Goal setting gives employees a focus while enabling them to meet consistent production targets. Achieving goals can provide confidence and motivation for employees. Knowing how to work with employees to identify and reach goals can be difficult for managers. These are ways managers can successfully engage in employee goal-setting.
The first step to goal-setting with employees is to identify the right goals. Employee goals can consist of both performance and development goals. Performance goals relate to company set targets, such as a sales goal. Alternatively, professional development goals focus on obtaining particular skills to improve their career prospects. Both of these have benefits, and managers should make them in mutual consultation with their employees. Managers should set precise goals that have clear outcomes and take place within a certain amount of time. Managers also need to make sure that employees can reasonably obtain their goals.
Managers should not wait until the target completion date of a goal to follow up on progress. Annual performance reviews often mark the completion of goals, but quarterly performance reviews are a way to check-in on goals. Especially for companies that do not utilize quarterly reviews, regular meetings with employees allow managers to assess progress and problem solve. Managers can identify issues that delay progress in goal attainment if there are problems. If employees are meeting or exceeding expectations, it also allows them to share best practices to help others.
Another aspect of employee goal-setting is knowing when and how to adjust goals. There are many reasons that a manager might adjust employee goals. The needs of the company may change, which could cause alterations in production targets. Some employees may reach their targets easier than others and need an additional challenge. When these things happen, managers should be willing to sit down with employees to make changes to goals or identify new goals. Managers need to be clear about reasons for goal adjustments and ensure that employees have the appropriate resources to reach the new targets.
Employee goal-setting is vital to give employees a purpose and to help the company identify production levels. Managers should embrace employee goal-setting as an opportunity to both benefit the company and help an employee grow. Marking the occasion when employees meet goals and consistent communication throughout the process can aid in goal attainment.