Best Practices

Learn about best practices for:

Goal Setting

Feedback and Coaching


Goal Setting

Remember four things when setting goals:

  • Set two or three (four at most) broad goals or priorities at the beginning of the year. Then throughout the year work to set shorter-term goals based on the nature of the work. 
  • Goals should be flexible because priorities typically change throughout the year 
  • Make sure that goals are challenging so that progress is meaningful. Goals should be attainable but require a significant effort.
  • Goals should only capture the most important things. Use the acronym SIMple: which means that goals should be Specific, Important, and Measurable.

2020 Performance Management presents a common understanding of resources and best practices to guide performance management practices across the University and allows room for colleges and units to apply them based on the culture of the unit.

The Office of Human Resources has developed training for supervisors based on this common understanding. 


Feedback and Coaching

  • Naturally, you want your employees to be successful so that your team is successful and in order to continue to succeed and grow, your employees need your support and guidance. One way to do this is through feedback and coaching. To understand more about coaching and feedback take a look at this video.
  • Regular check-ins with your employees are a great opportunity to provide feedback and coach your employees. Use this QuickGuide to Ongoing Check-Ins and Check-In Template to guide your conversations.
  • This QuickGuide to Feedback will help you gather your thoughts and prepare to give feedback.  
  • Coaching your employees in their development will help them to be more productive and more satisfied with their work. This QuickGuide to Coaching will help you build your coaching skills.


Feedback vs. Coaching

Feedback and coaching are both beneficial for employee development and growth, and understanding the differences can help you use them more effectively.

Feedback Coaching
Conveys your reaction to a person’s actions or behaviors for the purpose of helping them to improve their performance. Equips a person with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to develop and grow.
Reinforces positive behavior or addresses negative behavior. Develops knowledge and skills to reach a goal.
Focuses on past behavior. Focuses on future behavior.
Describes the situation, behavior, and impact. Asks questions to build self-awareness and understand motivation. Offers opportunities to apply new skills.  
Sounds like:
“Mai, when we were in our meeting earlier today, I noticed you looking out the window and I felt like you weren’t paying attention to what I was saying.”
Sounds like:
“What are your professional strengths?
What are your goals?
What do you need to get there and how can I help?”