Tips for Setting Goals
Achieving a goal should yield growth, so make sure that each goal you set is attainable, but isn’t such a breeze to accomplish that it requires little to no effort. That means that a goal must be specific, too, so that the employee and the manager have a metric and can clearly see whether it’s been met. That also means that setting only a few goals at a time will lead to continual progress; the employee can focus on fewer specific goals and, once those are achieved, move on to another set. Add the challenge, specificity, and low number to a goal that addresses an employee’s individual professional development and you have a recipe for success!
Consider the Benefits of Setting Simple Goals
Given that goals influence employees’ actions and by extension performance, emphasizing individuals’ goals can have a significant effect on the work environment. When everyone feels valued and like a contributor—when all the pistons are firing—you achieve optimum performance.
More specifically, attainable goals increase employee engagement, sense of value, and voice in the organization.
Increase engagement. When employees and managers clearly understand goals they’re able to better engage each other and the task at hand. They can—and must—communicate about goals and outcomes, so a clear understanding of expectations is essential.
Instill a sense of value. Recognizing an individual does more for that person’s self-esteem than does acknowledging them only as part of a group or filling a role. It’s the same with emphasizing the importance of an employee’s individual professional development. An employee will feel valued for the work they do and contribution they make rather than feeling that they’re only one of many people filling a particular role.
Give them a voice. Each employee should have a hand in setting their individual goals so that they have a sense of ownership and confidence in their ability to perform well. That said, the manager ultimately has the final word because goals should directly contribute to the organization’s objectives.
Track Goals and Progress in a Performance Management System
We’ve implemented the concepts above for a number of our clients, and we built the BLOOM® performance management system on the idea of simplicity, too. (We’ve also talked about goals in other blog posts, including one about defining competencies, values, and goals.)
When you use BLOOM for your employee management software you:
- Set a clear, specific objective
- Set the measurement for how the employee, manager, and HR know that goal has been met
- Set a hard deadline
- Track outcomes on completion
If you’ve already implemented a simple approach like this we’d love to hear about it, and if you’d like to see BLOOM in action we’re happy to show you how it works.