Business leaders must set job goals for their employees to ensure efficiency. However, they should tread cautiously, ensuring not to micromanage their teams while providing them with the right work-life balance. They should also make them effective and help them contribute to the company’s overall goals.
Effective performance management depends on realistic goal setting. This outcome is achievable by setting the right tone for the year ahead with goals that compel business results and enable employees to be successful. These goals usually relate to accountability, productivity, motivation and job satisfaction. This article explores employee performance goals and how to set them.
What are Employee Performance Goals?
Performance goals are short-term objectives an employee is expected to achieve within a specified period. These goals are usually attached to distinct job positions and are selected after
assessing the tasks and duties required for an employee to accomplish. Performance goals are often a subset and add to overall company goals. They let employees know what their position requires, so it is necessary to specify performance goals as distinctly as possible and make them easy to measure.
Many companies use a performance management system to evaluate how employees accomplish their goals. This assessment constitutes the basis for employment decisions like
promotions, pay raises and transfers. In a way, employment goals lay out a short-term career path for each employee. Then, they tell the employees what they should work toward to earn a pay raise or a new position.
Setting Employee Goals that Drive Performance
The following tips are helpful for your team to set goals, motivate, engage employees and drive their year-round performance.
Include Employees in the Goal-Setting Process
Employee goals should be a collaborative effort to get buy-in on employee goals from employees and managers. Managers have an excellent bird’s-eye view of the team and business priorities, which can help them identify helpful performance benchmarks for their team. However, it’s essential to welcome employees into the conversation, including them in the goal-setting process.
By setting goals for themselves, employees become more invested in their performance from the beginning and are, therefore, more accountable for the results.
Set Targeted Goals for Continuous Improvement
Setting meaningful goals won’t be easy if you don’t know where you’re going. What is your ultimate business objective, team vision, or employee development plan? How can your employee’s goals help you get there?
When you meet with your employees, providing them with this important context is critical. If they understand the broader team goals and company priorities, they will be able to set more effectual goals that will have a more significant impact on their individual and business
Once you’ve set goals together, check in regularly on their progress. Goal conversations aren’t a one-and-done task. Instead, they should be part of an ongoing growth cycle.
Choose the Correct Type of Goal
There are numerous ways to approach goal-setting. Consider using the SMART method or the O.K.R. method to achieve results.
The S.M.A.R.T. Method
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym. Each letter is one of the five measures of a “SMART” goal. The SMART principles maintain that if people focus on these five areas when setting goals,
they will increase their chances of success.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Should Be:
- Specific: The more focused and detailed your goals, the clearer your target. Your team’s purpose should be to answer the question of who, what, where, and why.
- Measurable: How will you know if you are meeting your goal if you can’t measure progress? You should help employees set quantifiable goals with clear metrics and milestones for tracking progress and defining success.
- Attainable: Aiming high is good, but ensure your employees are realistic in their plans. Ask if they have the tools and resources to make it happen. Is the timeframe realistic? Reaching for impossible goals is a great way to demoralize and disengage employees when they fail to meet their goals. So make sure they set goals that push them without breaking them.
- Relevant: Goals should always align with the overall team and business objectives. Help employees understand those priorities, so they can hone in on goals that make sense for them and the business.
- Time-bound: Goals without a deadline, unfortunately, kill performance. Time limitations help propel performance by creating a sense of urgency. Conversely, too much time can delay implementation. And too little time can lead to burnout from overworking or abandoning the goal altogether. Help your employees set fair and realistic timeframes for achieving their goals.
- The S.M.A.R.T. method is a tried-and-tested approach that works exceptionally well by aligning employee goals to organizational priorities. However, it can occasionally focus too heavily on goal-setting and not enough on goal-getting. This stress can lead employees to “set it and forget it” until the following annual review.
It is vital to set motivating and engaging performance goals. Hopefully, this blog has put you on the right path for helping your team achieve its goals. At BHC Group we are experienced in helping you implement job performance goals for your employees. Give us a call, and let’s discuss how we can help.