(Guides to Performance Goals, Key Responsibilities and Competencies are also located within Cornerstone under the Help Resources Center shown to the right.)
Writing and Editing Goals
Goals can be created, edited, documented and canceled at any time. Each department can determine a goal creation, monitoring and assessment cycle that fits their circumstances. A formal review task is issues once a year but evaluative comments and documentation can be added to a goal at any time. Below are details about what a goal is and how to write one.
Goals can be edited the same way they are created. "Edit" refers to changes made to a goal or key responsibility's title, description, category, or start and end dates.
How to edit, copy or cancel a goal.
Additions or changes to the progress slider, comments or attachments are not edits and can be changed without opening the goal editor. See the Documenting Goal Progress page for guidelines on when and how to document work and how to give coaching feedback.
When not to edit a goal
Except during the latter stages of the self-review, employees can create and edit goals without a manager's approval. Managers are still responsible for monitoring and assigning their employees' goals throughout the year. Managers can put a lock on employee goals to prevent edits.
Goals can be created and added to an active performance review if the date range for the goal fits the performance period for the review. Goal edits will not be reflected in a review, however, if a rating has been submitted for that item. This is the system protecting the integrity of the review by preventing post-rating modifications to goals.
Requirements and Definitions
Full-time employees are expected to have Key Responsibilities, Service and Engagement, and Professional Development Goals. Projects and Strategy goals may also be appropriate depending on the employee's role.
Part-time employees are only required to have Key Responsibilities. They may have other goals if appropriate for their position. (Part-time employees are also reviewed on the College Competencies).
Types of Goals and How to Create Them
This brief video shows you how navigate goal creation (there is no audio with this video).
Types of Reviewed Performance
Key responsibilities are your core job duties that are consistent with your job description. Any service or function that you maintain on a routine basis is a key responsibility.
Projects and Strategy Goal
Working on a new initiative? Have a goal that executes college or department strategy? Examples include: developing or significantly revising a program, service or event; learning and implementing a new system or practice; conducting research for continuous improvement.
Professional Development Goal
Can be: any learning activity to improve your work-related knowledge or skills; academic work supported by College few waivers or tuition assistance; non-academic learning that is College-led or sponsored; learning at external conferences and workshops; self-directed study.
Service and Engagement
Service is how you add value to the College through your knowledge, experience, passion and pride in the institution. It can be any work that supports the mission and goals of the College that is outside of your key responsibilities or projects & strategy goals. Examples: serving on committees, volunteering for events, involving your department in "First 4 Weeks" and similar activities. The work can be formally sponsored by the College or a product of your own initiative.
Managers are expected to manage their teams in a manner consistent with the Managing People competency. Two sub-components are particularly relevance to performance planning, assessment and evaluation:
- Sets clear expectations, gives active and concrete assistance and instructions, and provides effective and timely feedback/coaching.
- Delegates work and allocates decision making authority and/or task responsibility to appropriate others to maximize the organization’s and individual’s effectiveness.
Define current and long term objectives and strategies for your team's success and make connections between your employee's work and priority outcomes for the department, division and/or College. You can assign or co-write Project & Strategy goals with employees to identify the most important items to prioritize and assess for effectiveness. The number of goals will vary by position. A rule of thumb is to focus on items that are considered most important. If an employee's work does not lend itself to the Projects and Strategy definition then only create Key Responsibilities.
Managers should make sure that employees with the same job descriptions, and doing similar work, have similar Key Responsibilities. This helps ensure that employees are given consistent direction, feedback and evaluation. Only include the most common and significant responsibilities in one to three Key Responsibilities.
Support employees in identifying professional development options. Help make time for employees to attend in-person training or complete on-line training while on work time. Remind employees of tuition benefits.
Support employees in identifying Service and Engagement work. Help make time for employees to participate while on work time.
Create a specific goal rather than a more general one; this means the goal is clear and unambiguous. Describe the specific work using observable actions, behaviors, or achievements.
A good measure will let an employee know they are making progress toward successful completion of a goal. It should measure the result or outcome, not just the activities. Not all measures are numbers, sometimes they are objective quality standards. When determining a measure, the most common are:
- QUANTITY: These can be numbers, percentages, rates or frequencies. If there are already targets or projected numbers these can become goal measures.
- QUALITY: To identify a quality measure start with outside sources (i.e. national or industry standards, requirements of state or federal funders, best-practices). If there are none existing, discuss what the work would look like if it were successful and identify how that will be known or observed.
- COST: This may be stated in cost-savings or improved overall value. This can be measured at the department, division or college levels.
- TIMELINESS: Describe an improvement in efficiency or speed of service delivery. Eg. “reduced time from receipt of transcript request to mailing by two days on average.”
Make sure the goal is neither out of reach nor below performance standards. Challenging goals can be motivating and improve overall performance. The objective is not to be "safe" but to be realistic.
Relevant work is worthwhile because it is aligned with the unit, department and college strategic priorities. Relevant goals (when met) drive an organization forward. The accomplishment of individual goals supports the goals for a department, division and the College.
All goals must be accompanied by deadlines. Goals may not have precisely determined outcome dates nor will they fit neatly into one performance year. Write goals that describe work that can be accomplished in a given performance year. This may be a sub-component of a larger goal.
Documenting Goal Progress
Managers and employees should continuously monitor progress and performance. The focus should be on continuous improvement toward achieving desired goals. Routine discussion between managers and employees is expected. Adhering to a formula for exchanging feedback can make performance conversations easier and more productive.
Guide for exchanging STAR Feedback
Guide to updating progress in Cornerstone
This brief video shows you how to navigate documenting goal progress (there is no audio with this video).
Learning & Development Coordinator