Business goals

7 best practices while setting business goals for employees

Businesses with goals succeed because they clearly know their destination. Companies should also focus on providing a similar vision to their employees in order to keep one step forward together. Today, the objectives set at the start of the quarter are no longer relevant and the objectives are being revised to help companies develop in this pandemic situation.

Employees play a big part in turning revised goals into action. Therefore, goals should be transparent across the organization, and management should take action to remind employees of the goals and the steps to take to achieve them.

Here are seven best practices for successfully setting business goals for employees.

1. Align individual goals with the overall goal of the business

What will happen if employees think and act differently from the organization? It would be very difficult for the company to maintain itself, let alone prosper. Therefore, there is a need to align the goals of each individual in an organization with the overall business goal, be it long term or for a quarter.

This allows an employee to see their contribution to the business, which helps to boost morale in the overall workforce. Satisfied and happy employees always perform well and increase the productivity and profitability of the company.

Holding frequent meetings to talk about the business purpose will also help keep employees on track. At Synergita, we hold meetings every quarter to remind staff of the overall business goal and set new goals for the quarter to take a step forward together as an organization towards the goal. By doing this, employees will be clear on the way forward and the importance of their contribution to the business.

2. Take employee input into goal setting

A Gallup report finds that companies that have higher levels of employee engagement are 22% more profitable than companies that don’t actively engage their employees. One of the ways to involve employees is to take their opinions into account when setting goals for them.

Employees, when they feel cherished because management takes their input in setting goals, become more engaged and feel responsible for their individual goals. Research also proves that the workforce is 3 times more successful when they know their voice is being heard by the business.

On top of that, employees are the frontline soldiers who frequently interact with customers. Employees are much more familiar with customer requirements than superiors, and they are also familiar with market conditions. Taking their suggestions into account would do the company more good than the employees. It’s even better if goals are set by employees and reviewed by managers to see if they are relevant and aligned.

3. Set achievable and stimulating performance goals

When goals are easily attainable, workforce learning stops and they will eventually lose interest in the job as there is nothing exciting to stir their minds. And if the goals are too difficult, employees might not be able to achieve them and they would develop a lethargic attitude towards the goal setting process. On top of that, they would also become defensive when asked about their goals and the blame game would begin. So we need a balanced approach.

Employees must be able to achieve 75% of their goals. Managers should not reprimand teams for not reaching the remaining 25%; instead, they should praise the efforts of team members to reach the measurement of 0.7 on a scale of zero to one. The challenges of meeting a goal can help an employee gain a lot of knowledge about the process and also keep them engaged.

4. Hold your team accountable for their goals.

The first and foremost rule of thumb for improving the employee experience in your organization: don’t micromanage. Give them freedom and autonomy. Research shows that companies that give employees more freedom at work notice higher productivity and higher job satisfaction rates.

And when employees are held accountable for their goals, they stay motivated and work harder to achieve goals on time. Autonomy fuels innovation because employees can formulate and leverage different ways of doing things or unique strategies to achieve business goals.

5. Take into account the professional aspirations of the employee while setting goals

Managers must consider an employee’s career aspirations while setting goals. For example, there is a graphic designer and a content writer on your team. You cannot set goals for them because increase sales 10 times. Instead, you can give them the goal of creating and designing two eBooks, which they have never done before and aspire to learn as well.

The goal may be to create interactive design and content to double the download of the resource. Managers should consider the development plans of team members while setting goals and helping them achieve them.

6. OKR gives strength and direction

Goals and Key Results (OKRs) is a powerful goal setting framework that helps an organization measure its progress towards the goal. Key results should be defined numerically and each key result should be assigned to a person to hold them accountable. If the key results are not attributed, no one will be ready to take responsibility.

These OKRs help to link the goals of each team to the goal of the company and, therefore, each employee will be able to measure their contribution to the organization. Goals and key results, if defined and executed correctly, can keep your organization going and thriving even in this difficult situation. Employees can also be engaged using OKRs.

7. Include goal setting in the performance management system

A performance management system should be linked to the goal setting process to set clear expectations and make employees aware of the performance criteria for evaluation.

When goals are linked to performance, employees will do their best to achieve the expected results in order to achieve a higher score in the performance review.

On top of that, if the organization strives to engage and manage employee performance through an effective performance management system, employees will stay loyal to the company and work better to deliver great results.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)