Creating effective goals for your employees can be hard. To set effective employee goals you should:
Create goals in consultation with your employee. As you discuss and refine the goals, you're exchanging "bigger picture" information about both of your expectations, and coming to consensus.
Tailor the level of detail you capture to your employee's needs. A more senior or autonomous employee will need less detail than a less experienced or less independent employee.
Write goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
Make sure that goals are achievable both individually and as a group. Assigning too many goals, even though each one might be achievable on its own, sets the employee up for failure.
Start with the end result in mind and clearly identify how success will be measured.
Always link individual employee goals to the higher level organizational goals they are designed to support, so the employee has a clear context for their work.
To help you out, we've created an employee goal setting template that prompts you for all the information you should discuss and document when setting goals with your employees.