Top 5 Tips for Helping Employees Set Goals

Setting goals is part and parcel of the professional business environment. Employees are encouraged to set goals for the coming year, then track them along with management over the next 12 months. The process is seen as a way to increase employee engagement and productivity.

Setting and pursuing goals offers viable benefits when good goals are chosen. But what qualifies as a good goal? A good goal is one that is achievable, serves a recognized purpose, and makes the employee and employer better. The trick is coming up with those goals when you don't know what the next 12 months have in store.

We have a few goal-setting tips we think might help your company:

 

1. Start with Company Goals

Employees need to fully understand their function within the company in order to establish good goals. How can they do that if they do not fully understand the company's goals? They cannot. As such, the starting point is for management to evaluate company goals at the start of the year.

Clearly established company goals give individual employees a blueprint for their own jobs. For example, sales goals tell each member of the marketing department what it is they are shooting for. Each one can set his or her own goals accordingly.

 

2. Honestly Assess Past Performance

Setting good goals for the coming year requires looking back on those established the previous year. The idea here is to honestly assess an employee's past performance. Not every goal will be achieved; we know that. Yet understanding why certain goals were not met lays the foundation for establishing new goals.

 

3. Encourage SMART Goal Setting

There is something in the HR world known as the SMART framework. This is a goal-setting framework that relies on certain key metrics:

  • Specificity
  • Measurability
  • Attainability
  • Relevance
  • Timeliness.

If you are not familiar with the SMART principle, take some time to read up on it. The concept is really helpful for establishing realistic goals that employees can achieve within the constraints and opportunities that are offered.

 

4. Encourage Team Member Collaboration

There is a tendency to expect employees to set their own goals individually. There certainly is room for that, but there is also room for team collaboration. Encourage team members to work together on both group and individual goals. Why? Because the team mindset makes it easier to understand individual roles within a larger system.

Picture a championship football team, if you will. Each member of the offense knows what his responsibility is. He also knows how failing to do his job will affect every other player. Such understanding helps players to define their goals and assist other players in defining the theirs. In fact, the team establishes both group and individual goals every time they huddle.

 

5. Establish a Recognition Plan

A big part of setting reasonable goals is knowing that you will be recognized for achieving said goals. Recognition among one's peers is great motivation to get the job done. As such, management can help in the goal setting arena by establishing a viable recognition plan.

A recognition plan holds employees accountable. It encourages them to do their best to achieve their stated goals. It can even create a sense camaraderie to some degree. Team members pay attention to individual achievements, recognizing them and encouraging their co-workers along the way.

The right goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Helping employees establish good goals is part of managing a successful business. Are you ready to start working on goals for 2020? Hopefully these tips will help.