The start of the year is one of new beginnings. As we settle back into the rhythm of work, many of us want to look forward and think about the year ahead. What will we accomplish in the next 12 months?
This can be a useful exercise for getting team members back on track after the holiday break. Review their goals with them, or help them set new goals. These five tips will help you make goal setting even easier.
1. Use the SMART Method
This is a tried-and-true tip. The SMART method helps team members create goals they’re more likely to achieve. SMART stands for:
SMART provides a framework for achieving the goals. Vague goals may be difficult to complete, because it’s not quite clear what should be accomplished. If a goal’s not measurable, it’s hard to determine when it’s been achieved. Similarly, if there’s no timeframe, team members may not be able to make a plan of action to conquer the goal.
Realistic and achievable goals aren’t beyond the team member’s scope, and they can be complete within the timeframe.
2. Align Goals with Business Objectives
Next, align your team members’ goals with your business objectives. This principle is also good for setting team and department goals as well.
Why is it important to align goals with the business objectives? It gives people a sense that what they’re working to achieve helps the business. In turn, team members feel a sense of purpose. If a goal is seemingly unrelated to business objectives, then team members may not see the point in completing the goal. When you can draw a direct line, they see exactly how much their efforts matter to the business.
In turn, they’ll be motivated to strive for that goal.
3. Track Progress with Technology and Check in Often
Most goals are more achievable when they can be broken down into smaller steps. These smaller steps provide a road map for employees to follow.
These smaller steps also provide “check-in” points for employees. They can track their progress or check in to see if they’re on-track for reaching their goal in the stated time. If they’re not, they can make adjustments to the plan.
Technology like human resources information systems make it easier than ever to help employees track their progress. With it, you can make sure everyone is on track and celebrate their successes. You could also intervene to revise plans or offer supports when it looks like employees might be struggling.
Also set up a review schedule to check in regularly. Employees often feel more accomplished when they can see that they’re making active progress towards their goals.
4. Set Appropriately Challenging Goals
One drawback of the SMART goal framework is that it sometimes encourages employees to set goals that are too easy to complete. They don’t choose stretch goals because they don’t think they’re “realistic” or “achievable.”
Encourage employees to set appropriately challenging goals. If they aren’t sure what to choose, try to think of some way to challenge them just a little bit more.
5. Choose Goals That Excite People
Finally, make sure your team members are fired up about their goals. Setting achievable, yet challenging goals is one way to do this. Offering a plan also makes employees feel more confident.
The goal should be meaningful to the employee. If they don’t agree it’s a good goal, then they’re less likely to strive towards it. Ask team members what they want to accomplish or how they can challenge themselves. Review their performance history for ideas if they can’t offer any.
Make Technology Your Goal
Setting goals can be tricky, but it’s a crucial activity for your team and your business in the new year. Use these tips to make it easier.
Technology like an HRIS can help your team work towards their goals. Ready to discover what else it can do for your HR team? Get in touch with our team to find out!