To achieve any form of success or achievement, we always have to strategize how we are going to get there, with step by step planning.
According to a Harvard Business School Study, people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals.
If you are an employer or team leader, goal setting for your employees is one of your key roles. These goals need to be set well in advance and in an effective manner so that you can capitalize on the strengths of your employees, and also help them work on their weaknesses. Regular goal setting not only keeps employees engaged, but also helps them stay motivated to do better.
If you are also looking out for tips that can help you set better goals for your employees, here are a few tips that can be helpful –
1. Let Employees Self Analyze
Employees know their situation best. The best of talent always know what they need to improve on and the kind of support they desire. As managers, you need to listen to what state the employee thinks he is at, and how can he get better. The key to set meaningful goals will lie a lot on listening to what your team needs.
You can set a list of values at the start of each quarter and ask your employees how they think they fared on each of them. This will give them a chance to think and reflect on their own personal development, work on filling the gaps and direct it to a strategy that can help them perform better.
Once you have heard the employee’s side of the story, you need to think about how you can do your best to help them enhance their goals and remove things which might not be of immediate concern. The goal here is to have a mutual discussion and come up with a list of goals that you both agree with. The communication should be transparent and fair, taking each party’s feedback into consideration.
Before even going ahead and listing out goals that you think is important, you should create a friendly rapport with your employee or team, making them feel safe and empowered enough to raise their suggestions freely. Encourage them to voice out their concerns and listen more than you speak.
3. Plan Together
Once a mutual space has been arrived at, it is time to strategize and plan for the individual goals and growth paths. These need to align with the larger company goals and values.
Knowing what the employee wants and where he stands will enable you to plan specifically for individual goals. This can include details about specific labor hours, project deadlines, learning and development goals or outside costs for education. Jointly set these benchmarks, and then schedule in times for their achievement, keeping recognition, breaks and occasional celebratory ideas in the loop.
4. Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations for employees drives what we know as “intrinsic motivation.” When employees can see the value that their contribution can have towards a much higher cause, they are more than willing to do their best. Clear goals and regular coaching to achieve these goals are key to driving this intrinsic motivation.
Setting clear goals is not just about the job description. It reflects tasks that an employee has to carry out on a day to day basis for the achievement of short-term and long-term goals. It requires clear-cut roads mutually set out for each employee and his specific job role.
5. Constant Mentoring
The work isn’t over once the goals are set because just knowing the goals isn’t enough. Your employees will also need help in understanding how to get there. This is where you need to come in and mentor them.
Time and again, your employees will be presented with challenges in a dynamic work environment. You need to be available in times of crisis and help them navigate through certain unforeseen situations. Take the time out to understand their needs and enable them to power through the challenges through right coaching techniques. Connect them with people in the organization for employees to be able to understand different facets of getting a job done.
6. Make Employees Accountable
Accountability is critical to achieving high performance. Till the time an employee is not willing to take full responsibility for fulfilling the needs of a job successfully, he will not give it his 100%. Without accountability, establishing expectations or spending time coaching or giving feedback is also a waste. This is why effective performance development should require managers and employees to sit regularly to review progress.
One way to create more accountability among employees is by conducting progress reviews where managers and employees equally contribute to creating opportunities, prioritizing tasks collaboratively, and determining and changing goals as required. These goals should be achievement-oriented, fair, and contribute to the learning and development of the employee.