How are you empowering your employees this year? Better question: Are you empowering your employees this year? Your business wants to grow. So do your employees. Setting goals to empower your employees and in turn, improving your business efficiency, is just a matter of unlocking a new door. Lucky for you, we’ve got the key.
And why does goal setting allow your employees to feel empowered? Because it creates a stronger sense of support within your company. And when they feel supported, they’re more likely to contribute to the team. Goal setting is also a great opportunity for employers to connect with their employees. Gaining a better understanding of their aspirations – and how those can align with your business – can be mutually beneficial if you’ve got a common finish line.
Here is our go-to guide to goal getting with the top strategies you should prioritize to support your employees and grow your business.
Devote Time to Creating SMART Goals
SMART goals are a great starting point for goal-getting, as they provide a roadmap for the process by identifying realistic and reachable goals. It’s much more encouraging to have goals with clear expectations and instructions on how to achieve them, than just throwing out goals without a solid anchor. Now, let’s lay down what SMART goals stands for.
- Be Specific: The more details, the better.
- Make it Measurable: Quantitative milestones are needed to evaluate progress.
- Keep it Achievable: Goals should be challenging, but realistic based on the employee’s skills, experience, and the team’s scope.
- Ensure it’s Relevant: Goals must apply to both the individual’s and team’s success and mission.
- Make sure it’s Time-based: Outline your dates and deadlines.
Goal Setting Is a Collaborative Effort
Now that you know what SMART goals are, you’re ready to learn how to implement them. The first step is to dedicate one-on-one time with each of your employees to brainstorm both professional and personal development goals. Take them out to lunch, grab some coffee, or tell them you’ll order Door Dash for them and meet them on a Zoom call, but make sure that this is time fully dedicated to them. The point is: you want them to open up, so why not treat them?
Professional goals correlate directly with job responsibilities that are critical to day-to-day business operations. Personal goals, on the flipside, are long term goals that are focused on growth and learning.
These personal goals are what truly matter because they make up your employee’s dreams and aspirations. The best employees feel supported by their company to reach their highest potential, rather than viewing the company simply as a paycheck. This focus on the importance of dreams and aspirations is what helps retain long-term employees who want to help you because you help them. And that right there is the best relationship you can have within any company.
As a business owner, have your employees brainstorm a few personal and professional goals prior to your meeting and have some of your own goals in mind as well. Leading by example, particularly in a goal setting situation, will help your employees feel more supported. So, make sure you’ve got a few of your own goals to share with your team.
Performance goals should also be shared in team settings, so that team efforts can be reached as well. Dedicate time, at least once a week, for your team to share their progress, adjustments, and obstacles they’ve encountered since they first set their goals. Weekly meetings are a great way of discussing progress and offering help for those in need. By creating a safe space to open up about struggles and obstacles, we accomplish more together. Because every business is different, though, find the schedule that works best for your team Safe spaces allow for greater transparency in the workplace, which helps create more trust.
OKRs: What Are They and Why Should I Implement Them?
OKRs, known as objectives and key results, are a framework that incorporates SMART goals into a measurable, trackable approach to achieve long term objectives using small, individual goals. For example, we’ll take our new year’s resolution and turn it into an OKR (we’re definitely gonna get in shape this year for the fifth year in a row). To reach our long-term goal of a hot summer bod, we set some weekly goals. Work out four times a week, drink two gallons of water a day, and whatever else that Instagram influencer said would work. Then, we sit down and reflect on our progress every week. Were we able to get in all our workouts? Should we add more workouts? Less?
It is important to note that OKRs and KPIs go hand in hand. KPIs are key performance indicators, which serve as a way to measure progress towards a goal. In this case, a KPI could be how many crunches we can do each week. By using this KPI, we can adjust our routine to ensure that we reach our OKR: that summer bod.
OKRs in your company work the same way. (Well, maybe minus the beach bod.) Or, probably better since you actually need to stick to it for the sake of your job.
To efficiently implement this framework, put together 3-5 quarterly objectives with the assistance of each employee’s direct manager, and make sure each objective follows the SMART model.
Everyone’s OKR progress should be reported every week to effectively measure progress. By reflecting on progress on a weekly basis, motivation and attitude will be boosted within your company as employees begin to see how all the moving puzzle pieces contribute to the overall mission. It is also important that OKRs remain flexible, so they don’t become unrealistic or too difficult to achieve.
What Are the Benefits of Goal Setting?
Goal setting creates a better understanding of what needs to be done, leading to more effective usage of time and resources within your company. Goal setting is used everywhere, not just offices. Or your living room, for all of you lucky remote workers. To set goals, you need to identify weaknesses and flaws, and brainstorm how to turn these into opportunities. Everyone has flaws to work on, even Ryan Reynolds. (Trust us, we asked him.)
Professional athletes, musicians, artists, and yes, you – all need goals for motivation and improvement. And to take it a step further, teams need goals, too. Think about an NFL team setting goals to score points, yards, wins and playoffs seeds. Maybe the Detroit Lions didn’t get the goal-setting memo this year? (Sorry Lions fans.)
Another important benefit to note is that goals help create a sense of accountability and elevated focus, as they are constantly revisited during weekly check-ins.
One last thing: Stick with it! Goal setting can be valuable if you remain consistent. It’s a constant learning practice and takes a lot of self-reflecting. Above all else, keep communicating, keep trying, and keep remembering why you set your goals in the first place. And who knows? Maybe you’ll win a few Super Bowls along the way.
Will you be adopting goal setting in your company? Share goals you plan to reach for in 2022 or tell us what additional goal-setting frameworks you believe are crucial to success in 2022 by leaving us a comment below.