Goal setting in the workplace is an essential ingredient for success. We’re not talking about the dry, statistical, mandatory requirements that feel like chains and just take up time in a meeting. You need goals that kick start the entire company and inspire your team to take action and move forward with excitement.
Exciting and challenging goals can shape the future of your company. Effective goals should give both management and employees the power to direct their daily responsibilities and careers. But how do you set worthy goals and see them through? We all know how easy it is to pledge yourself to a healthy lifestyle on January 1st but revert to chocolate cake on the 6th.
Here are a few characteristics of effective goals:
Goals should be specific and realistic. Instead of saying you want to increase sales, state that you want to increase sales by 15 percent in 90 days. After carefully crafting a goal, make specific sub-steps to ensure results.
Make a goal poster to hang up in the office. Visible tools like posters, progress meters, or daily reminders will keep your workforce enthusiastic. This promotes the idea that goals are the company’s job, not just the employers. It also reinforces that fact that the goal is NOT forgotten, but rather a work in progress.
Okay, so not all companies are like Apple and have the hip factor on their side or a tear-jerking cause like cancer research. That means it’s your job as the boss to assist your employees in understanding their purpose.
By understanding that their everyday labor draws big-scale results, you can help everyone recognize their role in helping the company achieve goals. Failing to provide a “why” is the fastest way to abandon a goal. It can also hurt morale for a team player to feel as though their efforts are unrecognized… or worse yet, unappreciated.
Goals should be out of reach, but definitely not out of sight. Have you ever asked a child to stretch out their hands and jump as high as they can? Then you incrementally raise the level which they have to jump and suddenly they are astonished at how high they can go! Goal setting is the same way.
Increased performance always follows increased desire and increased standards. Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Set goals that challenge change!
It is also important to note that it is important for employees to establish personal goals for review and accountability, but even the simple creation of goals can help increase your employees’ success.
Individual employee goals can encompass things such as improving customer service techniques, gaining more responsibility, overseeing a project, or bringing in more clients. Employee goals can enrich the environment in your business, not to mention add some personal accountability! As you show an interests in your employees personal goals and do what you can to encourage and help them achieve goals you are building a work environment that fosters success.
Even with the most rewarding and exciting goals in place the process of actually reaching the goal can be uncomfortable. Excellent! Successful people rarely operate inside their comfort zone. In fact, there are two zones: the comfort zone and the growth zone. Your growth zone directly follows your comfort zone. The choice is yours, but the comfort zone can quickly turn into an apathy zone.
Finally, understand and appreciate the importance of good rewards. Just like a kid can do chores and earn an ice cream cone, incentivizing rewards can motivate your team to action! Promotions, bonuses, gifts, even something as simple as recognition are great ways to inspire.
So try setting new goals with your company today and ask yourself, “Is what we’re doing today as a company getting us closer to where we want to be tomorrow?”