How To Set Effective Employee Goals?

by Chandler Barr Jul 21,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Did you ever wonder why your employees are not able to achieve their targets or why they are disengaged at their work? With everyone starting to work from home due to COVID-19, this situation has become even more common. There is a very simple answer to this: your employees don’t have clear goals. When employee goals are not set correctly, not only the employees fail, the organization gets affected too. 

Often the accounting industry ignores the importance of a proper goal-setting process for its employees. They fail to miss the point that it is as important as their other processes. As managers, if you are implementing a goal-setting process for the first time, then here are some tips for you.

Employee Participation

Involve your employees while setting their goals. Don’t create their goals and force it on them. Take some time and discuss with your employees what their professional goals are. Encourage your employees to come up with their own list of short-term and long-term goals. Setting employee goals in this way won’t make it feel enforced, and employees will feel responsible for their goals. Employees, when they set their own goals, feel encouraged, and they are more engaged in what they do. When employees are part of the goal-setting process, it results in the creation of job-specific goals, which helps increase employee productivity. 

Also Read: Why Engagedly Is The Ultimate Goal-Setting Software That You Need!

Aligned Goals

Every employee’s goal should be linked upward with the team, department, and organizational goals. When employee goals align with that of the organization, they will understand how and where they fit in the bigger picture. Once they understand how they contribute to the organization’s success, they become more productive. Employees who understand how their goals align; they tend to be more engaged, motivated and focussed to achieve their goals.


Although setting ‘SMART’ goals might sound a bit cliche, it is still the best technique to set goals to achieve success. Employees and managers should work together to set employee goals which are realistic and achievable. Extremely challenging goals will decrease employee morale and productivity while too easily achievable goals reduce their levels of engagement. So it is always advisable to set ‘SMART’ goals. The acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for:

  • Specific–The goal should be specific and clear
  • Measurable–All goals should be measurable so that their progress can be tracked easily.
  • Achievable–A goal should be easy to achieve
  • Relevant–Goals should be relevant to the overall organization and department goals
  • Timely–Goals should be time-bound
Also Read: Are Your Employees Setting Strong And Effective Goals?

Use OKRs

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) was introduced by Andy Grove and was later popularized by John Doerr while working at Google. Objectives are something that you want to achieve, while Key Results are a measure of how much it has been achieved. In the OKR process, each objective is linked to a key result. OKRs give a clear and concrete idea about goals, and when goals are cascaded, it helps employees to collaborate on a single goal and collectively work towards achieving key results. Example of Objective and Key Result can be:

Objective: Improve the tax compliance

Key Results:

Reduce the audit adjustments from 3% to 1%.
Conduct external tax compliance audit.

Engagedly’s goals module allows you to set objective and key results for your goals

Goal-Setting For New-Hires

It is a good practice to make your employees acquainted with the way the organization works from day one, especially when now everyone is getting on board remotely. Structure employee goals for each new hire before their onboarding day. Design their training programs keeping in mind what specific goals they will fulfill. Assign a mentor to each new hire with whom they can connect online whenever they are in doubt. Mentors will help the new hires make an easy transition into the organization structure.

Also Read: Know How To Make Your Employee Feedback Work

Frequent Check-Ins

A manager’s duty is not over after the employees have successfully set aligned goals. As a manager, it is important that you track employee goals from time to time throughout the year. Don’t wait for the year-end performance review to gauge its success. Request your employees to do periodic check-ins on their goals. Using a simple performance management tool, sharing information over an email, or a normal discussion over a one-on-one meeting, are some simple ways to monitor the progress of the goal.

Reward Small Wins

Reward and recognize your employees when they complete their goal or reach a specific milestone. Simple praise, acknowledgments via email, or paying bonuses to employees are enough for them to know that organization values their hard work and commitment. Employee rewards and recognition drives employee engagement and productivity. Currently, when everyone is working from home rewarding and recognizing your remote employees is the best way to keep them engaged and motivated towards their work.

Find out more about Engagedly’s Goal Setting module by requesting for a free demo!

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Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Get in touch with us to know more about the free remote working tool-kit. 

Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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