Best Examples Of Goals For The Workplace (Plus 5 To Avoid)
Setting professional goals for work is critical. But only if you set the right goals and do so correctly.
As a result, please allow me to put my 40 years of experience as an employee, manager, and business owner on the line for you.
Also, I have some things to say that may be a surprise. Specifically, my top 5 workplace goals examples you should avoid. I will share those a little later.
Let’s get moving so you can start setting your work objectives…
10 Examples of Development Goals For Work
Our top 10 goals for work examples include the following:
- Increase revenues
- Reduce or eliminate expenses
- Streamline a business process
- Improve upon a business KPI
- Lead a team or project
- Learn a new skill
- Cross-train in another functional area
- Collaborate more effectively
- Communicate more clearly
- Hold yourself accountable
Furthermore, I have a thought process I would like to set firmly in your mind.
Specifically, I want you to align your goals with and for the business at which you work. But, at the same time, avoid any objectives of a personal nature.
Next, let’s go through each of the 10 potential examples of goals for work one at a time…
Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
1. Increase Revenues
If you work in sales, marketing, customer service, or any customer-facing function, set a goal to increase revenues. Either lead the initiative on your own or work as a team member.
Here are several ways to increase revenues:
- Optimize pricing
- Sell more to existing customers
- Prospect for new customers
- Help onboard a new customer
- Market to a different channel or geography
- Implement a new marketing strategy
- Develop a new product or service
Whether you can impact revenues or not, you can and should set a work goal in this next area…
2. Reduce Or Eliminate Expenses
Every business, no matter how small or big, spends money. Likewise, each department has expenses, and every employee incurs costs in some way.
Thus, closely examine where you can increase your organization’s bottom line. Do so by eliminating unnecessary expenses or reducing required costs that are unnecessarily high.
Furthermore, some businesses’ primary focus is operating at low cost. If this is the case where you work, reducing expenses is a top-notch work goal opportunity.
Here’s another way to make your business more efficient. It is one more of your possible work goals…
3. Streamline A Business Process
Processes are the foundation of business. These methods are how organizations get things done.
Unfortunately, processes are often bloated and include unnecessary steps. Worse yet, some become irrelevant and unnecessary over time.
As you go through your work day, observe process steps you can eliminate. By doing so, you will save your company money. In addition, reducing process bloat frees up resources for other, more critical activities.
Thus, there are always processes to streamline whether you work for a manufacturing business, service company, or sales organization.
Okay. Depending on what you do, the next one of your possible development goals for work is a little more tricky.
I’m talking about KPIs…
4. Improve Upon A Business KPI
First of all, KPI stands for key performance indicators. Whether you know it or not, every business has KPIs.
Although similar in some ways to making more revenues, decreasing costs, and operating more efficiently, KPIs go beyond that.
Some examples of KPIs include the following:
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Maximizing on-time delivery rates
- Improving employee training
- Enhancing research and development
If you need to figure out what KPIs management focuses on, I recommend speaking with your boss to find out.
Once you know, consider how you can set a goal for work that will help your company achieve one or more of its KPIs.
Next, let’s have a discussion about leadership in the workplace.
5. Lead A Team Or Project
One of my former bosses had a great saying. When a leadership issue came into question, he stated…
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Okay, I know that sounds good. But leadership is more complex.
However, I will tell you this, leadership opportunities at work our practically endless.
The business world is short on good leaders.
So, look for opportunities to lead a team. Or take over project management related to something important for the business. These types of activities are excellent examples of workplace goals.
It can be as simple as gathering one or more team members and starting a project to solve a nagging problem.
Additional resource: This online course about improving your leadership skills may benefit you.
6. Learn A New Skill
For all of us hard workers, skills are the tools in our toolbox. Furthermore, adding a new skill is always an excellent objective in the workplace.
As your skills relate to setting goals, I suggest learning skills through on-the-job efforts. Thus, look for and be open to taking on essential tasks outside your responsibility.
You will find the best way to learn is by jumping right into the fire!
In a similar light, consider the next items on today’s list of workplace goals examples…
7. Cross-Train In Another Functional Area
Do you see an opportunity to work in another area for a while? If you do, jump at the chance. It is one of many great ways to enhance your career.
Here are some suggestions to get your thoughts flowing…
Spend a week attending sales calls with one of the company sales representatives. Or, take a day out of your schedule and work on a production line.
Take on a business analysis project to immerse yourself in information about another company area.
Finally, consider assisting the quality control function by testing products for defects.
You will find that cross-department training is a great way to break down company silos. While also building your relationships across the organization.
Speaking of building relationships, that’s a great topic specifically related to today’s objective of outlining the best examples of workplace goals.
So, let’s discuss relationship building next.
8. Collaborate More Effectively
Work gets done by people. More often than not, multiple people work together to achieve a common goal.
Thus, every employee should become better at collaborating, including conflict resolutions and negotiations.
Also, as we discussed, please remember the goal of improving business processes. Doing so is another means of collaborating with your co-workers in the workplace.
9. Communicate More Clearly
Getting your thoughts across clearly and concisely is an excellent workplace development opportunity.
For example, possible communication-related work goals include the following:
- Improve public speaking skills
- Better present your thoughts in meetings
- Be more persuasive
- Write more concisely
Also, know that finance is the language of business. So, think about a goal at work to improve your financial acumen.
Ask your manager if you can assist in managing the department budget. Doing so may also give you some ideas for reducing costs.
Additional resource: Check out this online course about improving your communication skills.
Lastly, here is number 10 in today’s list of good workplace goals examples.
10. Hold Yourself Accountable
This topic should go without being said, but I will say it anyway.
Hold yourself accountable.
If not, there is little point in goal setting.
Holding yourself accountable means:
- Say what you mean and do what you say
- Complete assignments on time
- Be on time for meetings
As the famous actor, director, and comedian Woody Allen said…
“Ninety percent of success in life is just showing up.”
Furthermore, I will add showing up on time.
Thus, bring your “A-game” to work every day. But, of course, accountability is just the price of admission to the dance.
So, don’t present this goal to your boss. They expect accountability regardless of the work objectives you are setting for yourself.
I just added it for a little kick-in-the-pants motivation. Don’t we all need some tough love from time to time?
Okay. Next, I would like to switch gears…
5 Examples Of Goals For Work You Should Avoid
At the beginning of this article, I promised to share some work goals you should avoid. Thus, I must hold myself accountable and deliver on what I promised.
Examples of workplace goals to avoid. Your goals at work should not be personal in nature. Here is exactly what I mean:
- Network in your field
- Improve time management skills
- Increase work-life balance
- Further your training and education
- Earn a promotion
Now, before anyone jumps all over me, please let me explain…
First, don’t mistake what I’m saying here. There is nothing wrong with any of these goals.
However, they are not appropriate goals for work.
They are short-term career aspirations. Unless, of course, you can directly relate them to improving something at work for your employer.
Here are two examples of what I mean…
Finding a work-life balance is essential to your personal goals for work.
Of course, your boss should care about this topic or pretend to. But they probably don’t.
Also, a training class or furthering your formal education is one of many worthy professional development goals.
But, as a work goal, training should directly relate to improving the organization where you are employed.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. You got it.
To sum it up, remember to focus on the business, not yourself. If I were your manager, I would require it.
Now that you have chosen your goals. Next, let’s talk briefly about setting them up correctly…
How To Write Professional Work Goals (SMART Goals)
The SMART system is one of the most widely used methods to set goals after you have selected them.
SMART stands for 5 attributes that each of your goals should possess. They are…
Specific. Write your goals down. Include a summary statement. Then provide supportive comments to make your work goals as detailed as possible.
Measurable. Determine exactly how you will measure progress and completion.
Achievable. Yes, your boss will expect you to challenge yourself. However, be realistic and save time by pursuing something you can achieve.
Relevant. Each goal should make sense for your current situation. Also, all your work goals should pertain to the business where you work.
Time-bound. Every goal should have a deadline for completion.
Okay. Now you know the essential components of how to write goals for work.
Next, and speaking of deadlines…
Focus On Short-Term Goals For Work
Remember this vital point…
It is a what have you done for me lately world. Thus, focus on short-term goal-setting.
As a result, seek to accomplish all your short-term work goals within one year. Focus on aspects of your goals daily.
Limit Your Number Of Long-Term Goals For Work
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any long-term goals in the workplace. Just keep them limited to roughly one out of every five.
Long-term goals typically take 3-5 years to complete. And as I said earlier, it’s a “what have you done for me lately” world.
Here are some more tips I would like to leave you with.
How To Achieve Today’s Examples Of Workplace Goals
I encourage you to read this article about achieving your goals.
However, if you are short on time, here are a few tips for accomplishing your work goals. This is an important topic that goes beyond identifying and selecting goals.
Why? Because getting results in the workplace is all that matters.
To reach your goals, follow these 5 steps:
- Create the right mindset
- Make a plan
- Take action
- Create an environment for success
- Monitor your progress
Okay. That’s all I have.
Please allow me to wrap up with a few parting comments…
Final Thoughts About Examples Of Goals For Work
First, as you choose your personal developmental goals for work, focus on the business that pays you to work there. Then carefully align what you want to accomplish with your company’s objectives and priorities.
Furthermore, write your goals for work using the SMART system.
Finally, hold yourself accountable and get busy with the actions required to make your goals a reality. Your professional life depends on it!
Ready for more? Then check out our other…
Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.