Goals (KPIs) and Performance-Based Bonuses


This article explains how to set up goals (or KPIs) and how to link them to performance-based bonus payments which appear in the salary tab.


What Are Goals in Personio?

Goals, also called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), are the objectives stored in an employee's Performance tab profile, under the Goals section. 

Setting up goals in Personio offers the following benefits:

  • A record of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly employee goals
  • Definition of any number of binary, qualitative and/or quantitative KPIs
  • Automatic calculation of flexible salary components based on agreed goals


Configuring Goals

Setting Up Goals

Use an employee's Performance section to set up monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly goals with any number of KPIs. To set up an agreed goal, select the option Goal from the drop-down menu on the right.



Defining KPIs

Define as many of your own KPIs as you like, or choose from existing KPIs and add them. Personio offers the following three KPI types:

Goal type Definition Example
Binary Goal achieved or not achieved Sales goal
Qualitative Not directly measurable Employee satisfaction
Quantitative Directly measurable Sales goals 

Note that floating-point numbers cannot be used when defining KPIs. For example, if you are using the quote-to-close ratio with values between 0 % and 100 %, enter a goal of between 0 and 100 and not between 0 and 1. Values such as 0.25 or 0,25 are not permitted.

Complete the process by freely defining for each KPI whether and to what extent it should be considered in the bonus calculation for the selected period. If desired, set up feedback meetings to measure the KPI progress. See this article for information on how processes for goal agreement and goal management can be designed.


Goals can also be exceeded, making it possible for employees to achieve more than 100 %.


Linking a Performance-Based Bonus

General Settings 

Navigate to Settings > Performance > General to specify when employee bonuses are to be paid out. Personio provides three options:

  1. at the end of the period
  2. after the period
  3. distributed evenly over the period

See what these each mean for the payouts in the table below:

Bonus distribution Explanation Payout consequences (examples)
End of period Bonus payout during the selected bonus period

Monthly (April): Payout in April

Quarterly (Q3): Payout in September

Half-yearly (H1): Payout in June

Yearly (2018): Individual decision (payout in 2019)

After period Bonus payout after the selected bonus period

Monthly (April): Payout in May

Quarterly (Q3): Payout in October

Half-yearly (H1): Payout in July

Yearly (2018): Individual decision (payout in 2019)

Distributed evenly over the period Bonus payout during the selected bonus period

Monthly (April): Payout in April

Quarterly (Q3): 1/3 in July, August, September

Half-yearly (H1): 1/6 from January - June

Yearly (2018): Individual decision (payout in 2019)

Note that the General settings for the bonus payout become irrelevant when the interval is set to "yearly." With yearly goals, you can decide individually, in which month of the following year the bonus payment shall be made.

Salary Settings

Based on the goals, you can activate performance-based bonuses for your employees that are automatically calculated. To do this, go to the employee profile and select Salary > Edit > Add bonus. Enter the maximum bonus amount for the desired period, choose the interval via the bonus period, and enter the date from which the bonus should take effect. Click on Submit to complete the process.


For the automatic bonus linking to work, the chosen goal interval and the bonus period must match. Also, make sure that the Valid from date is at the start of the bonus period.

Valid from: For automated mapping of the goals created with the bonus payout, the following points should be noted:

  • Bonus period: The Valid from date must be set to no later than the first day of the bonus period.
  • Calendar year: Intervals always refer to a calendar year; specific individual settings are not possible.


Selected interval Example Bonus period
monthly March 2018 01.03.-31.03.2018
quarterly Q2 2018 01.04.-31.06.2018
half-yearly H1 2018 01.01.-30.06.2018
yearly 2018 01.01.-31.12.2018


Confirming the Bonus Payout

After a one-time confirmation, the payout amount is displayed in the Bonus column of the overview of the salary tab. Depending on your settings, this occurs at the end of the bonus period, after the period, or evenly distributed over the period. For more information, you can also have a look at this article.


If your employee is to be paid an amount different from the calculated bonus, you can adjust this manually and click Confirm.


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