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Goal Setting


This page serves as a guide for commonly encountered constructive feedback comments and related suggestions for employee goal-setting. Select a competency to be taken to the appropriate area.

Adaptability & Change Management Skills


Current Feedback

  • Appears reluctant to embrace last-minute changes in direction
  • Becomes frustrated when faced with unexpected changes in plans
  • Tends to resist or resent new work assignments
  • Demonstrates a time-clock mentality
  • Becomes flustered when interrupted or asked to deviate from a fixed schedule

Possible Identified Goals

  • Become more willing to take on duties not outlined in your job description
  • Become more adaptable to any changes in your work assignments
  • Support organizational restructuring efforts in a constructive manner

Attendance & Punctuality


Current Feedback

  • Fails to follow policy for absence
  • Demonstrates a lack of respect for others time by arriving late at meetings
  • Generates an excessive number of personal phone calls during work time
  • Spends excessive time handling personal matters during work time
  • Tends to wander from desk, leaving office phones uncovered
  • Does not return phone calls/emails in a timely manner

Possible Identified Goals

  • Arrive at the office on time and ready to begin work by your scheduled time
  • Strictly adhere to all break and meal periods
  • Plan to arrive on time at all meetings out of respect to others time
  • Do not allow personal phone calls to interrupt your work
  • Inform others when needing to leave your desk for coverage
  • Handle personal matters during lunch and break times

Communication


Current Feedback

  • Is uncomfortable saying “I don’t know” or “I’ll check on that and get back to you”
  • Does not build strong working relationships with other internal departments
  • Does not encourage open communication, cooperation and the sharing of knowledge
  • Attributes blame to others
  • Makes others feel intimidated and uncomfortable when they ask for help

Possible Identified Goals

  • Cultivate a culture of openness and information sharing
  • Build consensus via shared decision-making
  • Admit if you are unsure of an answer
  • Be aware of your body language
  • Clearly state up front if you will not be able to deliver as requested
  • Build trust through regular, open and honest communication
  • Listen and respond to others appropriately in a respectful tone
  • Answer incoming phone lines within two rings
  • Avoid blaming or censuring others publicly

Customer Service


Current Feedback

  • Customers do not feel heard
  • Has received numerous customer complaints for failing to follow up as promised
  • Does not demonstrate sufficient knowledge of responsibilities

Possible Identified Goals

  • Share information and resources readily
  • Never appear to talk down to or patronize customers
  • Exceed customers’ expectations by providing timely feedback and follow-up
  • Effectively prioritize your workload based on your customers needs
  • Provide objective and timely advice to customers

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Diversity Orientation


Current Feedback

  • Has forwarded inappropriate e-mails that were offensive to others
  • Makes no effort to create teams that reflect the diverse workforce
  • Tends to make judgment based on stereotypes
  • Is reluctant to confront inappropriate workplace behavior
  • Makes no effort to understand cultural values different from their own

Possible Identified Goals

  • Create a positive and inclusive work environment
  • Strive to attract and retain a diverse workforce
  • Encourage new ideas from people with different orientations
  • Recognize each individual’s unique contribution to the team
  • Encourage collaboration and teamwork at all times
  • Foster a sense of collaboration and joint problem solving

Job Knowledge


Current Feedback

  • Has difficulty locating information when needed
  • Repetitively asks basic questions that should be able to answer
  • Is not adequately versed in key aspects of work
  • Produces more errors than someone with his/her experience
  • Fails to demonstrate mastery of basic concepts in area of responsibility
  • Produces substandard and untimely work product
  • Fails to think issues through to their logical conclusions

Possible Identified Goals

  • Document common processes and steps in an internal troubleshooting guide
  • Develop a crib sheet for a resource
  • Keep abreast of trends and changes in the field
  • Continuously develop the breath and depth of your skills
  • Become the departments “go to person”

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Leadership


Current Feedback

  • Rarely shows appreciation for a job well done
  • Sets unreasonably high expectations for self and others
  • Uses position to dominate and intimidate others
  • Fails to generate enthusiasm for new projects and initiatives
  • Does not recognize or reward subordinates’ achievements

Possible Identified Goals

  • Build relationships within and across departments
  • Build trust through regular, open and honest communication
  • Regularly assumes responsibility for new projects and programs
  • Create a learning environment
  • Make it safe for subordinates to make mistakes and volunteer new ideas
  • Coach people to prepare for their next move in career progression
  • Ensure alignment with corporate goals through teamwork and communication
  • Inspire a high level of trust from others
  • Create an environment where employees feel valued, respected and trusted

Listening Skills


Current Feedback

  • Interrupts and speaks over peers
  • Tries to finish others’ thoughts for them
  • Has developed a reputation for “having to have the last word”
  • Often dismisses others’ ideas

Possible Identified Goals

  • Become a more effective listener
  • Demonstrate active listening skills as a sign of respect for others
  • Avoid interrupting others
  • Maintain eye contact with speakers
  • Ask questions when you do not understand something

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Managerial


Current Feedback

  • Fails to set and monitor goals, targets and mileposts
  • Tends to instill fear in subordinates
  • Rarely celebrates or shares success
  • Fails to adjust his/her approach for different audiences and situations
  • Avoids confrontation at all costs
  • Avoids face-to-face interaction and relies on e-mail instead

Possible Identified Goals

  • Address inappropriate behavior immediately
  • Make others feel welcome to seek your advice and counsel
  • “Catch” people being good
  • Remain consistent in your interpretation and application of company policy
  • Motivate others to be their best and strive to bring out the best in them
  • Create a culture of open information sharing and increased accountability

Organization


Current Feedback

  • Does not plan ahead
  • Does not request help or assistance when needed
  • Tends to over-commit time
  • Appears overwhelmed and disorganized despite years of tenure in position

Possible Identified Goals

  • Plan your work and work your plan
  • Rely on a daily planner to block periods of time for particular tasks
  • Do not over-commit your time or resources
  • Ensure that you do not allow last-minute interruptions to get in the way
  • Maintain a workspace that is free and clear of clutter

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Problem Solving Skills & Results Orientation


Current Feedback

  • Fails to recognize repetitive trends in recurring problems
  • Has difficulty troubleshooting basic user questions
  • Does not demonstrate learning from past mistakes

Possible Identified Goals

  • Learn to anticipate problems in advance
  • Be a problem solver rather than a complainer
  • Effectively distinguish between the causes and the symptoms of problems

Productivity & Volume


Current Feedback

  • Commits excessive input errors
  • Lacks troubleshooting abilities
  • Processes a low volume of work relative to peers
  • Appears unfocused throughout the morning

Possible Identified Goals

  • Find the right balance between volume and quality of work
  • Learn how to manage frequent interruptions
  • Conduct a postmortem of any failed project to learn from mistakes
  • Streamline work processes and increase efficiency

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Professionalism


Current Feedback

  • Does not project a professional image
  • Is inconsistent in enforcing company policies and procedures
  • Lets past differences interfere with teamwork
  • Feeds the corporate grapevine with unsubstantiated facts
  • Fails to pick battles wisely

Possible Identified Goals

  • Treat people with dignity and respect at all times
  • Avoid using inappropriate jargon or idioms
  • Establish credibility across campus
  • Project a positive self-image
  • Maintain composure and professionalism when faced with crisis
  • Support an inclusive and positive work environment
  • Follow company policies and procedures

Safety


Current Feedback

  • Does not adhere to environmental safety
  • Does not wear the required safety gear
  • Is not current on security procedures
  • Has failed to take steps to resolve pending hazards in a timely fashion
  • Does not maintain machinery in compliance with safety manual guidelines

Possible Identified Goals

  • Report potential safety hazards
  • Comply with all safety recommendations, postings and requirements
  • Recommend effective safety enhancements and corrective actions
  • Always comply with all safety policies and procedures
  • Follow all recommendations outlined in material safety data sheets
  • Request an ergonomic assessment of your work area
  • Always leave your work area clean and functional at the end of the day

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Teamwork


Current Feedback

  • Does not share information and resources
  • Does not encourage or support others who are facing challenges
  • Fails to interact with the team on a collegial or social basis
  • Does not readily give credit where credit is due
  • Discourages coworkers from volunteering ideas
  • Shoots down untested suggestions and recommendations
  • Has taken credit for other team members ’contributions
  • Has difficulty maintaining confidences

Possible Identified Goals

  • Treat people with dignity and respect
  • Participate effectively in team meetings
  • Encourage sharing of ideas
  • Foster a sense of shared responsibility
  • Strengthen your reputation as a team player

Time Management


Current Feedback

  • Gets easily sidetracked and wastes time
  • Often arrives late and unprepared to staff meetings
  • Appears overwhelmed at peak time periods
  • Is frequently disorganized
  • Always appears busy but has little to show for efforts
  • Spends too much time away from desk

Possible Identified Goals

  • Do not allow distractions or obstacles to get in the way of meeting deadlines
  • Effectively manage multiple projects rather than one project at a time
  • Set realistic time frames
  • Use daily planner to keep organized and on time
  • Maintain a neat and organized workplace
  • Readily maintain key information at your fingertips

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Adapted from 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews by Paul Falcone, 2006


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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8961 / Fax: (701) 231-9686
Campus address: SGC 102
Physical/delivery address: 1919 University Dr N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3140 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Human Resources/Payroll

Last Updated: Thursday, May 09, 2013 1:59:35 PM