Outcome goals are desired end results. These can serve as a direction and source of motivation. However, they can be counterproductive on their own without corresponding process goals and performance goals. Process goals are targets for what you will do and performance goals are targets for how you will perform. The following are illustrative examples of outcome goals with process and performance goals for each.
BusinessA restaurant sets outcome goals for revenue with a promotional strategy to achieve these targets.
|Outcome||33% Revenue Increase|
|Process||Do weekly promotions with coupons that bring customers in on weeknights.|
|Performance||Reach 50,000 target customers with promotional coupons each month with a 1% conversion rate.|
EducationA student who wants to get into a good university.
|Outcome||Get into a top ten university.|
|Process||Study hard and do well in my extra-curricular activities such as Kendo and the robotics design competition.|
|Performance||GPA over 4, SAT over 1530, win Kendo matches, design a better robot than last year.|
SportsThe term outcome goal originates with sports and coaching where it is used for targets that are often outside your direct control such as winning a game.
|Outcome||Make the state finals.|
|Process||Practice, exercise, nutrition, sleep, avoid distractions, measure performance, feedback from coach.|
|Performance||Improve my 5k time to under 17 minutes.|
CareerThe following is an example of a career goal that you might set for yourself. This shouldn't be confused with a performance goal.
|Outcome||Get a promotion to the director level.|
|Process||Take on action items that are critical to my organization and deliver them to expectations.|
|Performance||Achieve a high performance rating, develop my visibility within the organization and make executives dependent on my work by solving their problems.|
Quality of LifeImprovements in your overall health, happiness and prosperity. For example, an individual who lives in an apartment near a major highway who wants to improve their overall daily air quality.
|Outcome||Improve long term health.|
|Process||Move to an apartment with better air quality further from a major highway.|
|Performance||Find an apartment within my budget that meets all of my basic requirements such as reasonable air quality, safety and proximity to a train station.|
Self-ImprovementA process of introspection leading to a goal for personal change.
|Outcome||Become more patient with people.|
|Process||Take an optimistic view of people and exercise patience with them. If I should fail, make amends and keep trying.|
|Performance||Review my progress daily and self-assess my progress. Goal: vastly improve my level of patience over my past performance.|
NotesIn many cases, an outcome is beyond your direct control such that you can only evaluate yourself against your performance. For example, you can try to improve your future health by moving to a place that has good air quality readings but there might be unintended consequences of your move that damage your health such as a bad neighbor who causes you stress and a lack of sleep.Employees are normally evaluated against their performance and not against outcomes. For example, an individual contributor isn't penalized if a project with hundreds of contributors fails but is evaluated against their work on the project. High level employees who have significant authority are accountable to outcomes.Setting an outcome goal without a process and performance goal is essentially just wishful thinking. For example, having a goal to be wealthy without any process goals that might move you in this direction.
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