now we look ahead and derive and discuss individual specifications for the future from the (new) company goals. The result is the so-called objective agreement. In order for it to be motivating for employees, one question above all else is crucial: How are the goals to be achieved?

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Target agreement: opportunities and potential

His To know goals, is critical to success. How else do you want to measure it? Or do you know that you have achieved something ?!

It is also important that we set high goals. “We grow with our tasks,” is a well-known bon mot. In Anglo-Saxon, on the other hand, it says briefly: Aim high! - aim high! Or as Friedrich Nietzsche once put it: “Aim for the moon! Even if you miss it, you will end up with the stars. "

In fact, concrete goals at work can help us enormously:

  • Goals give us orientation.
  • Goals help us build strength focus.
  • Goals protect us from Overwhelming.
  • Goals prevent unjust conditions.
  • Goals ensure professional growth.
  • Goals support us, ours potential to exploit.

At least in theory. In the practice goals only do this if they are specifically formulated beforehand, fairly agreed and clearly measurable. And that's exactly where it comes in objective agreement or that Target agreement meeting in the game…

Origin and definition of the target agreement

The concept of target agreement and the Leading with goals originally comes from the management thought leader Peter F. Drucker from 1955. He named his concept Managements by Objectives.

Correspondingly, in target agreement discussions, at least two parties agree on one or more targets for a certain period of time (usually one year), the achievement of which can be checked at the end of the period. This (then) new management technique set new standards and put an end to the often prevailing arbitrariness. With numerous advantages ...

Target agreement Examples: Please formulate goals SMART

Target agreement discussions not only open up employees, but also Executives several options:

  • Employees As already mentioned, they open up the opportunity to define clear goals, to make your performance measurable and comprehensible and thus to increase your chances of being promoted or raised. In addition, employees indirectly learn to assess themselves better and to organize their day-to-day work in a more focused manner.
  • Executives in turn, target agreements provide a good basis for the (annual) assessment of the respective performance and thus also better control and management of employees. At the same time, the composition of the team or department can be optimized. Routine tasks can then be delegated and the manager can be relieved of (partial) responsibility.

Agreed goals, however, can be:

  • Performance goals
  • Sales targets
  • Strategy goals
  • Process goals
  • Behavioral goals

As a rule, every target agreement begins four key questionsthat boss and employee should answer together:

  • What requirements / changes expect we?
  • What do we want to reach?
  • How and by when can we achieve these goals?
  • How do we want success measure up?

These Key questions mark the typical ones at the same time four phases of a target agreement. You start with a kind of as-is analysis and finally end with performance monitoring and assessment:

In order for such target discussions to have a motivating effect, it is essential that both sides agree on the target agreement Formulate it positively and as specifically as possible. The goals should therefore rather be defined by means of guiding principles. Examples could be:

The measures ____________ and ____________ will reduce the sickness rate in department XY by 10 percent in the current financial year.

The employee completes training to become a “social media manager” and then increases the conversion rate of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest by 15 percent.

In future, customer inquiries will be answered within 24 hours.

You can, however, also refer to the one you are familiar with in project management SMART method orientate.

After that are smart goals to put it like this:

  • Specific

    In the context of the target agreement, this means: Set clear and unambiguous goals, those of employees and superiors clearly be understood. In the conversation, make sure that there is a consensus on goals. Employees and managers should understand this to mean the same thing.

  • Measurable

    A distinction is made between different types of goals within the framework of the target agreement: These include quantitative goalssuch as operational or strategic earnings targets that can be linked to specific figures. So-called soft or qualitative targets on the other hand, such as improving customer satisfaction or optimizing customer contacts are more difficult to record. It is all the more important to find a fair measuring mechanism at this point.

  • Accepted

    Employees and managers naturally have different priorities and interests. These are often reflected in the initial goals and goal formulation. In order for a target agreement to be effective, it is imperative that both employees and managers agree with the agreed targets and stand behind them. That usually requires compromises. Both should be ready for it.

  • Realistic

    Both ambitious bosses and ambitious employees tend to set goals that are too ambitious. This then leads to either being overwhelmed or failing. The trick is to find goals that neither under- nor overstrain the employee - and at the same time satisfy superiors. The agreement of such goals is a matter of negotiation. Ideally, however, both sides should orientate themselves towards the so-called flow concept.

  • Terminated

    Professional goals always need a time frame (vulgo: a deadline). Otherwise, Parkinson's Law will make things drag like chewing gum. Without a deadline, goals remain just lofty resolutions. How much time is allowed to achieve depends, of course, on the nature of the goals. The time frame should also be realistic, i.e.: manageable be.

Admittedly, such a specific target agreement is a lot of work for both employees and superiors and demands a lot on both sides Time, energy and commitment.

The effort required is worth it, however, since employees work more focused and productive with this target agreement, while superiors simplify the subsequent assessment of colleagues.

Criticism of target agreements

The instrument of target agreements is not without controversy in some industries and companies. There are managers and employees who consider target agreements to be superfluous, even counterproductive. Frequently mentioned points of criticism are for example:

  • The one generated by target agreements Pressure to perform inhibits creativity and sets a much too rigid corset.
  • The pressure worsens that working climate.
  • Often the set goals are lacking Commitment on both sides.
  • Just as often it has none Consequenceswhen goals are not achieved.
  • Some goals are simply not objectively measurable.

The criticism cannot be dismissed entirely out of hand. Especially when target agreements half-hearted, amateur, or inconsistent implemented. The points of criticism can, however, often be eliminated through professional preparation, consistent application and flexibility. Who says, for example, that goals cannot be renegotiated in the meantime if it becomes necessary ?!

For a better success of the target agreement discussion, we therefore recommend the further reading of the following guide ...

Guideline for an appraisal interview

DANGER: Target agreements - even without reference to salary - are often subject to co-determination in Germany. According to labor law, this applies above all when the employees of a company are involved collectively and in a binding manner. In this case, the works council (if any) must be involved beforehand. Therefore, in companies with a works council, target agreements are often regulated by a works agreement.

Target agreement template: templates and examples for formulations

Sure, there are superiors who understand a target agreement as a one-sided specification of goals. No negotiation. No compromise. The leadership style is based on Command and obedience.

One thing is clear: Such a management style reduces the instrument of target agreement to absurdity. It is not agreement, but a specification - and communicative one-way street. Such goals are not usually achieved, nor are employees motivated by them. Internal dismissal and increased employee turnover are more likely the result.

Conversely, the target agreement does not serve to reduce the targets as much as possible and to avoid work. The attitude has to be that both together in the coming year achieve more want.

For employees this means: In order to optimally prepare for the meeting with the boss, you should have a classic Self-assessment also your own previous achievements and goals reflect honestly.

Only those who are clear in advance about where they stand professionally and want to go in the future can do well argue and negotiate.

A good boss will prepare in the same way, and one in turn performance evaluation put together. Nevertheless, experience has shown that your goals will not correspond in all respects to the wishes and expectations of the boss.

As soon as you come to an agreement, however, the goals should be formulated as briefly and precisely as possible. Examples of such target formulations can be:

  • Increased customer satisfaction by XX percent within XX months.
  • Increase in sales by XX percent by year end YYYY.
  • Reducing the time to recruit new employees by XX percent in the next quarter.
  • Market share increased by XX percent in fiscal year YYYY.
  • Generation of an average of XX social media interactions up to MM / DD / YYYY.
  • Writing XX blog posts per week.
  • With ____________, customer complaints will be reduced by XX percent in the next XX months.
  • After XX months, the employee is able to carry out ____________ independently and on his own responsibility and thus improve ____________ by XX percent.

To Documentation and design of the target agreement you are welcome to use our illustrated template and get the sample Download as PDF for free and print out as often as necessary.

In addition, we recommend a Conversation protocol in which agreements going beyond the target agreement are documented and both of them sign. In the target agreement itself, only the targets and all relevant parameters should be documented.

Talk to further training!

If your boss does not address the topic of his own accord, you should do that: Participate in one or more further or Advanced training can also be an agreed goal. The advantage:

  • They broaden your horizons. And the new skills increase that Chances of promotion.
  • You gain additional qualifications more attractive on the job market. Even if this does not work in the current company, you can use it to apply externally later.

In order to achieve this goal (after all, it is also associated with costs for the company), you should make it absolutely clear that what benefit the company or your boss will get from it. If you can argue convincingly here, the progress and Advanced training find their way into the target agreement.

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