Employee Goals: Everything You Need to Know

Setting employee goals is an important part of any successful business. By setting and tracking progress toward goals, businesses will be able to function at a higher level and succeed more consistently. When setting and aligning goals, an organization needs to be certain that all its members understand how they fit in with the company's "big picture" and the direction of the business.

How to Best Achieve Goal Alignment?

Clear communication is a business's primary tool in goal alignment. Business objectives must be made clear to every member of the business, and managers should be allowed to view the goals that have been set for other departments. Successfully aligning goals will allow companies to identify points of redundancy and allow employees to work toward a common business objective more effectively.

Goal alignment allows companies to be more flexible and helps them implement their strategy much more effectively.

Importance of Tracking Goals

Businesses must be certain that their employees are tracking their goal progress. Goal tracking serves a variety of purposes, including providing employees valuable information during the review process. Managers must also be aware of their employee's goal progress and should be ready to provide their employees with assistance if it appears they will miss a goal.

Goal tracking should involve three basic steps:

  • Employees need to frequently assess, manage, and organize their goals.
  • Employees should create and plan for achieving their goals. These plans of actions should contain milestones that will lead to larger goal achievement.
  • Employees should track their work time to make sure they are focusing on important tasks.

6 Tips for Managing Employee Goals

There are a few simple tips that businesses should follow in order to effectively manage employee goals:

  1. Goal setting should be done in the fourth quarter of the business year, and the goals should support the direction of the business in the following year.
  2. Employees should be involved in the goal writing process. This will help them to understand what's expected of them and will also make it more likely they will commit to these goals.
  3. Managers should review goals with employees on a quarterly basis. This is done to make certain that set goals are completed.
  4. Goals must be a portion of an employee's written performance review. Completion of goals should also be a portion of how an employee's overall success is measured during performance reviews. However, managers should realize that not every set goal will have the same level of importance.
  5. When employees complete a goal, their success should be praised and acknowledged.
  6. There should be a system of compensation in place so that employees who successfully complete goals will be rewarded.

Productivity Goals

In a business, productivity is best understood as the amount of work that an employee completes in a set time-frame that can be measured, either in how many customers have been served or how many units are produced.

Setting productivity goals for employees is important because that can improve the overall productivity of a business, resulting in more work completed without hiring more employees or extending work time.

An example of an individual productivity goal would be an assembly worker who is tasked with boosting their assembled units by 5 percent between their performance reviews. A goal for a data entry clerk might be increasing their typing speed a few words each month until they are capable of 60 words per minute.

Efficiency Goals

Companies should also consider setting efficiency goals, which are meant to ensure that an employee's work is fast, high-quality, and precise. When a worker is efficient, they will be able to improve their productivity without affecting quality.

In a customer service setting, a good efficiency goal would be to limit the number of customer interactions that take longer than five minutes. This will encourage customer service employees to meet customer needs more quickly and effectively.

Educational Goals

Employees can greatly benefit from continued education. Not only can education improve their work performance, it can improve their personal lives. Educational achievements that can be valuable in a work setting can include earning college degrees or professional certifications and taking part in work training programs.

Even managers can benefit from educational goals, with an example being completing management training sections before their next performance review. Educational goals should also be set for employees at the top of their pay scale. An example could be enrolling in a college degree program and then completing the program within three years.

Personal Development Goals

An employee's performance is based on a variety of factors, some qualitative and some quantitative. In addition to work performance, employees should be evaluated on intangible qualities like communication skills, leadership ability, conflict resolution, and working in team settings. Employees should be encouraged to build these skills by setting personal development goals.

A useful personal development goal would be to reduce the frequency of confrontations at work until no more confrontations occur. Making contributions during a specific project could be another personal development goal.

Importance of Goal Setting

When an employee accomplishes a set goal, it can improve their performance by making them more excited about future accomplishments and potential rewards. In addition, goals are crucial to both performance management and achieving long-term business objectives. When employees have goals to accomplish, they will be more invested in helping the company move forward.

How Specific Goals Help the Organization Move Forward

When setting goals, the organization's vision should be kept in mind. The vision of an organization should be used to build a plan to set goals both in the short and long-term.

In addition to companywide goals, each individual department should have goals that support the goals of the organization. Employee goals should support the goals of the department in which they work.

What are SMART Goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

SMART goals are meant to be easily understandable and should help employees know what level of performance and development they should be striving toward. SMART goals can include both performance goals and development goals.

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