Goal setting is a fundamental step in the growth and development of every employee. From boosting employee productivity and morale to optimizing communication - successful goal setting is as beneficial as it is integral to any organization.
Although goal setting may be perceived as an unnecessary administrative burden, in reality, it’s an opportunity to further unlock team members’ potential. More often than not, employees appreciate the opportunity to discuss both near-term and longer-term professional goals with their manager. Goal setting is a chance to refocus your employees’ attention to where and how they should be prioritizing their time, laying the groundwork from them to achieve, and maybe even exceed those expectations.
As the saying goes, failure to plan is planning to fail. Here are 5 ways you can set your employees up for success, and keep them both motivated and engaged while working towards any goal.
Set goals with a definite timeline
What’s the difference between a dream and a goal? An end date. Whether you want to have a goal met by the end of the week or the end of the year, an end date makes the goal real and will motivate your employees to meet that deadline. When it comes to deciding on a completion date, make sure to also take possible conflicts or roadblocks into consideration. Try to find the right balance between a realistic timeframe that will keep your employees motivated, but also one that will not cause unnecessary stress. Whether you circle the date on your calendar, set an alarm on your phone, or follow a daily countdown - it’s time to grind!
Set goals that align with organizational values
Whenever one of your employees hits a goal, their achievement will contribute to the overall success of your team - so goals should always be planned within the scope of your organization's values and aspirations. When goal setting with your employees, circle back, and establish how that specific goal will benefit the overall team. Why is that particular goal important, and how will it contribute to future plans or next steps within the organization? Organizations will only evolve as employees develop - effective goal setting will ensure that your company can scale successfully.
Related Article: How to give feedback to get better results
Set goals that are measurable
As the saying goes, sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination. Those who achieve their goals know how to track benchmarks and growth from the very start. Identifying key metrics or indicators of success are great for establishing when and how a goal is met, but also monitoring progress. Ensuring goals can be tied to something measurable will not only keep employees accountable but can be both informative and encouraging when reflecting back on progress made.
Set goals in an open feedback loop
When it comes to goal setting, the last thing you want to do is establish a goal then hang your employees out to dry. Make it a habit to check in with them and discuss how their progress is coming along, or ask if they need any additional support. Goals may need to be altered or tweaked based on organizational changes, and it’s much easier to regroup when everyone is on the same page. Plus, performance reviews or one-on-one feedback meetings never seem as daunting or intimidating when there has been constant, open communication.
Related Article: Benefits of Positive Reinforcement in the Workplace
Celebrate achieved goals to pave the way for continued growth
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways you can boost employee morale and performance. Whether an employee achieves their end goal or accomplishes a crucial stepping stone along the way, it’s important to recognize a job well done. Acknowledging employees for wins both big and small will encourage them to challenge themselves while also building confidence in their abilities. So celebrate your employees when they crush goals, then encourage them to strive for even more!