two men in business meeting
You can boost company morale and increase staff retention with the appropriate goal setting practices. — Getty Images/TommL

Setting strong company and employee goals largely factors into the overall success of your business. Goal setting is a powerful exercise for individual employees, small teams and larger departments within your company, but it is also an important tool to measure your progress and year-in-review reports.

Here are six tips for setting goals with your employees to promote lasting success.

Align goals with company objectives

When creating achievable and worthwhile goals, it’s important your employees are aware of the impact they have on the company. Allow them to see how meeting these goals contributes to the business’s success as well as their own. Goals are more effective when they’re tied to the company’s growth trajectory. Aligning employee objectives with company objectives boosts motivation and loyalty to your company, as well.

Ask employees their personal goals

Listening to your employees’ personal goals assists you in developing their goals as employees within the company dynamics. It also allows you to know your employees on a personal level, taking their entire self into account rather than just their “work self.” The more you take your employees’ personal goals into account, the more willing they’ll be to work hard and achieve them — with your business’s bottom line in mind.

[Read: 7 Smart Ways to Motivate Your Employees]

Set SMART goals

It’s important for employee goals to have direction and specifics to ensure completion. The SMART formula is a great way to drive this. Take the following into account:

  • Specific: Are your goals “to the point” and clear enough to make a lasting impression on your employee and the company?
  • Measurable: Be sure the goals have a scale or action involved to track progress.
  • Achievable: Ask if these goals are realistic to achieve and stretch the employee’s growth.
  • Relevant: Are these goals aligned with the company and the employee’s role?
  • Time-based: Setting a time limit or time frame for the goal’s completion and midpoint check-in creates accountability.

It’s critical to play an active role in assisting employees with their goals.

Create a plan for success

Once a goal is in place, create a plan with your employee with a series of actionable steps. Be sure the employee knows who they are dependent on and reporting to when it comes to this goal. It’ll help to break down large goals or projects into smaller, interim goals with time frames to achieve them. Keep the plan in an accessible file for you and the employee to review intermittently as the time to complete the goal draws closer.

[Read: Is Gamification Right for Your Business?]

Offer assistance

It’s critical to play an active role in assisting employees with their goals. Partnering with your employees requires open and honest communication for both parties. Ask your employee what will best help them achieve their goals and how you can assist them in the most effective ways. Employees may need additional clarification in certain areas or help in one part of their goal versus another. Keeping an open dialogue during and after the goal setting process will bring structure and a higher chance of successful completion.

Reward progress and achievement

Recognizing an employee’s achievement through rewards such as bonuses, awards or certificates shows the employee you appreciate their work. Additionally, it gives the incentive to continue with their goals and exceed them the next time around. Rewarding progress and achievements also shows the entire company the standards you’ve set as a leader and how the rest of your employees can reap these rewards.

[Read: 6 Things Every Boss Should Do to Build an Amazing Company Culture]

Creating employee goals, especially ones that align with your organization, is not only a critical step, it’s a necessary one to create accountability and success among your team. Armed with a positive mindset and these tips, create strong employee goals with your team to drive organizational and personal success within your company.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published March 03, 2020