Here’s How To Set Effective Goals For Your Employees

by Srikant Chellappa Oct 18,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

In 2020, when everyone is working remotely, the importance of setting effective goals cannot be undermined. Having clear and well-defined goals help employees to be engaged and stay focused at work. It motivates them, helps prioritize work, and enhances decision-making skills.

If you are setting or planning goals for yourself, then it might seem quite easy to manage. But as a manager, if you are setting goals for your team, then it is not an easy task to make them effective.

Here are some tips by which you can set effective goals for your employees.

Set SMART Goals

The concept of SMART goals was first introduced by George T. Doran in 1981 and has been in use ever since. SMART goals help employees understand their goals better, which improves their chances of success. It focuses on five key areas:

– Specific: Goals should be clear and specific. It becomes easier for employees to understand what is to be achieved. If goals aren’t specific, they will fail sooner or later

– Measurable: Goals must be measurable so that employees can track the progress of their goals easily. It will help them track achievements and define success

– Achievable: Goals cannot be too easy, nor can they be too difficult. Easy goals will not challenge the employee, whereas a difficult one will demotivate them

– Relevant: Goals should be relevant and linked to the overall organization and department goals

– Time-Bound: Goals need to be carried out within a specific time period. When goals are time-bound it drives performance, and employees stay motivated and engaged

Also Read: Why Healthcare Administrators Should Set SMART Goals

Include Your Employees

As per recent research by Gallup, only about half of employees understand their job expectations.

The goal setting process should be a collaborative effort between a manager and an employee. Encourage employees to identify their own job-related short-term and long-term goals. Once the employees have identified their goals, managers should guide them to align it with the business objectives. When employees set their own goals, they feel more accountable for the results. In addition to this, the goals do not feel imposed, and they tend to be more productive and engaged at work.

Also Read: The Essential Guide To Employee Productivity In A Hybrid Setup

Align The Goals

According to a report by McKinsey&Company, 91 % of businesses noticed an improvement in profits when organization goals and key strategies were linked to team performance goals.

For employee goals to be effective, they should be aligned with the team, department, and organizational goals. Employees who understand what role they play in an organizations’ success tend to be more productive and are more engaged at work. When they know how they contribute to the overall picture, they are more focused and motivated, which results in success for the organization.

Make Them Adaptive

Goals should be flexible so that they can be updated with the changing priorities of the organization. Most organizations commit the mistake of not revisiting their goals or updating them until it is the time for employee performance reviews. Having flexible goals makes them relevant and important for the employee and the organization.

Also Read: Employee Engagement Software To Help Enhance Productivity

Track The Progress

Once the goals have been set, the next step is to create a plan to track and monitor the progress of the goals. When goals are tracked, it helps identify problems as well as the progress of the goals. As a manager, help employees identify key milestones and set up a timeline to achieve the same. Review the progress of the goals from time to time and share feedback with your employees. This will help them to stay focused and aligned with the organizational goals.

Reward The Achievers

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” — Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru, and Author.

When employees receive recognition and rewards for their work or completed goals, it shows that their work is being valued and appreciated. Rewards and recognition can be in the form of certificates, simple acknowledgments, bonuses, or even announcing it over the organization’s social media. It reflects organization values and helps in building a culture of appreciation throughout the organization. It also works as an encouragement for others to work hard.

Also Read: Employee Rewards & Recognition During COVID-19

Use A Goal Setting Software

We all know COVID-19 has changed the way we all work today. Many organizations globally have ditched the traditional goal setting process and have invested in a goal setting software to set and manage the goals of their employees. If your organization has not invested in one yet, it is the right time to do so. Goal setting software helps to create and manage goals easily for everyone in the organization. In addition to that, it also improves the visibility of the goals and helps to track them easily.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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