2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals: Ready-to-Use Phrases That Really Get Results

2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals: Ready-to-Use Phrases That Really Get Results

by Paul Falcone


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A natural follow-up to the bestselling 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews, this easy-to-use book provides the key to ensuring positive performance reviews—setting effective performance goals. You’ll discover a plethora of ready-to-use phrases organized by the characteristics and core competencies most often evaluated during the appraisal process. Author Paul Falcone tailors these skills to be compatible with the most common positions, like sales and marketing, accounting and finance, HR, IT, legal, manufacturing, and operations so managers in any field can equip their teams for success. As a manager, you aren't truly successful unless your employees are as well. But their success depends on you. Complete with handy bonuses like an individualized development plan (IDP) tool, 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals teaches readers to not only set expectation on the basics like attendance, attitude, teamwork, and time management—you’ll learn how to craft goals that internally motivate your employees to achieve phenomenal results.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814417751
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 12/15/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 494,528
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Paul Falcone (www.PaulFalconeHR.com) is a human resources executive in Los Angeles and has held senior-level positions with Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and City of Hope. He has extensive experience in entertainment, healthcare/biotech, and financial services, including in international, nonprofit, and union environments.

Paul is the author of numerous bestselling AMACOM and Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) books, and several of his books have been ranked as Amazon #1 bestsellers in their respective disciplines. He is also a long-term contributor to HR Magazine, a top-rated presenter at the SHRM national conference, and an adjunct faculty member in UCLA Extension’s School of Business and Management.

Read an Excerpt

2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals

Ready-to-Use Phrases That Really Get Results
By Paul Falcone


Copyright © 2012 Paul Falcone
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1775-1

Chapter One

Adaptability and Change Management Skills

Early Career Goals

* Always be ready to anticipate and adjust for roadblocks

* Volunteer to participate on committees and task forces to gain a more thorough perspective of the challenges facing the company

* Research the competition and identify two or three areas where they have distinct advantages

* Look for opportunities to assume greater responsibilities outside your job description

* Demonstrate that you can shift gears quickly and remain flexible and adaptable to change

* Broaden your specialty area to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the business challenges we face

* Forecast the five biggest challenges facing our industry and company and recommend ways to adapt

* Welcome change as an opportunity to learn and add new skills to your repertory

Administration/Operational Support Goals

* Avoid any perception of impatience or otherwise jumping to conclusions too quickly

* Invite constructive criticism to your responses when you disagree with a newly proposed direction or proposal

* Maintain your composure and calmness when faced with stressful changes in plan

* Welcome suggestions from those who are less familiar with a topic and benefit from their "outsider" perspective

* Become an early adapter of change by choosing a new software tool and rolling it out to the rest of the team as the subject matter expert

* View rules and regulations and policies and procedures as general structural guidelines, not as absolutes in and of themselves

Individual Contributor Goals

* Challenge new ideas constructively but see yourself as a proponent of change

* Avoid any appearance of "hanging on" while hoping to delay change enough to make it disappear

* Teach what you choose to learn

* Develop a higher tolerance level for dealing with dysfunction in the workplace

* Look for opportunities to add tools to your toolbox and expand your repertory of skills

* Appreciate the complexity of the issues we face without trying to water it down to an issue you may be more comfortable with or better understand

* Demonstrate a stronger ability to multitask and juggle competing priorities

Front-Line Supervisory and Managerial Goals

* Champion the importance of keeping yourself fresh in terms of updating your technical skills

* Be careful not to appear to jump to conclusions too quickly without having considered the merits of a proposed change in direction

* See yourself as an idea facilitator who helps others see the benefit of change

* Encourage your team to look for new and creative ways of completing even routine tasks

* Set strong but flexible achievement standards for your team

* Treat any mistakes or failures as opportunities for team growth and development

Senior Leader Goals

* Realize that people don't resist change; they just resist being changed

* Use gentler and softer words when critiquing someone's proposal without appearing to categorically dismiss their ideas out of hand

* Be careful to avoid being seen as overly reliant on the tried and true or otherwise caught in your comfort zone

* Avoid being labeled as defensive, stuck in the past, or resistant to change

Attendance and Punctuality (Reliability)

Early Career Goals

* Arrive each day fully prepared to tackle your job responsibilities

* Develop a reputation for reliability and excellence in all that you do

* Consistently follow all clock-in and clock-out procedures

* Arrive at the office on time and ready to begin work by your scheduled start time

* View reliability as a critical competency in your career development

* Avoid taking sick days up to the policy maximum

* Follow appropriate call-in procedures when reporting in sick

* Set the standard for attendance and punctuality on our team

* Strive to attain perfect attendance

* Always arrive at meetings on time and well prepared

* Comply with all company standards of performance and conduct

Administration/Operational Support Goals

* Strictly adhere to all break and meal periods

* Notify your supervisor any time you are running more than thirty minutes late

* Reread the company policy regarding attendance and punctuality and adhere to its guidelines

* Avoid patterning sick days around your weekends or holidays

* Arrange for temporary backup support any time you are going to be out

* Check in with your supervisor before you leave at night to see whether he or she needs help with anything

* Schedule your vacation requests well in advance of proposed leave dates

* Make yourself available to work last-minute overtime or weekends as necessary

Individual Contributor Goals

* Arrive at all meetings on time out of respect for others' time

* Despite your exempt status, arrive in the office by 8 A.M. and still be here at 5 P.M.—unless you've received advance approval (Being exempt does not mean you get to make your own hours.)

* Complete assignments and ensure that you meet deadlines on time

* Notify end users well in advance of a projected missed deadline

* Strengthen your professional reputation in regard to consistency and reliability

* Make up the time whenever you take an extended lunch

* Enroll in an effective time management course to prevent chronic scheduling challenges

Front-Line Supervisory and Managerial Goals

* Ensure that team members do not spend excessive time on personal phone calls or surfing the web

* Obtain medical documentation for any employee leaves in excess of three days

* Restrict medical documentation to frequency and duration only—not diagnosis

* Schedule time off according to tenure as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement

* Always maintain adequate staffing levels despite last-minute notification of employee absences

* Work closely with HR when dealing with employees who have intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) claims on file

* Begin and end meetings on time

* Report any new incidents of workers' comp injuries or FMLA leave requests to HR

* Insist that nonexempt staff members leave their desks during breaks and meal periods to avoid any perception that they may be performing work (and thereby violating wage and hour rules)

Senior Leader Goals

* Process all requests for overtime, meal and rest periods, and shift differentials accurately and in accordance with company policy

* Ensure that your department adheres to all established standards for record keeping and record retention requirements

* Ensure that attendance and punctuality standards are enforced uniformly and consistently

* Notify HR any time you feel an employee may be misclassified in terms of exemption status

* Enforce all wage and hour standards to insulate the company from employment-related liability


Early Career Goals

* Readily admit your mistakes or shortcomings

* Always remain sensitive to how you come across to others

* Bring out the best in people by demonstrating sincerity and care in all that you do

* Welcome constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow

* Remain sensitive to how you come across to others in terms of body language and other nonverbal cues

* Avoid exaggeration, trash talk, obscenities, or other language that may offend others

* Live the mantra, "Each to his own without judgment"

* Be mindful of your tone of voice, body language, and posture

* Remain a positive influence at work, full of energy and willing to help wherever needed

Administration/Operational Support Goals

* Avoid drama or appearing to feed the corporate grapevine

* Be sensitive not to wear your emotions on your sleeve or to "let them see you sweat"

* Readily assume responsibility for things gone wrong without pointing fingers

* Remain open to new suggestions without becoming overly defensive

* Count to ten to regain your composure before responding to a heated question

* Raise your awareness level of coming across as hostile or angry toward others

* Welcome new ideas and approaches to how we do business

* Come to terms with the dysfunction that exists on our team and adjust your approach

* Increase your awareness of the so-called hidden org chart—the people and players who exert the most influence in the company—regardless of their current title

* Avoid appearing to carry a chip on your shoulder or looking angry much of the time

* Go out of your way to make others feel welcome, not like they're disturbing you

* "Great performance, bad attitude" is not an acceptable combination in this company

Individual Contributor Goals

* Maintain your composure even when under stress

* Refrain from rolling your eyeballs when you disagree with an intended course of action

* Never revert to sarcasm or undue criticism to express your dissatisfaction

* Remain a calming influence in a storm

* Avoid any perception of entitlement or victimization

* Strive to control less and delegate more

* Use the words "I feel" or "It made me feel" when describing hurt feelings or disappointment

* Remain cognizant of your reputation as a rebel producer—someone historically willing to sacrifice others to get ahead—and rebuild bridges to strengthen relationships

* Learn to say no and avoid spreading yourself too thin

* Hold yourself accountable for avoiding any perceptions of moodiness or unpredictability

* Recognize that certain people feel it's simply too hard to work with you and cut a wide swath around you to get things done—and make adjustments as necessary

* "Leave me alone—I just want to do my work" is not an acceptable approach to working successfully on this team

Front-Line Supervisory and Managerial Goals

* Put others' needs ahead of your own by practicing selfless leadership

* Be careful not to come across as insensitive or to categorically dismiss others' feelings

* Avoid any perception of sabotaging your subordinates by communicating your intentions up front

* Expect the unexpected, and plan for delays

* Hold your employees accountable for both their performance and conduct

* Act consistently, and avoid any perception of playing favorites

* Recognize that unfairness, especially if applied to a member of a protected group, may become the basis for a legal claim of discrimination

* Engaging in retaliation of any form will result in further disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal

* Refrain from making value judgments about your subordinates' intentions

* Address conflict head-on before minor problems become major impediments

* Understand that building on someone's strengths makes more sense than compensating for their weaknesses

* Don't allow one individual's bad attitude to contaminate the rest of your team

Senior Leader Goals

* Remain consistent and predictable in terms of how you handle people and problems

* Know that, at this organization, the end does not justify the means

* Avoid being seen as someone who constantly operates too close to the margins, pushes the envelope, or asks for forgiveness rather than permission

* Appreciate the importance of leadership and power within your organization

* Avoid being accused of situational ethics, that is, setting the terms of appropriate workplace conduct based on your needs at that moment

* Pick up on subtle corrective cues from others and course-correct as necessary

* Never compromise confidentiality by dropping hints to demonstrate you're "in the know" or to prove your power

* Focus on softening your bull-in-a-China-closet reputation

* Recognize the Golden Rule: All the things that proceed from you return to you (What goes around comes around.)

* Find creative ways of bringing out the best in people


Early Career Goals

* Readily admit that you're not sure of an answer

* Listen and respond to others appropriately using a respectful tone

* Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no

* Refrain from using comments like, "It's not in my job description"

* Nod your head to communicate that you are actively listening

* Communicate respectfully at all times, and put others' needs ahead of your own

* Show deference to more tenured coworkers who have contributed to the company for many years before you joined us

Administration/Operational Support Goals

* Manage others' expectations appropriately

* Answer incoming lines within two rings

* Do not leave callers on hold for more than 30 seconds

* Stop others immediately from speaking to you in a derogatory tone

* Comply with all budget requirements, and communicate any possible exceptions on a timely basis

* Never leave your manager flying blind by consistently asking yourself, "What would I need to know about this particular project if I were the manager?"

* Balance the quality and quantity of your workload to ensure maximum productivity

* Continuously look for opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce rework

Individual Contributor Goals

* Be conscious of your body language at all times

* Clearly state up front if you will not be able to deliver as requested

* Proactively feed information upward to keep management well informed

* Be careful not to appear overwhelmed or anxious about the workload

* Don't treat coworkers who interrupt you as if they're inconveniencing you

* Provide consistent feedback in a constructive manner to the engineering and design teams

* When dealing with others' shortcomings, always err on the side of compassion

* Confront people problems head-on in a constructive yet firm manner

* Communicate with customers using layman's English and avoiding industry jargon

Front-Line Supervisory and Managerial Goals

* Create a culture of openness and information sharing

* Build consensus via shared decision making

* Build trust through regular, open, and honest communication

* Always deliver bad news quickly and tactfully

* Speak persuasively and with authority, using facts and metrics to make your case

* Create a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others' suggestions and points of view

* Help your staff members raise their level of awareness and sensitivity to potential employment litigation landmines

* Assume responsibility for problems when things go wrong, and provide recognition and praise to others when things go right

Senior Leader Goals

* Ensure that your direct reports are informed of each other's activities

* Readily share information and resources to support business objectives

* Avoid blaming or censuring others publicly

* Communicate the organization's strategic plan and its alignment with the corporate mission and values

* Articulate your department's strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity at senior management meetings

* Continuously emphasize the importance of confidentiality and privacy in dealing with personnel matters

* Be the vision, live the values, and demonstrate excellence in all you do

Conflict Management and Resolution

Early Career Goals

* Heed the adage, "It's not what you say but how you say it"

* Put others' needs ahead of your own, and expect them to respond in kind

* Always develop cooperative relationships, and look for common ground

* Perception is reality until proven otherwise; therefore, always hold yourself accountable for your own perception management

* Restate the other's point of view before offering an alternative solution

* Make appropriate use of the human resources department and other internal resources when problems must be escalated

* Welcome and encourage others' feedback so that they are comfortable sharing minor concerns with you before they become major impediments


Excerpted from 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals by Paul Falcone Copyright © 2012 by Paul Falcone. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction: How to Use This Book to Save Time and to

Write Compelling Performance Goals




Adaptability and Change Management Skills

Attendance and Punctuality (Reliability)



Conflict Management and Resolution

Creativity and Innovation

Customer Satisfaction

Ethics, Integrity, and Trust

Hiring and Retention

Job Knowledge


Listening Skills

Managerial Style


Oral and Written Expression

Organizational and Planning Skills

Personal Style

Problem-Solving Skills and Results Orientation

Productivity and Volume

Professionalism and Grooming/Appearance




Staff Development

Strategic and Critical Thinking Skills


Teamwork and Relationship-Building Skills

Technical Skills

Time Management

Work-Life Balance



Accounting and Finance





Credit and Collections Manager

Financial Analyst

Human Resources

Benefits Administrator

Compensation Analyst

Employee and Labor Relations Representative

Recruiter (Corporate)

Training and Organizational Development Specialist

Information Technology

Database Administrator

Help Desk Coordinator

Programmer Analyst

Project Manager

Systems Analyst



Contract Analyst

Legal Secretary



Assembly and Packaging Technician

Equipment Technician

Master Scheduler

Plant Manager

Production Supervisor

Purchasing Agent

Quality Assurance Engineer

Supply Chain Manager


Administrative Assistant

Customer Service Representative


Facilities Maintenance Supervisor 175

Office Manager


Research Analyst

Safety and Security Manager

Transportation Manager

Warehouse Manager

Sales, Marketing, and Digital Media

Account Executive

Digital Content Producer

Digital Marketing Manager

Field Sales Representative

Fundraising/Development Executive (Nonprofit)

Grant Writer (Nonprofit)

Product/Brand Manager

Sales Associate (Retail)

Social Media Coordinator



Appendix A: High-Impact Verbs to Inspire

Your Writing

Appendix B: Essential Adverbs to Get

Your Message Across

Appendix C: Individual Development Plan (IDP) Tool

Appendix D: Index of Particular Titles and Roles

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