Are you ready to take your company to the next level? Yes? But do your employees seem to lack direction or motivation to push your company that higher level of success? There’s hope and help.
Business experts agree: goal-setting is one of the most effective ways of taking your company to new heights. You’ve set goals for your company; should you set goals for your employees as well? If so, how?
As you know, goal setting on a corporate level is important. Equally as important, however, is setting individual goals for employees. Setting goals with your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process. Each employee is at a different stage in their employment track, and as a result, may require different types of goals. Before establishing goals with an employee, determine which one would best suit their needs.
Different Types of Employee Goals
Performance Goals: These goals are used to monitor and track an employee’s effort in their position. Generally, these types of goals are developed after an employee has demonstrated a deficiency. Many employers think of performance goals as part of a ‘last-ditch’ effort to keep their job and improve performance.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You could turn this around and give more help to your high performers. Often, they are left to fend for themselves as they are seen as not needing help when they need help just as much as your other employees do – just in a different way.
Training Goals: Aligned with a training regime, this is an effective method of ensuring that a new employee (or an employee in a new position) receives the necessary training to start their job. Goals can be based on abilities, skills, or knowledge, and are designed to help track employee learning.
Opportunity Goals: Employees interested in advancing within the company may benefit from opportunity goals. Savvy employers and employees identify gaps in training and experience well in advance of job openings. This positions the employee to move quickly when an opening occurs and ensures they are prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.
Achievement Goals: An incentive to push forward, achievement goals may be tied to sales numbers, benchmarks or other criteria that encourages employees to stretch their success.
How to Set Goals with Your Employees
Once you’ve determined the type of goal that you need to set with your employees, how can you use goal setting effectively? A few simple steps can ensure that your goals are effective, engaging and empowering.
For maximum effectiveness, goals should be determined by both the employer and the employee. Allowing the employee to have input into their own goals gives them ‘buy-in’. One expert describes the manager’s role in employee goal setting as providing ‘supportive autonomy’.
In other words, the employer is available for support and guidance, but the employee has the flexibility to set their goals at a level where they are comfortable. Employees are more likely to work towards achieving the goals they have helped create, and their sense of ownership will motivate them to achieve their goals.
Align Goals with Corporate Ideals
By establishing goals that support the overall corporate goals, the employee can see how their efforts benefit the company. This helps keeps the employee engaged in the company’s pursuit of success and helps to propel both the company and the employee to greater success.
Use Goals to Challenge
Employers can help employees set goals that are attainable and challenging. Using goals to stretch employee achievement can provide energy and momentum within the company. Poorly designed goals can be destructive to morale and productivity. Use well-crafted goals to challenge your employees to constantly improve their success rate.
Setting goals with your employees can be effective, but what about employees who resist the idea?
Employees who resist setting goals may feel as though they are being forced to abide by rules and expectations. That is why it’s essential to include the employee in setting goals. Don’t allow unmet goals to go unnoticed – the feedback is essential to learning and employee growth.
Ultimately, goal-setting can be an integral part of your company’s success. It allows you to monitor productivity, keeps employees engaged and provides a measuring system by which you can keep employees accountable for their performance. Through employee-based goal setting, your company can achieve new levels of success. What are you waiting for?
Michele Bailey is the Founder of My Big Idea™. The My Big Idea™ Professional workshops can be used as an employee goal setting session. Find out when our next workshop is offered. Or, book your own by contacting us.