Frequently Asked Questions - Goals


What are performance goals?

Performance goals provide a roadmap for the employees on what is expected of them and what they can do to help the organization achieve its unit priorities. Aligning employee performance goals with UC Berkeley's and unit strategic goals is the foundation of Achieve Together. Managers collaborate with their direct reports to define performance goals. In today’s rapidly changing and complex work environment, performance goals must be agile and adaptable. 

Goals can be set for any length of time (ex: 1mo, 4mo, 1yr, 2yrs) and should be revisited regularly as part of ongoing 1-on-1 meetings. During check-in conversations every four months, goals will be updated as needed. All non-represented employees will have 2-5 goals at any time:

  • 1 professional development goal

  • 1 to 4 goals around these themes: job accountabilities, stretch assignment, special project, and UC contribution (staff organization participation and/or leadership, participation on a unit/university committee, etc.)

For more information about goal setting, visit the Goals page and/or sign up for an in-person or online training

How are my goals developed?

Managers/supervisors will collaborate with direct reports on the necessary goals for each check-in period. Conversations about refining goals can occur at any time. Progress against goals will be discussed and documented during the check-in conversation process every four months. 

Goals should always be measurable, have clear expectations or deliverables, and indicate when the goal should be completed.

Since we do multiple check-ins throughout the year, does that mean goals should be accomplished within a single check-in period?

No, it is not required that goals be accomplished within one check-in period. A goal can take three weeks, three months, or even multiple years to accomplish. Goals will roll from period to period until the due date is reached. What's most important is that managers/supervisors and direct reports are on the same page about goal expectations.

Should performance goals be everyday duties and tasks, long-term special projects, or stretch goals that go above and beyond normal daily routines?

Performance goals are job responsibilities related to key tasks and projects and may include special projects and stretch goals. Goals should be measurable, actionable, and tied to unit priorities. These can be written using OKRs (Outcomes & Key Results) or SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound), and may be achieved in just one check-in period or may span across several periods. They may be individual goals, team goals, or unit goals. Refer to the Goals page for more.