Performance Goals - In-House Designer

my company has decided that we all need to set performance goals for the next year. i’m not against the idea, i just have no clue what to write!

i’ve been a designer for 25+ years, i’m the senior designer…but don’t want to be a director/manager, will probably retire in 3 years and just truly enjoy the everyday process of designing. i’m not saying i know it all, because i certainly don’t. but i have no big goals that i can think of when it comes to my job, except to keep getting better and meeting the needs of the clients as best i can (i’ve worked here 12+ years). i could make some stuff up to learn some new things, but i’d really like the goals to be connected to my job if possible…and seriously, i pretty much do what i need to do as is (in other words, there isn’t time to do alot of new stuff on most of our projects unfortunately). i can always of course get better at what i do, with new ideas, but that isn’t a particularly measurable goal.

not to brag (seriously), i’m a pretty high-functioning worker. have worked since i was 14 (i’m 63 now) and have a work ethic above and beyond those of my co-workers. i know how to communicate effectively and take the lead on projects if needed. i’ve built the company’s logo and style guide libraries and always look for ways to improved processes already. my annual reviews have been glowing.

anyone else have to write goals (or not)? what would be a good goal for someone in my position? i need all the help i can in writing these!! there are probably some very obvious things right in front of me, but i’m just drawing a blank.:open_mouth:

I don’t think performance goals means you have to take extra training courses, or that it even suggests you must work harder this year than last year (seems like you are already putting in 110%). Maybe it’s as simple as calculating how many projects you worked through in the past year, and let your performance goal be to maintain those same numbers. Or maybe there were a few projects over the past year that ended up taking longer than normal, highlight those projects and think of ways that those could have gone more smoothly.

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Well, you could start with larger goals in mind and decide how granular you want to go within those goals. Such as:

  • Strengthen and build our brand presence within the marketplace
  • Streamline processes and increase efficiency
  • Support community affairs and events

Bottom line, think about what you do at a large scale. What groups and teams do you support, what areas do you support? How do you improve the business? Etc. Start there. Especially think about possible repeating campaigns, monthly projects, weekly occurrences, etc. I know sometimes getting measurable hard and fast results if you are internal can be challenging. I’m fortunate that I have a great operations/data person that can provide me with results for websites, emails, etc.

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thank you! :slight_smile:

thanks…these are great ideas!

I have never had to set down performance goals in writing but my aim is always to improve my skills, learn new techniques and keep up with the latest software. I’m a similar age and some of the stuff I was doing even 7-8 years ago is completely irrelevant now. If you don’t adapt you become unemployable very quickly in this business (Design / Prepress / Print).

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thanks! i agree. i’ve been keeping my skill-set as up to date as possible over the years, on a pretty regular basis. my company actually schedules time for us each week to do so (not that it happens when we get super-busy). :slight_smile:

I’ve always disliked these kinds of performance goals. It’s not that I dislike them in principle, it’s just that in practice they tend to be a waste of time. Vague performance goals seem pointless and ones that are too specific often change before the year is finished.

Even so, most jobs that I’ve been at have had them — along with the subsequent performance evaluation at the end of the year where the inevitable discussion occurs about them not being completed because of everything from client changes of direction to work reassignments to people quitting to new people being hired to a thousand other things.

Either that or, one month before the end of the year, everyone is scrambling to meet their arbitrary objectives — not because they really need to be done but, rather, because they don’t want to risk getting a reprimand for not getting everything checked off.

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To me, performance goals can work for “measurable jobs” … I’ve processed X number of submitted forms, I’ve refurbished X number of returned products, I’ve answered X number of call center calls, etc.

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Such silly tasks are the product of the “Human Resources” function having risen to power in the typical capitalist corporate structure. The following run-on sentence is my take on it, and to some this will come off as conspiracy theory speak, but that doesn’t make it any less true:

To maintain relevance and foster subservience, the HR department implements thought-policing programs in which the subjects are forced to self-report their dedication to the organization’s objectives by lying about how their personal objectives are in complete alignment with their supervisor’s, whose are in complete alignment with The Department, which, in alignment with the business objectives of The Company, produce a plan for continued and eternal growth in EBITA, ensuring the blessings bestowed upon us all by The Shareholders are plentiful and everlasting.


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