Goal Setting for 2024-2025 in Ignite

May 15, 2024

Here are a few things to consider as you and your team members set and finalize their goals:

  • Ignite is a great place to track goals, but it doesn’t work as well for back-and-forth communicating about the goals. We recommend fully discussing and finalizing all goals before the employee enters them in Ignite.
  • Because different departments run on different cycles, there is no specific deadline. Use deadlines that work best for your team or department.
  • Three to five goals are probably appropriate for most situations. Too few goals and people make less progress, and too many can become overwhelming.
  • The SMART Goal format works well to create actionable targets. In this model, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
  • Goals can be focused on performance, such as new projects or responsibilities, or goals can target developing new knowledge or skills. Ultimately, all goals should lead to the employee being able to perform even better and connect back to the bigger goals, mission, and vision of the team, department, and university.
  • Although goal setting is often done on an annual basis, goals don’t have to take a year to complete. Some goals may take less time and the due date can be adjusted in Ignite, as appropriate. Also, new goals can be added throughout the year as other goals are completed.
  • Goals should be revisited and reassessed periodically throughout the year to verify progress and ensure they are still relevant and a top priority.
  • Instructions for entering goals into Ignite are available here.

Perhaps even more important than goal setting itself are the conversations surrounding it. Employees should be involved in creating and refining goals and understand how their goals fit into the bigger picture of the department or university’s objectives. It’s helpful for you to describe the bigger picture priorities for the upcoming year, identify upcoming challenges or new projects, and to share the skills, knowledge, and experience they would like to see your staff member develop. Allow time for the employee to also share what they see as top priorities, challenges, and areas they want to develop.

Goals are not created in a vacuum, nor are they accomplished in isolation. Check in with the employee at least every few months to discuss progress, setbacks, and success on the goals. During your follow-up meetings on goals, ask questions, provide feedback, assess progress, and discuss next steps.