Every manager hopes to have employees performing at top levels, but this is easier said than done. One great way to ensure success is by instituting a goal-setting program.
For goals to be effective, they must be carefully crafted, executed and assessed. Without deliberate and careful planning, even the best intentions can fall flat.
These six steps can help your organization achieve results.
Set SMART Goals
First, managers and workers must decide what they want to accomplish. It is easy to list vague benchmarks such as “increase profits” or “find more customers.” However, these are difficult to attain. Therefore, stick to goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time limited. For example, change “Increase profits” to “Increase widget sales 25% by July 1.” Once goals are established, record them somewhere visible. You and your employees need to remember what you are working toward.
Make a Plan
It is important to set up employees for success. Before implementing the plan, identify everything that may be required. Extra training? More time? Additional resources? Also, if an individual or team is less experienced, you may have to break down the overall objective into more manageable pieces. The widget sale example could be divided into three smaller chunks: 1) Expand social media outreach by 50 percent in March; 2) Increase newsletter sign-ups by 50 percent in April; and 3) Log 2,000 follow-up contacts in June. Once again, prominently display micro-goals along with anticipated completion dates.
Answer the “Why?”
Sometimes goals can be confusing. Unfortunately, employees often work toward established objectives without understanding why. As a manager, answer the questions, “Why are we doing this?” and “Why will this goal benefit the company?” Putting goals into context can go a long way toward empowering and motivating your workforce.
Provide Regular Updates
To advance and improve, humans need feedback. Goals should not be stashed away until a yearly performance review. Constant communication is key. Depending on the situation, schedule evaluations as required: every quarter, every month or every week. In addition, foster a culture where negative feedback is viewed as a growth opportunity rather than a cause for a demotion. Recognize success publicly. Coach privately.
As you and your team move toward targets, consider the effectiveness of goals. Were objectives relevant? Were they too easy, too difficult or just right? Increase or decrease expectations, troubleshoot problem areas, remove roadblocks and offer advice. Be sure to ask employees for their input too.
Embrace the Challenge
Keep the momentum going during the goal-setting program with a sense of fun. Use colorful illustrations, charts or diagrams to document progress. Acknowledge small victories along the path with spontaneous rewards. Take the time to recognize long-term successes with impromptu celebrations, additional compensation or team awards.
Are you looking for more ways to maximize the potential of your employees? Aventure Staffing provides advice on a variety of topics ranging from showing employee appreciation to building leadership potential. Visit our blog for weekly updates.