How Do I Set Achievable and Inspiring Goals for My Employees?

Looking forward to 2014...

There are two parts to being a successful business. One is having the ability to plan ahead, and the other is ensuring the plan becomes reality by setting goals--and consistently achieving those goals.

To be successful and accomplish something worthwhile, you have to follow a plan. And when you’re referring to workplace and business success, it’s not just about you setting and working towards goals – it’s about your employees doing those things too. That’s why it’s so important to set goals that your employees can and want to achieve. Before you can even start thinking about the specifics of your 2014 goals, you must know how to craft reasonable, achievable goals for your team that support your company goals. Keep in mind, no one wants to feel like they’ve been set up to fail from the very beginning. 

Involving others in the goal-setting process is critical for companies. The more you can involve your employees in setting goals for themselves, the more committed to those goals they are likely to be.

It’s also vital that you find the right balance between a stretching goal and an unachievable one. Goals should give your team something to reach for. Those goals should not be unreachable, and their attainment or lack of attainment should not be dependent on a fact of circumstances beyond the employee’s control. You should always consider what types of goals would inspire passion among your employees. Companies should consider how to provide workers with more visibility and clarity into how each individual makes an impact on the company and the range of the industry.

A key factor that helps in goal setting is tying the goals and their desired results to something employees really care about. Put yourself into the employee's shoes by asking “What’s in it for me?” This will help with buy-in, which means you need to know what’s important to your employees. We’ve found that employees claim salary and promotion/job advancement to be the key factors in job satisfaction and employee retention, as well as financial incentives, support and recognition from management, and additional benefits, making a difference, and having challenging work to keep them engaged.  

Please remember a company is only as good as its employees, so it’s also logical that a company goal is only as good as the employees supporting it. Hitting your goals in 2014 is simple: make sure you can craft achievable goals that inspire passion and directly benefit your team so everyone can succeed in the new year.