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Best Practices for Setting Employee Goals

Don’t Go It Alone….

In working with a number of businesses, I am frequently asked how to go about setting employee goals. One manager told me that he sets goals for his employees every year, but they don’t seem to be achieved. He had read that setting goals was important to motivate his employees (he’s correct here!) so they had something to work toward, but he couldn’t understand why the lack of interest in the goals he set. When he got done with his story – I asked, "Who is setting the goals?" He responded – "I am since they report to me." There’s his mistake. We talked further and I explained that goals had to be set in conjunction with employees – you can’t just set goals and hand them to the employee and expect miracles. The employees were not involved in setting those goals and – unless you can read their minds – those are your goals, not their goals.

So…how do you go about setting employee goals? And…most importantly…ensuring those goals align with your overall business goals?

  1. Let your employees know you’d like them to think about their goals for the new year – ask them to write done what they’d like to achieve personally and professionally – and how they can help the business achieve its goals.
  2. Set aside time with your employees – one-on-one – to discuss their personal and professional goals. What do they want to achieve personally and professionally? Where do their interests lie?
  3. Discuss the business goals with them – share your strategic plan and your thoughts on how the business can achieve its goals in the next year. Share with them how you believe they can help the business achieve the goals.
  4. Come to agreement on their goals for the year, and how those goals align with the business goals. Develop a plan on how they will achieve those goals – what do they need from you in support of achieving those goals? You may want to consider doing a bit of Action Planning here.
  5. Check in with your employees (per their action plans) on a regular basis to see how things are going. This should be part of your regular feedback sessions with employees.

It’s important to remember that the goals of your employees are as important as your own goals for the business. Just like you have hopes for your business – your employees have hopes on what they want to achieve personally and professionally. If you don’t help them achieve their goals – in alignment with the business goals – they will go somewhere else where they have the opportunity.

So….what are you doing to help your employees achieve their goals. A new year is coming up quickly….start today!

Your thoughts? How has an employer helped you to achieve your goals? Or not – where have they failed? If you are an employer, how are you helping your employees achieve their goals? Need help in thinking it through? Contact me today for help! You’ll find your business so much more successful if you align your employees’ personal and professional goals with the business goals.

Happy Holidays All!