Setting Goals in Workday

The first step in the performance review process involves setting performance expectations between a staff member and their manager. Setting performance expectations involves a review of job responsibilities and goal setting. 

Job Responsibilities Worksheet (JRW)

Job responsibilities cover the most critical tasks and activities an employee is responsible for day-to-day.

A thorough review of job responsibilities ensures that individuals understand the most critical day-to-day tasks and activities for their position.

While not required, an employee should review their Job Responsibilities Worksheet (JRW) at the beginning of each performance management cycle. If the JRW is misaligned to responsibilities/areas of focus, the employee should propose edits. After the individual has completed their review of the JRW, a manager will review and approve the JRW to ensure that responsibilities are clearly and appropriately reflected.  

Goal Setting

Goal setting ensures Penn State that employees and managers have a shared set of expectations for the year and that individual priorities align with organizational objectives. Additionally, setting goals:

  • Gives clarity and focus to daily work
  • Sets the stage for value-added conversations around performance
  • Identifies opportunities for individual development and improvement

Working with their manager, individuals will identify 2-5 goals for each performance review cycle. At least one goal should support department/unit goals and one goal should support ongoing job responsibilities/professional development. Goals may be short term or long term in duration. Monthly, quarterly and annual goals are all acceptable.  

Competencies and Behaviors

During the goal setting discussion, the manager and employee should review University competencies. Competencies and behaviors cover key skills and traits that help an employee accomplish job responsibilities and achieve goals for the year. 

Having a conversation about the competencies and corresponding behaviors the employee is expected to exhibit at the beginning of each performance management cycle sets expectations for expected behaviors and are an important element of the performance review. Including competencies & behaviors allows Penn State to evaluate not only what gets done, but also how it gets done.

Depending on your role and professional development goals, you may have a goal that focuses on development of a specific competency. For example, you may choose to focus on communication; “Improve ability to deliver presentations to large groups.” 

Use the goal setting template to get started. 

Entering Goals in Workday

After the employee and manager agree upon goals, the goals will need to be entered into Workday. The goal setting process starts with the Workday “set content” prompt. This step will allow you to enter your goals into Workday.

  1. From your Workday Inbox, open the item called Set Content Step 1, Setting Goals and Expectations.
  2. Click the button to Go to Guided Editor.
  3. Click the Add button to enter your goals. 
  4. Enter the Goal and Metrics for Success.
  5. Choose Annual Performance Goal (Staff) as the Category. 
  6. Enter your target date to be within the performance review year.
  7. Click the Add button to enter another goal.
  8. Continue adding goals until all goals have been added.
  9. Once all goals have been added, click Next.
  10. Read the description for each competency.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Review your goals. If necessary, you can make changes here.
  13. If you need to save your goals and complete them later, click Save for Later. When you are completely finished, click Submit. Once you submit your goals, your manager will receive an Inbox Task to approve your goals.

Add or Edit Goals

After goals have been approved by an employee’s primary manager, the employee can edit their performance goals.  After goals are edited and submitted, manager approval will be required. Goals CANNOT be edited once the end of year review begins.

If you are an employee and wish to add or edit a goal, visit the Adding or Updating Goals in Workday job aid for instructions. 

Manager Approval of Goals

For step 1: goal setting, the manager will approve the employee’s goals once entered and submitted in Workday. Throughout the performance review cycle, the manager must also approve any new or edited goals through the edit goal process in Workday. 

  1. From the Workday Inbox, click on the item for your employee's goals. 
  2. Review the goals. Decide whether the employee must make changes to their goals or you are ready to approve them. Proceed to a or b below based on your decision.

a. Make Changes: If you would like the employee to make changes to the goal, click Send Back. Enter a comment in the Reason text box and click Submit.
b. Approve: If you approve of the goals, click Approve. Do not use the comment box directly above the Approve button.  These are for process comments and CAN’T be viewed by the employee.

If you are a manager interested in how to approve added or edited goals, visit the Adding or Updating Goals in Workday job aid.

Cascade Goals

Managers, HR Strategic Partners, and HR Consultants can Cascade Goals in Workday. This allows them to create and assign a goal for all employees in their supervisory organization(s) or individual employees. Cascaded goals are used to align employee goals with the existing strategic plans. 

If you are a manager interested in a cascade goal, visit the Cascading Goals job aid for instructions.