Employees have a huge impact on the success of any business. If they excel, the company moves forward. If they perform poorly, the company suffers as well. So, how can you track and maintain your team’s performance? The answer is simple: you need to set goals and metrics for your employees. When you identify these goals, you give your employees clear responsibilities — they know what is expected of them. When evaluating their performance, having these goals allows for a productive and meaningful conversation. You and your employee will have common ground on which to assess progress, strengths, and areas that need work. Here are a few tips for setting valuable goals for your employees:
Have employees set their own goals
It’s a lot more inspiring for employees to establish their own objectives rather than having them assigned. What’s key here is that you don’t assume that all employees will do this on their own or that their goals will be what’s needed for the company as a whole. As a manager, implement a structure that includes employees articulating goals for themselves; but don’t stop there. Make sure you meet with each member of your team to review their goals, make adjustments where necessary, talk about any potential challenges they may encounter, and find out how you can be a support.
Make sure goals are within reach
There is a sweet spot when it comes to setting goals. They need to be lofty enough to fuel hard work, motivation, and growth, while also being reasonably attainable. If your team members’ goals are out of reach, whether because of lack of resources, market conditions, or level of experience, moral can quickly decline. Help your employees establish objectives that require dedication to achieve but that are also within reason for their current position.
Identify ways to measure progress
Employee’s goals should be tied to a specific period of time. Are these goals for the week, the month, or the year? Establishing a timeline increases accountability and focus. Especially for longer term goals, it’s also important to establish some clear markers along the way. If a team member sets a yearly sales goal, you should also identify some monthly or quarterly numbers for the employee to track his progress.
Set “Big” and “Small” goals
It’s important to encourage employees to set smaller goals — daily or weekly objectives — and larger goals — quarterly or yearly objectives. Smaller goals are great because they provide little bursts of motivation along the way – achieving something specific every week helps keep employees focused. Larger goals are equally important because they give the employee a chance to look at the bigger picture.
If you make goal setting a practice as a manager, you put yourself in control of your team’s success while empowering each employee with individual responsibility and motivation. By following these tips, you can get the most of out this practice. Just don’t forget to check in on progress towards these goals periodically — you and your employees need to remain accountable and continue to set new goals throughout the year.