Today, we’re going to talk about something every supervisor and employee should do: set goals. Whether timed to the start of the calendar year, or done in conjunction with quarterly or annual reviews, goal setting has far-reaching benefits. Setting Employee Goals.jpeg

Employees who set goals increase both their commitment and motivation, and they become more invested in their jobs and long-term career plans. Employers also benefit—the goal-setting process allows them to direct employees’ efforts toward maximizing accomplishments and… perhaps most importantly… toward supporting the company’s own long-term goals.

Sounds like a win-win… but how do you, as a manager, go about setting goals?

To start, know that goal setting will be most successful when you provide each employee with clear expectations regarding performance that are tied to an understanding of how his or her individual work contributes to the company’s overall goals.

To help make that happen, there are 7 key criteria that your goals should meet.

1. Be specific. Clearly communicate the tasks or behaviors employees must accomplish or demonstrate to achieve successful results. Performance goals should function to align employee growth and development with that of your business.

2. Be realistic. You need to set goals that are challenging, but attainable based on your employee’s knowledge, skills and resources. Ask the employee for input, and make sure you monitor and update goals as circumstances change. Your definition of “realistic” may change as the year proceeds.

3. Choose goals that can be measured, and make sure your employees understand exactly how they will be assessed. For example, a salesperson may be measured quantitatively via number of sales, whereas a support employee may be rated qualitatively based on customer satisfaction.


4. Use your calendar—and set deadlines. Setting firm but realistic timeframes for achieving goals will increase productivity. For ongoing or long-term goals, you should regularly monitor progress and offer feedback to keep your employees motivated and focused on your desired outcomes.

5. As you set goals, remember to prioritize. When goals are numerous or complex, it can be easy for employees to lose a sense of priority and simply jump from task to task. As the manager, it’s up to you to rank and prioritize goals so your employees understand the relative importance of each one.

6. Evaluating goals is also important. Since goals are designed to support both the company AND the employee’s personal development, you should evaluate and update goals based on changing business needs and the employee’s progress.

7. Finally, coordinate your employees’ goals so that they complement one another. Break apart more complicated goals into manageable pieces, and delegate them to each employee working as part of a team.

Be sure that any goal setting processes and measurements of performance treat all employees equitably and are in compliance with federal and state nondiscrimination laws.

How To Keep Employees Motivated [Video Blog]

Topics: setting goals, employee goals

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