Goal Setting


Set Goals Every Summer

Goals for support and management and professional staff are due each year in late September. Starting in the summer, managers meet with their direct reports to discuss job expectations and goals for the coming year. For new hires, managers should do this within two months of hire. Goals and expectations are recorded in the online performance document.

Focus on Alignment

When discussing goals, try to connect them to goals of your team, faculty or unit, but don’t delay goal setting until broader departmental planning is complete. If necessary, you can easily change, add or remove goals to stay aligned. Plan to revisit your goals every few months to ensure you're still on track and make adjustments as needed.


Three Goal Types — Commit, Stretch, and Development

Goals describe what you are setting out to accomplish, what success looks like, specific actions that will be taken, and how success is measured.

Commit Goals

Commit goals, also known as expectations, define key responsibilities of the job that are critical for individual success and have the greatest impact to individual and team achievements.

Stretch Goals

Stretch goals go beyond basic job expectations and can be incremental and continuous improvements to existing processes, new projects, or opportunities that are undefined in the job profile.

Development Goals

Development goals describe the knowledge, skills and experiences that an employee needs in order to increase effectiveness in their current role or to support the achievement of career goals.


Setting Team Goals

Manager Toolkit

While it's entirely possible to lead a successful team without setting goals, even the most accomplished manages and high performing teams can benefit from this practice. 

Team Goal Setting Toolkit


Five Excellent Reasons to Set Professional Goals

Everybody strives to improve themselves in one way or another, but no matter what you're working towards, the best way to get there is by setting and writing down concrete goals. Don’t simply plan to be successful at work this year — instead, define measurable goals.

Because goals tend to fit with portfolio goals and institutional strategies and plans, they help reveal the impact of your work on the bigger picture and your impact on the student experience or campus community.

Some days, work just happens to you — urgent tasks command your full attention and you get stuck in reaction mode. Goals are one way to keep these days from taking over your week, your month, or even your year. 

If a career is to last, it must evolve, offer new challenges and encourage new opportunities. Setting stretch goals helps you think long term about where you want to take your career and act on a plan to get there.

By setting specific goals, you are defining, in advance, the moment that you should jump up and shout, “I did it!” Sure, it’s possible that you would complete the same project or set of tasks whether you set the goal or not, but the goal helps you see the accomplishment more clearly.


Walking up the stairs.

Sample Goals

See examples of commit, stretch and development goals. 

Example Goals


Skill Building for Goal Setting

To launch an online course after enrolling, go to learning.my.ucalgary.ca and go to: My Learning > Select the Course > Launch

  1. Connect to Perform Learning Series: Module Two – Setting Goals

    30 minutes | Employees and managers

    Learn how to write effective goals. Includes how to get started, suggestions for developing team goals, and how to sustain goals throughout the year.

  2. Connect to Perform Learning Series: Module Five – Development Planning

    30 minutes | Employees and managers

    Learn about identifying development opportunities, creating a development plan, and tips for following through and staying accountable.

Goal setting courses are typically offered in the spring and summer.

  1. Setting Effective Performance Goals

    3 Hours | Employees and managers

    Explore goal-setting in the workplace through discussion and practice. 

  2. Setting Effective Team Goals

    3 Hours | Managers

    Explore team goal-setting through discussion, reflection, and practice.

  1. How to Set Team and Employee Goals

    1 Hour | Managers

    Set employee goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

  2. Achieving Your Goals – LinkedIn Learning

    26 minutes | Employees and managers

    Learn how to create a vision, develop a quantifiable goal, turn that goal into actions, and share that commitment publicly to establish accountability.

  1. Sample Goals

    Reviewing goal examples can help you when identifying, documenting, and validating your own goals.

  2. Expectation and Goal Setting Template

    For employees without an online performance document, use this template to elaborate upon job expectations and set performance goals. Alternatively, managers can request an online document for employees who don't have one.

  3. Goal Setting Toolkit

    While it’s entirely possible to lead a successful team without setting goals, even the most accomplished managers and high performing teams can benefit from this practice.

  1. Navigating to Your Performance Documents

    Learn how to navigate to your performance document. 

  2. Add and Edit Goals

    Add a new goal or edit an existing one in the online performance document.

  3. Adding Goals - Interactive Demo

    Practice adding goals to your performance document. 

  4. Building Your Performance Document

    Learn how to populate each section of your performance document.