setting personal development goals

Setting personal development goals with employees

Setting Personal Development Goals Within an Employee using the KSS method

Setting personal development goals with employees is essential to ensure continued improvement in performance and productivity.


The best time to do this is when conducting an employee performance evaluation. In my recent videos and articles, I covered how to conduct an employee performance evaluation and provided five core competencies that every employer could use to discuss and evaluate performance. I also provided forms that can be downloaded and used during an employee performance evaluation.


The KSS method to set employee performance improvement goals is a highly effective method to pinpoint both positive performance and areas that need improvement. I am also making available the individual development worksheet to make this process easy.


The KSS method is simple. The K stands for keep doing, the S stands for stop doing and the other S stands for start doing. By using this approach, you are recognizing what the employee does well, what they should no longer do and what they need to begin doing.


setting personal development goalsThe KSS Individual Development Worksheet uses the five core behavioural competencies that I covered in my last article. These are productivity, quality of work, initiative, teamwork and problem-solving.


Each employee will have different strengths and weaknesses for each of these competencies. The key is to take the time to sit down with the employee and discuss their performance by referring to personal observations as well as tangible work situations from the past.


This method can be applied whether you are using the five competencies I mentioned or the evaluation criteria that you currently are using.


I have taken this worksheet from our behavioural assessment, the Profiles Performance Indicator. Once the employee completes the assessment, the individual development worksheet is used to discuss the feedback from the report and then fill out the worksheet based on a discussion with the employee.


For example, an employee who is highly productive may not always produce quality work because they may tend to rush things to get onto the next task or project. They may be motivated by getting things done. Obviously, you would want them to keep being productive but perhaps pay more attention to detail especially when it’s pertains to the most important tasks relative to the job.


setting personal development goalsWhen completing the worksheet, focus on one or two items for the employee to work on. These items can be turned into a goal that is smart, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. You can download my goal planning form to aid in setting a goal.


Set a target date for the goal and meet the employee after 30 days to track progress. These types of goals require a change in habits and can be difficult to achieve. After 30 days, you might find specific obstacles that could be holding the employee back from making progress. You want to discuss solutions and these will become new actions for the employee.


Continue to follow-up every 30 days on the progress the employee is making and you will see an improvement in performance and productivity.


You can also do this for yourself as a leader or manager to become more effective and act as an example to your employees.


writing job descriptions

Free resource for writing job descriptions

Here is a great resource for wiring job descriptions. is a resource for both employers and job seekers from the US Department of Labour. You can find detailed job descriptions on most jobs and many other resources. This makes writing job descriptions much easier.

I use job descriptions as a tool for hiring new employees and for managing employee performance. You can read article and watch my video on how to write a job description here, and also download my job description form template.


employee performance evaluation

Employee Performance Evaluation Criteria and Template

Employee Performance Evaluation Appraisal Criteria and Form Template


What criteria is best used when conducting an employee performance appraisal? Many companies and business owners face this problem and often search for forms and ready-made templates, which are easily found online.


In my last article and video, I suggested using a job description as a reference for job criteria when you have not developed your own job specific evaluation criteria.


However here is a simple approach that can be used to generate a discussion around five key employee competencies. When you use these competencies in conjunction with your observation of the employees’ performance, you can conduct an effective employee performance evaluation meeting. This will provide the employee with valuable feedback and give you a platform to agree on performance improvements.

These five competencies have been taken from our Profile Performance Indicator assessment that we use with our clients. This is a great tool to gain a deeper understanding of employees and to engage in discussions about performance.

Five Employee Performance Competencies

These five employee competencies can be used as a basis for providing feedback on performance and to set performance improvement objectives.


  1. Productivity – effectiveness in getting things done, in relation to time and cost requirements
  2. Quality of work – adherence to an expected standard of result that is a part of a job or activity
  3. Initiative — the ability to act without the help or insistence of others
  4. Teamwork – a cooperative effort by a group or team to produce a desired result
  5. Problem solving – process of finding a way to successfully resolve a difficult situation or problem

Evaluating Employee Performance

Think of the employees that report to you when looking at the above list. You can even create a gird where you list each employee in a column next to the competency. Here is a link to download the grid I use. Rate each employee for each competency on a scale of 1 to 5., 5 being excellent.


A fast-paced employee might be higher on productivity and lower on quality as they probably rush through things versus a lower paced employee who tends to focus better.


Using these competencies creates a great opportunity for discussion with the employee. In my last article and video I explained how to conduct the review using the job description and you can use the same tips with these criteria.


The key is to reflect on each employee according to these criteria and jot down their strengths and weaknesses so you can give feedback on both.


Make sure you introduce the criteria and the evaluation form to be used to your employees before holding the review sessions.


I have created an employee performance evaluation form template that can be downloaded with these competencies or add your own. You can also use the job description along with this form and competencies to expand the discussion with the employee.


The most important aspect of an employee performance evaluation is the time you spend with the employee. Make it an opportunity to build the relationship and to get cleat on where you stand in terms of their performance.


In addition, make it a point to give regular feedback to the employee so that there is no misunderstanding and major disagreements when you sit down for a more in-depth formal review.


In my next article and video, I will take this a step further to suggest a way to set performance improvement objectives and I will provide a form to use for that purpose.