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Individual Goals

Frequently Asked Questions

There are countless ways to create individual goals. We are going to offer two possible perspectives that you may consider using as you and your employee develop these goals: (1) the Scope perspective, and (2) the Function perspective.


You may consider developing an employee’s goals based on various levels or scopes. This method balances “big picture” goals that connect an employee with university or division initiatives with employee-specific goals that pertain uniquely to an employee’s distinct role or responsibilities. This perspective telescopes from division-wide goals, down to work-unit or job-class goals, and further to employee-specific goals, allowing your employee to set goals at each level of the organization.


You may also consider developing an employee’s goals based on various functions within his or her role. This perspective enables you and your employee to breakdown the elements of his or her role into different focus areas, highlighting key responsibilities or projects for the upcoming cycle. This may result in some overlap with elements of the institutional goals.

Most individual goals should be forward-focused. That means that they should align with both the work unit’s and the University’s strategic goals and mission, if possible. For example, if the Chancellor sets an initiative for increased effective community engagement, then supervisors might develop individual goals toward increasing community outreach or involvement in the work unit.

If the individual goal is accomplished, then it should help the organization move forward in some way to make things more efficient, less hectic, more understandable, etc. to help make the work unit work better for employees, supervisors, and customers.

Will I still be evaluated on it? Will it negatively affect my rating?

It depends. Some individual goals may not be established until later into the cycle. Some may be for projects with a shorter timeframe rather than for the entire cycle.

An individual goal may end if:

  • the work unit’s priorities have shifted, so the goal is no longer required or critical
  • the work duties associated with the goal operationally have been assigned to another person or group
  • the employee’s work performance is not meeting expectations, so the work has been assigned to another person

If the reason for the goal ending is primarily the fault of the employee, then the goal should still be reflected in the employee’s performance appraisal. If the reason for the goal ending was not primarily the fault of the employee, then the supervisor can choose either not to rate the goal or remove it (provided the employee has at least three rated goals remaining), replace it with a new goal, or rate the work product that the employee was able to complete prior to the goal ending.