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Goal setting is the process of planning what is to be achieved by an individual in the coming performance period, typically a business year. It is tied directly to the requirements in the formal job description, functional and/or departmental goals, and a personal skills/capabilities growth plan. A joint effort by the employee and functional manager, which represents what is to be accomplished on an individual level, and in the aggregate (when combined with peers’ goals), what is planned for achievement by the larger organization.
Goals are commonly written using the most widely used iteration of the original SMART documentation standard, which is currently defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These provide goal statements that can be tracked and more objectively assessed, given that they are specific, measured, assigned a timeframe for completion, and reasonable given that they are considered attainable and relevant to the job and organization.