Setting Performance Goals for Non-Represented Staff



The key underpinning to effective performance management is the development of employee performance goals that align with UC Berkeley’s strategic goals and mission. Individual employee performance contributions help accomplish organizational objectives that support the teaching, research and public service mission of the university. It is the responsibility of the manager to translate the organization’s objectives and performance standards in order to collaborate with their staff to create individual employee goals and opportunities. Employee’s should partner with their managers to define, plan, monitor and review their performance goals as well as take active ownership to achieve those goals. In the increasingly complex UC Berkeley work environment, performance goals must be agile and adaptable. Employees and managers should continuously check-in regarding goals and add, update, and modify performance goals as a part of those meetings.  

What’s different?

Unlike the goal-setting of the past, setting goals is intended to be a management tool, not an employee evaluation tool. Goals are no longer the primary merit determinate and employees should feel free to set ambitious goals.   

STEPS 1 - 3

 To develop goals managers will schedule a goal-setting meeting with each employee using the following 4 steps:


STEP 1: Manager prepares to talk to employee

The manager prepares to discuss the following with each employee:

  1. UCB’s strategic plan and how this cascades to their unit’s strategic plan (so the manager can explain how each employee has a line of sight into how they contribute to the organization),

  2. How the employees work impacts both strategic plans,

  3. How current UC systemwide, UC Berkeley, higher education and other relevant issues, events, or initiatives impact the planning of employee goals,

  4. List of potential employee goals to help start the conversation, if needed.


STEP 2: Manager meets with employee

The manager meets with each employee to discuss items identified in step 1.

STEP 3: Manager and employee brainstorm

The manager and employee brainstorm together to identify the employee’s performance goals. Goals are statements of achievements relating to the following categories:

  1. key job responsibilities

  2. special projects or initiatives

  3. stretch assignments

  4. professional development

  5. contribution

The manager should share their potential prepared goals list, as needed.

It is recommended that employees have no more than five goals and have one goal in each of the following categories:

  1. involving a set of key job responsibilities, significant initiative, or special project

  2. stretch assignment (project or task which is beyond the employee’s current knowledge or skills level in order to help them learn and grow)

  3. professional development (skills and knowledge that go beyond the scope of the employee's job description, plans commonly include classes, but can also include elements such as cross-training and special project participation.

  4. contribution (e.g., committee service, mentoring, community of practice, etc.)

Note: Manager/Supervisor goals should take into consideration the management and development of staff.

How to structure goals

A goal should describe a) what the employee will achieve (objective) and b) how they are going to measure the achievement (key result).

Objectives are memorable, motivational and qualitative descriptions of what an employee wants to achieve. Objectives should be concise, challenging, inspirational and engaging.

Key Results are a set of metrics that measure progress towards the Objective. For each Objective, you should have a set of one to five Key Results. One of the Key Results should be timebound. 

Example Individual Contributor Goals 

Henry, Project/Policy Analyst 3
Key job responsibilities

Objective: Create a comprehensive survey for students to evaluate academic advising services.

Key Result: Talk to unit leadership and 3 advising leads to determine advising services to evaluate.

Key Result: Send survey to students by June 2020

Special projects or initiatives

Objective: Use actionable data from the academic advising services to create a new or updated advising offering.

Key Result: From survey analysis, formulate a prioritized set of actions.

Key Result: Present suggested survey actions to advising leads and unit leadership for feedback.

Key Result: Using feedback, deliver a high-level plan to leadership by October 2020.

Stretch assignments 

Objective: Improve documentation of most used processes by students.

Key Result: Survey students to understand which processes are most used.

Key Result: Create a tool for students to view processes and ask questions by December 2020.

Key Result: Increase student awareness about most used processes from 3.2 to 5.0.

Professional development

Objective: Increase business process improvement knowledge.

Key Result: Take 2 UC Berkeley Extension courses related to business process management by December 2020.

Key Result: Attend 1 UC Berkeley Community of Practice event related to business process improvement by December 2020.


Objective: Share learnings to others about evaluating academic advising services.

Key Result: Explore doing a presentation for a UC Berkeley Community of Practice.

Key Result: Reach out to 3 other academic units and offer to share survey, findings and learnings in a meeting.

Goals should be reviewed and discussed with each employee to ensure for alignment and connection.

Example Manager/Supervisor Goals 

Rose, HR Supervisor 2
Special projects or initiatives

Objective: Create a recruitment outreach campaign for Research Administrators.

Key Result: Use LinkedIn to collect 100 potential new candidates by September 2020.

Key Result: Organize a RA career day with 25 candidates by November 2020.

Key Result: Redesign and launch careers and job section on our unit website by January 2021.

Stretch assignments

Objective: Improve employee retention.  

Key Result: Draft an exit interview guide and survey.

Key Result: Create a recognition program by December 2020.

Key Result: Interview all staff on their needs for improving culture.

Professional development

Objective: Increase human resources knowledge.

Key Result: Partner with Central Human Resources on a job shadowing program for staff.

Key Result: Host a pizza and HR eLearning lunch for staff by October 2020.

Key Result: Start SHRM Senior Leadership Program.


Objective: Broaden opportunities to connect to the university.

Key Result: Sign-up to be a mentor for the BSA Mentorship Program by next cohort cycle.

Key Result: Coordinate staff attending at least 2 lectures by December 2020.

Goals should be reviewed and discussed with each employee to ensure for alignment and connection.