Writing employee goals for the first time? Here is a checklist you need to follow in order to ensure that you are creating good and SMART goals for your employees.
One of the main motives behind you creating goals for your employees as a manager should be personal improvement. A goal which helps an employee improve and gain new skills is going to be a good goal by default because personal improvement is a part and parcel of an employee’s development. Employees cannot remain static.
Goals should be attainable, not cause workplace burnout
One of the keys to setting good goals is that they should be slightly unreachable. However, managers should not go to the extreme and set completely unreachable goals. If your goals are causing your employees to pull countless all-nighters or are stressing them out, they are completely missing the point. You don’t want your goals to burn out employees. You should be aiming for motivation.
Challenging and engaging, should be a team effort
Employee goals should ensure that employees do not work as individual contributors but rather work with others to ensure the completion of goals. Goals that can be easily be met by employees are not challenging them enough or even engaging them. On the other hand, a goal that forces an employee to step out of their comfort zone is a goal that is challenging. And even better if the goal in question forces employees to engage with other employees.
Goals should be measurable, but not just in a statistical sense
If we only counted goals in terms of numerical progress, then by that logic, it would be very easy to declare a goal as a failure or success. When it comes to setting goals for employees, one of the things you should keep in mind is measurability. It’s good if you can measure a goal in terms of numbers and even better if you can measure the impact that a goal has had. The impact a goal has had is always a better indicator of success than the numerical status of a goal itself.
For example, an employee is given a goal where he needs to convince 50 other employees in the office to use a new software. In terms of numbers, if 50 employees have downloaded that software and used it even once, then the goal is a successful one. However, if those 50 employees stopped using the software after a period of time, then has the employee really succeeded at the goal?
How is the goal helping the team and the organization?
All goals cannot be tied to team goals and the organization, that is true. However, when setting a goal for an employee, it is important to remember that as much as possible, a goal should contribute towards the overall team and organization goals. If a goal is not directly contributing to a team or the organization’s success, it should at least account for an employee’s personal development. If the goal is not even helping the employee improve professionally, then the goal shouldn’t exist in the first place.
Is the goal static or can it be modified in the long run?
Ideally, you should be able to modify goals in the long run. Because, in the process of achieving a goal, the employee and manager might suddenly find that the objective of the goal needs to change. Or that they might need to add other objectives to the goal.
How does the goal affect, you, the manager, personally?
This is one other thing you need to take into consideration. How does the goal you set for your employee affect you? Does it tie into any personal goals you have? And if it does, how do you measure the goal? How much is the employee contributing towards the goal? These are few of the questions you should ask when creating goals for employees.
Do your goals agree with what the employee has in mind?
Last but not the least, this is one of the most important factors to consider when creating a goal. Does your goal match with what the employee has in mind? If it does, great, you can go ahead and set that goal. If it does not, you’ve got to find a way to meet in the middle with the employee. A goal that is set for an employee without an employee’s input is one that is doomed. If employees are not invested in a goal or even motivated by it, then they will not be able to pursue it.
Engagedly’s Goals module allows you set goals not only for yourself but also for your direct reports! Request a demo today to see how our Goals module works and how it can help you!