The best way to achieve productivity while meeting organizational needs is to implement goals that work together to support a common cause. Breaking down large goals into small, achievable, individual goals makes it easier for employees to achieve results across a given time frame. Ensuring employee productivity comes down to organization, structure, and follow-up. Here are three steps to constructing an effective goal-setting strategy:
Frame & Set Goals
Creating a goal strategy is a crucial part of framing and setting goals for your employees. The individual strategy should start with overall business objectives and organizational goals as they apply to employees and their roles. Through transparent goal-setting — what goals are being set and why — employees can see how they fit into the organization, the role they play, and why their work matters. When they understand how they fit into the bigger picture, they’re more likely to be engaged, and the more likely they are to apply efforts toward meeting goals they know are purposeful. Employee productivity often comes down to understanding the “why.” Because of this, leaders must be equipped to communicate goals clearly to their employees to help put organizational priorities into context. There are three key things to keep in mind:When an employee, team, or department fails to meet a goal, it’s disappointing. @ClearCompany has tips on how you can set them up for success with #GoalSetting:
- Treat goals as the foundation for your company culture. Setting company goals that reflect the culture of your organization is a critical part of successful completion. A healthy culture isn’t just about finding employees who fit in well, but also acknowledging how they prefer to work and what they value, too. Goals that both challenge and accept are helpful in guiding culture while working within the personality and values of your employees.
- Communicate well. Updating your team on where the company is heading allows them to see how they’re impacting the organization and how their work contributes to organizational growth. Additionally, monitor where they are with the goals set for them and communicate their progress openly. Revisiting goals often keeps the conversation active and helps keep them on track.
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As you set these goals, remember: a goal has to be tangible — it needs a set and measurable deliverable, a timeline, and the budget or resources to achieve it. Make sure that the goals you set are reasonable, achievable goals that can be measured. Otherwise, determining success can be vague and difficult, hindering success and potentially discouraging your employees from completion. Track goal progress and a sequential manner, with benchmarks along the way to demonstrate that they’re working towards success. That will reduce obstacles and lack of enthusiasm — all of which can reduce employee productivity.
Align Individual Goals and Organizational Needs
While goal-setting is typically constructed from the top down, it’s important not to discount personal goals from the process. A few things to consider:
- What do they want for their careers? Are there projects, teams, or other opportunities to get them headed in the right direction? What kind of skills do they need to develop to get there, and how do those skills fit into your organizational needs? Think about the business objectives at hand and how you can help your employees advance their careers by helping to meet those objectives, serving two purposes through one plan of action.
- How can you use this opportunity to help an individual who is struggling? Now is a good time to revisit any performance concerns and re-align individual priorities based on the performance conversations you’ve been having.
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- Are the priorities aligned, too? Both the organization and the individual will have preferred priorities — some goals are more urgent than others. Be careful to consider that these priorities match. Don’t skip over an individual’s most urgent goals in order to serve the organization, and don’t forego the most important company goals to focus on individual interests. Ensure all urgent needs are being met, priorities are balanced, and execution is focused.
Where It Goes Wrong
When an employee, team, or department fails to meet a goal, it’s disappointing. What can a company do to avoid setting these groups up for failure? Set attainable goals that ensure your teams and departments have full accountability and buy-in and encourage leaders to ask for feedback regularly. So, why do goals fail?
- They aren’t appropriately stacked. That is to say, they’re non-sequential. Poorly stacked goals often make it seem like specific teams or departments are making progress toward their target. In reality, if objectives aren’t stacked in a progressive manner, it makes it difficult to measure achievement and creates obstacles that hinder employee productivity.
- There’s a lack of accountability. An important part of goal-setting is then tracking goal progress. Performance management isn’t “set it and forget it.” It requires nurturing, monitoring, and continuous conversation to ensure needs are being met. Once a goal is set, make sure they’re being met. If not, discuss what went wrong, what obstacles are blocking progress, or where any misalignment exists. Goals can be adapted and adjusted, but accountability is key to ensure it doesn’t become too little too late.
- They’re set beyond an employee’s capabilities. We all get a little overly ambitious sometimes. Be sure your more audacious goals aren’t totally out of reach. Accidentally setting up your employees for failure inhibits employee productivity and results in demoralized individuals and teams.
A strong goal-setting strategy makes the process of guiding your employees through them a much easier process, and you’ll see your teams achieving greater productivity in a more timely and effective manner. ClearCompany makes it easy to manage and track goals through collaboration, transparency, and organization. To learn more about the ways ClearCompany can boost your employee productivity through proper goal setting, reach out to our experts for a demo today!