Thursday, Jun 1, 2023

6 Employee goal setting tips for every manager

Setting employee goals can be tough, even for the best managers. If your team is in a different industry or expertise from your career experience,..

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Setting employee goals can be tough, even for the best managers. If your team is in a different industry or expertise from your career experience, you might not know where to start. Even if you’re managing employees with a similar context to yours, things might have changed from when you held the role. These employee goal-setting tips are sure to help you set meaningful, attainable goals for every member of your team, no matter their reality.

Skip to the tips!

  • 1. Set goals collaboratively
  • 2. Look to examples for inspiration
  • 3. Set goals that are attainable…
  • 4. …But keep a little challenge
  • 5. Play to each employee’s strengths
  • 6. Set employees up for success

How do you set employee goals?

There are a few different structures and methods you can follow to set goals, including our complete employee goal-setting framework. These best practices are a good baseline to aim for, so our employee goal-setting tips will carry the most impact.

  • Align employee goals with team goals: Make sure employees’ individual goals are directly connected to team and organizational goals. How does it contribute to the bigger picture?
  • Make goals SMART: a smart goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based. Always keep this acronym in mind and check that the goals you set with employees fit.
  • Create smaller milestones: A goal can be big, but it needs to have some smaller checkpoints along the way. How will your employee know they’re on the right path?
  • Define success: Set a clear picture of what success looks like. This can be tied to the SMART components of the goal, the team’s success, or another outcome.

Use a goal setting software

Tools like Officevibe’s one-on-one software can help you set employee performance goals simply, and connect them to team goals. Tracking progress is easy with smaller action items set at the end of every one-on-one meeting.

6 Tips for more effective goal setting

Once you’ve decided on your goal-setting process and you’re ready to sit down with your employee, follow these employee goal-setting tips to make the most of your meeting.

1. Set goals collaboratively

First and foremost, you want to set goals together with employees. People want a say in their own development, and your team members will be more committed to achieving their goals when they contributed to defining them. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your employee to outline some professional goals, together.

Arrive prepared: Set some talking points in your meeting agenda, like discussing your team goals and company objectives. Ask your employee to reflect ahead about where they’d like to feel more challenged or what skills they’d like to develop more.

2. Look to examples for inspiration

If you’re not sure how to properly formulate an employee goal, try looking at some employee goal-setting examples. Whether you’ve set lots of employee goals, never set employee goals, or haven’t set employee goals in a while, this is a good place to start. It will spark your inspiration and help you understand the key components that make up a well-structured goal.

Take it to the next level: You might look for specific goal examples based on the employee’s role, expertise, seniority, or industry. Or, you could seek out someone in a more senior role and ask them for some ideas.

3. Set goals that are attainable…

Ambitious goals can help push your employees to reach their full potential. But if it’s too ambitious to the point of being an unattainable goal, it can have the opposite effect. When employees get discouraged or start to question their abilities, it can really impact their motivation levels and morale. So don’t hesitate to scale a big goal back a little if necessary.

Scope it down: When you and your employee come up with a goal idea, try breaking it into smaller goals. Ask them how they could outline their goal in a timeline, or what steps they would take to achieve it.

4. …But keep a little challenge

On the other hand, you don’t want to set a goal that’s so easy that your employee doesn’t have to work for it. Employees should feel challenged by their goals, but in a way that’s exciting rather than overwhelming. It should be seen as an opportunity for growth, skills development, or career advancement. This is sometimes called a stretch goal.

Build it up: When you have a goal idea, try expanding it a little to make it bigger. Ask your employee how they could take it to the next level, what they would do next after achieving it, or what greater goal it could contribute to.

5. Play to each employee’s strengths

Everyone has different strengths, and the best goals are the goals that will build those strengths up. Whether it’s their technical skillset, area of personal interest, or natural abilities, try to incorporate employees’ strengths into their goals. At the end of the day, everyone’s personal ambitions, motivators, and work ethic are unique, so their goals should be, too.

For example: An employee with strong communication skills could have a networking goal. Or, an employees who enjoys learning could register for a course on a relevant topic to the industry or field.

6. Set employees up for success

Employee goal setting is one part of the equation. But it’s not enough to just help your employees set goals, you also need to help them achieve those goals with an action plan. Make sure you’re giving your employees everything they need to hit their key result or objective. Whether that’s additional resources, training, new software or technology, a coach or mentor, or something else.

Define goal success: When you’re setting goals with an employee, ask them what they would need to achieve them. Determine together what it will take, and how you can get those things in place for them.

You’re set for successful goal setting!

No matter what approach you take, these tips will help you with successful goal setting for every employee on your team. Use them to make every short-term goal and long-term goal achievable and motivating.


By: Nora St-Aubin
Title: 6 Employee goal setting tips for every manager
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2021 14:51:47 +0000

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