4 Simple and Straightforward Employee Goal Setting Tips

a poster on how to achieve goals with effective employee goal setting

Employee Goal Setting Done Right
You can make the process of employee goal setting fairly simple or incredibly complex. But in the end, what matters is whether or not you have succeeded in reaching the team objectives in a way that makes sense.

Effective Employee Goal Setting Creates Understanding and Commitment
We believe that the process of employee goal setting should be rather simple and straightforward…no need to follow elaborate formulas. The key is how well the goals are understood and how committed the teams are to achieving them.

Four Simple and Straightforward Employee Goal Setting Tips
Here are some tips on how to do get employee goal setting right:

1. Actively Involve the Team
Don’t dictate employee goals and success metrics. Actively include your team in setting the targets and determining how success will be monitored and measured. Give your teams the power of ownership and help them share the commitment to success.

Work together to establish what you need to do to achieve the goals and what it will take to get there. This way you gain their agreement and buy-in from the beginning.

2.  Share Where Employees Fit
Employees are more engaged when they can see just how their contribution directly fits within the company plan. The overall corporate strategy and how team and individual goals align with that strategy have a key influence on how much discretionary effort workers put into goal achievement.

The shared knowledge of where the company is headed and the transparency of the company vision will promote cooperation and accountability.

3.  Don’t Overwork It
Employee goals should be few and simple. Set them and get started. The longer you worry about getting the wording just right or including everything, the longer it will take to get going and the more ambiguity you will likely create. The key is to keep track as you make progress and be willing to adjust as needed to stay on the right path.

4.  Measure and Publish
Celebrate milestones,  keep everyone apprised of progress and share the remaining tasks. Then employees can increase their efforts if needed or focus their time a bit differently. Exposure creates a kind of social pressure and healthy competition that is brought to bear as progress is publicly tracked.

Be sure you recognize special effort as well as attend to failing areas that need your support and encouragement.

The Bottom Line
Setting clear, achievable, agreed-upon goals plays right into the major areas of employee engagement related to teamwork, alignment with goals, feeling valued, individual contribution, and job satisfaction. Now you know why you want to do goal-setting right!

To learn more about effective employee goal setting, read 4 Attributes  to Make Your SMART Goals SMARTER

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