Often times, setting goals for next year’s performance review takes into account only organizational goals set by the manager for the employee. This misses an opportunity to set the goals in a way that could benefit the employee’s career growth plan in the most direct way.
As an employee, you should look at goals set by your manager as what organization wants to achieve. You then need to identify your personal goals and figure out a way (working with your manager) to write the goals and execution plans in a manner that can incorporate personal goals without compromising organization goals. This creates a win-win situation for you and your manager.
However, before that can be done, you need to identify your personal goals. Most of the time, the clues lie in some of the feedback on improvement areas you might have received from your manager or from peer feedback. It will also lie in your long term career plan if you have one.
Organization’s and managers are (or should be) interested only on the final results of the goals,and not necesssarily on what intermediate steps are. This gives a chance to the employee to weave in his/her personal goals into the goal setting.
Here are a few examples:
- If you want to improve your influencing skills over next 12 months, include some cross-functional group working in your execution plan for some of the goals.
- If you want to hone your people management skills, sign up for goals that require working with vendors or interns.
- If you want to be well-known in the group/company, sign-up for the goals which your CEO/big-boss is passionate about.
- If you want to learn more about creating organizational processes, add a sub-goal of process improvement for an appropriate organization goal.
Of course, all these goals must be agreed to by your manager, so that you get his/her support throughout the year for on-the-job learning. For ex, for #1 above, if your manager doesn’t sign-up to coach you while you work on the cross-functional group, it is very easy for you to fail.