Goals are wonderfully effective and deceptively simple. They can play an instrumental role in making better employees and, thus, a better business. However, many people don’t understand how to set good goals or what kind of goals are helpful in a professional setting.
This article will explore exactly this. It will provide examples of good goals for employees. It will also explain some ways to make goals more effective.
What Goes into Employee Goal Setting?
Employee goal setting is incredibly important in the workplace. It gives everyone in a company a sense of direction, ensuring everyone is heading toward the same place. It also highlights points of improvement so that the company and everyone within it are constantly evolving and getting better.
One of the most important features of goal setting is to make the goals “SMART goals.” This acronym specifically relates to goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. So, just saying “I want to do more work” isn’t a SMART goal because it isn’t specific about the type of work being done, doesn’t indicate any measurement, and doesn’t give a time limit. Meanwhile, saying “I plan to help three customers by the end of the work day tomorrow” is a SMART goal because it specifies the goal, gives a measurement of helping three customers, is realistic for that person, relates to their job, and gives a time limit.
Types of Employee Goal-Setting
There are many different types of goals that employees can reach for. These include everything from leadership within a group to the development of personal skills.
Leadership is a critical skill for anyone in a leadership role. Thus, developing and flexing leadership abilities is just as critical. This can be done by setting the right leadership goals.
Leadership goals are generally the most wide-ranging and all-encompassing. Since leadership is related to so many different things, the goals relating to leadership can come from all over the place. This means everything from what the individual personally needs to do to properly manage others or things that they can do to improve their leadership skills.
Leadership goal examples include goals like:
By the end of the month, I will provide feedback for each member of my team.
On Monday, I will host a meeting between two team members who are arguing with each other to settle their differences.
I will attend the seminar our company is holding for all team leaders this July.
Performance goals are some of the most relevant goals for the largest number of people. This is because they directly relate to the job that the person has. This means that every employee can have performance goals.
What exactly those goals are will vary from person to person. A salesperson may want to increase the number of sales they are making. A baker may want to learn how to make a new style of dessert. Even a professional athlete can set goals about how many points they want to score in their next game.
These goals can also relate to improving the individual's ability to do their job. For example, the salesperson may want to learn more about their product to make more sales.
Performance goal examples include goals like:
Next quarter, I will make 10% more sales than last quarter.
At the end of the month, I will conduct a self-review of my performance.
Next Wednesday, I will score above 90% in my coding workshop next Wednesday so that I can improve my coding skills.
Time management is critical across a number of different fields. Failing to set proper time-management goals can lead to missing deadlines, failed projects, and a general lack of efficiency.
Once again, goals for time management are varied. They can relate to taking steps to manage time better or simply learning how to do this in general. In this way, becoming more organized and reading a book about time management are both time management goals.
Time management goal examples include:
For the next month, I will write all of my due dates in the planner I just purchased.
Next week, I will read a book about time management.
Most people think of creativity as a nebulous concept. Many tend to even believe that some people are creative and others aren’t, end of the story. However, this is not true. Creativity is something that can be developed with practice and, thus, is something you can build goals around.
Many of these goals relate to building up knowledge and gaining inspiration. An artist could take a walk in the woods to get new ideas for a painting, an architect may want to explore old architectural ideas to build their knowledge, and a software programmer could look at the code behind various existing programs. Meanwhile, other goals relate to forcing ideas to the surface. These could include attending more brainstorming sessions or speaking up more during them.
Creativity goal examples include goals like:
Each day next week, I will browse the social media tags for “style” and “fashion” to gain inspiration for trending clothing ideas.
I will offer at least one idea at every meeting this year when the group is asked for ideas.
Many companies tend to focus on goals that are directly related to the employee’s performance at work. However, many personal skills are an essential part of how an employee performs on the job.
For example, someone’s ability to speak confidently will directly impact how they work within a team setting or how they communicate issues to management. In ways like these, the promotion of personal development has a direct impact on work.
Much of this is self-driven. In these instances, it may be up to the employee to find a way to develop these skills in a way that works for them. However, help can still be provided by the company. The company can provide access to resources or learning materials to help employees on their personal journey.
Personal development goal examples include goals like:
Next week, I will attend a public speaking class.
By the end of the week, I will finish my book about how to build confidence.
Setting goals is important, but learning how to set them effectively is just as important. By following along with some of the advice and examples listed above, you’ll be well on your way to setting better goals. Using these, you can improve your work and the work of those around you.