Time to consider goals for the coming year

Although 2012 has not yet come to a close, many employees have been diligently planning for projects, upgrades and changes in 2013.  Whether you are already on this train or not, now would be a good time to reflect on the accomplishments you have made in 2012 and think about the goals you would like to set for 2013.  Below are some tips on how to do just that:

First things first - what are goals?

  • They are statements with end results.
  • They are expected within a specified period of time.
  • They are achievements toward which effort is directed.

What should they include?

  • A personal development component.
  • Related to tasks specified in your job description.
  • Tied to departmental and organizational goals.

For each goal you create, you will want to describe the end result and indicate quantity, quality, timeframe, percentage or other specific measure.  Each goal should fit into and support the overall strategy of the Ames Laboratory.

What does a clearly written goal look like?

  • Start with an action verb.
  • Identify a single key result to be accomplished.
  • Specify when the result will be achieved.

Example:  Complete the employee survey by May 1, 2013.
             (action verb)      (end result)          (timeframe)

To test if a goal is well-written, ask yourself the following…

  • Is it relevant?
  • Can it be measured?
  • Is it realistic and attainable?
  • Is it challenging and stretching?
  • Is it mutually understood and agreed upon?
  • How will you follow up?

Annual performance evaluations are just around the corner and will begin after the first of the year.  You may want to keep this guide handy as you set future goals throughout this process.  For questions, please contact Ames Lab Human Resources at (515) 294-2680.