What Makes A “Good” Employee Goal (and How You Can Track Progress)
Establishing clear and measurable objectives is critical to the success and growth of your company, as well as the engagement of your company’s team members. Without setting achievable goals, work can feel directionless and unsatisfying, which may lead to complacency and increased turnover. Today, we’re digging into the ingredients that make up a “good” employee goal, while also showcasing some effective ways to monitor progress and keep employees accountable without damaging morale!
Ask Yourself: “Is This Reasonably Attainable” and “By When?”
Fresh off the onboarding paperwork and training, a new hire is energetic and ready to take on the world. It’s important to not set lofty goals and expectations this early in the game. If the goal is too difficult to achieve, it can result in frustration and a feeling of stagnation and failure, leading to burnout.
Before setting any goal in stone, leaders should ask themselves, “Does this team member have the tools, resources and experience they need to get it done? Have other folks in related roles been successful with similar goals?”
Based on what you know about this individual, their work style and work ethic, you should also choose an end date that gives ample time for completion — but isn’t so far ahead that it becomes an afterthought.
Don’t Try To Do Too Much At Once
Just as no goal should be too cumbersome, you should also be wary of setting too many targets simultaneously. Trying to balance more than five objectives at once can feel paralyzing — leaving teams at a loss for where to begin. We suggest keeping the total number of goals between three and five. Also, ensure that the target dates do not coincide with one another for no more than two goals.
A Professional Goal Should Strategically Align Individual Growth With the Progress of the Company
It isn’t enough to just hang up some motivational posters on the wall and plaster your website with your mission statement. Reinforcing your organization’s values in real-world ways can help strengthen the conviction behind your corporate culture. By taking the time to learn what each team member wants out of their employment, you not only show personal interest in their growth, but you can also strategically bake your values into their future direction.
If your company values “the pursuit of knowledge” and your employee has stated that they “never want to stop learning,” you may have just found the person to head up your next internal skill-building committee.
A Good Goal Should Be Trackable
Operating on a binary system of “complete vs. incomplete” statuses can cause employees to see their goals as daunting tasks instead of ongoing advancement toward something more significant. By providing trackable progress along the way, you can tap into the “gamification of work” strategy that helps individuals feel more satisfaction with the ground they’re making. Every step they take to accomplish their goal is another objective complete; every goal completed is another level up.
BPM Link Helps Establish and Track Goals Effectively
Keeping tabs on every single person within your organization would not only take a steady stream of hours you don’t have, but it could also make people feel like their boss is watching over their shoulder at all times. To help strengthen workplace engagement and combat these negative feelings, we have designed and launched our own employee performance management software called BPM Link.
This easy-to-use platform allows employees to drive the process — creating strategically aligned goals that not only allow them to meet personal professional objectives, but help push the business forward at the same time. Everyone wins. BPM Link provides real-time insights to management teams so they can see who is thriving in their role. The platform also facilitates coaching for those that may be struggling to keep up with their previously-established objectives.
The Role of Rewards and Accountability
If you set good goals, you can likely expect them to be accomplished most of the time. If you create tangible rewards for those goals, you can expect them to be accomplished even more often! People should know what they’re working for. Obviously, you could entice team members with monetary compensation, but you can also offer other incentives like additional days off, office decor stipends and public praise.
On the flip side, there should also be some sort of inducement if this person falls short. We aren’t talking about punishments here! Rather, we suggest setting up a “post-mortem” project meeting, working with this employee one-on-one and figuring out what went wrong. There’s a chance the working environment or resources available changed (hello, COVID-19), the goal was too stringent, the timeframe was too tight or their skillset simply didn’t match the objective. The loss of the reward and their personal frustration is likely “punishment” enough.
Have Additional Questions About Setting Employee Goals?
We invite you to get in touch with the BPM team today. If you’re looking to strategically align the goals of your organization with the personal pursuits of each team member, BPM Link is the right solution for you!