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Building a Strong Team: The Power of Manager & Employee Goal Setting

Welcome to the world of performance goal-setting, where managers and employees work together to create a roadmap for success. If you're looking to improve your employees' performance, increase productivity, and achieve your organizational objectives, you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll explore the key steps to setting effective performance goals and how to create a supportive environment that encourages high-quality performance.


A well-structured goal-setting process can have a positive impact on employee motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction. By following a structured approach, managers and employees can work together to establish meaningful, achievable, and measurable goals that align with the organization's overall objectives.


So, whether you're a seasoned HR professional or just starting out, let's dive into the world of performance goal-setting and explore how you can help your employees reach their full potential.


1. Involve the employee in the process

Encourage employees to actively participate in the goal-setting process by asking for their input and feedback. For example, a manager could ask an employee, "What do you think are some of the key areas where you want to improve in your role over the next year?" By involving employees in the goal-setting process, they will feel more invested and motivated to achieve the goals.


If you use employee evaluation software, consider including the employee in a self evaluation and include self reflective questions that the manager can then utilize when starting this conversation.


2. Align with company goals

Ensure that the goals set for employees are aligned with the organization's mission, vision, and values. This can help ensure that employee efforts are focused in areas that support the organization's overall success.


The important thing to realize with this is that leadership needs to align on organization goals as soon as possible - Make sure managers all understand the organization and department goals, then provide them with directions to help employees set goals that contribute to the larger initiatives. For example, if the company's goal is to increase customer satisfaction, an employee's performance goal might be to receive positive feedback from at least 90% of their customers by the end of the year.


3. Set SMART goals

Make sure the goals are well-defined and measurable, so that progress can be tracked and evaluated. A goal such as "Improve customer satisfaction" is not specific and measurable, but a goal like "Receive positive feedback from at least 90% of customers" is.


Additionally, specify a deadline for achieving each goal so that employees have a sense of urgency and can prioritize their efforts. A goal like "Receive positive feedback from at least 90% of customers" is not time-bound, but "Receive positive feedback from at least 90% of customers by the end of the year" is.


4. Create goals that are challenging yet achievable

Set goals that challenge employees but are still achievable with the necessary support and resources. A goal that is too easy will not inspire and motivate, while a goal that is too difficult will lead to frustration and discouragement. For example, if an employee has never received any formal training, it might not be reasonable to set a goal to become a subject matter expert in a specific area in a year. This will depend on your organization's unique business metrics, but a great place to start would be reviewing the employee's progress from the previous year and helping them exceed their accomplishments from the previous year.


5. Regularly review progress

Schedule regular check-ins to monitor progress and provide support. This helps employees stay on track and makes it easier to identify and address any obstacles that might arise. For example, a manager might schedule a monthly meeting to review progress and offer support and guidance. What you don't want is for managers and employees to set goals in January, then only ever discuss those same goals in December.


In conclusion

Setting performance goals is a critical step in improving employee performance and driving organizational success. By working together, managers and employees can create a supportive environment that fosters motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction.


Remember, the goal-setting process should be collaborative, aligned with the organization's objectives, specific and measurable, challenging yet achievable, with regular check-ins.


We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the world of performance goal-setting and has inspired you to take action to help your employees reach their full potential.


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