Helping employees set goals is an essential responsibility for any manager.
By helping to set definitive and attainable goals, a manager doesn’t just support the improvement of employees, but also actively helps bolster the company’s reputation as a great place to work. Moreover, helping staff members set goals supports the performance review process and deeper employee engagement.
If you are looking to help your employees set goals, consider the following tips.
Discuss Job-Specific Goals
Your employees may have dreams of everything from earning their MBA to opening a food truck. However, you really can’t help them with goals that fall outside of your purview. Therefore, any discussion about goal setting with employees ought to start with job-specific goals.
Goals related to productivity and efficiency are a good place to start but trying to hit performance metrics will be meaningless if you don’t show employees how being more productive translates to personal success, such as a financial bonus or high potential for promotion.
The key here is to hold the discussion and find out how each employee can achieve their goals while working within the boundaries of their job description.
Align Employee Goals with Company Goals
Ideally, an employee’s personal goals ought to dovetail with the company’s overall strategy. When staff members understand how their individual work and goals contribute to organizational growth, they’re more focused and inspired to achieve goals that foment success for both the company and them. Importantly, communicating company goals and regularly emphasizing the overall mission can help staff members connect the work they do to the bigger picture.
In a 2017 report, McKinsey noted that connecting organizational goals employee goals led to employees being more accountable and engaged in the impact of their performance.
Focus on Achievable Goals
A goal-setting exercise is more likely to falls flat when the goal is too lofty or even unachievable, given the employee’s status, capabilities, and resources. Giving an employee an unachievable goal can result in aggravation and a lack of inspiration.
Good standards for goal setting are the past achievements of others. If an objective an employee has in mind has been achieved by others with comparable status, experience and training, it ought to be seriously considered. Perceived attainability will directly have an impact on an individual’s inspiration to act moving forward.
Don’t Forget About Rewards
It’s important to identify workers who set goals and then reach or surpass them. Recognition not only honors the worker’s hard work, but it also shows to other staff members the organization values dedication and diligence. Recognition creates incentives throughout the workforce. When hard work goes unrecognized, staff members are likely to feel there’s no point in working hard for your organization.
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