Employee goals should be at the centre of any employee management plan.

Not only do goals help to align employees with the goals of the company, but they can help employees become more motivated and happy in their roles.

Tracking goals are a good way of understanding an employee’s progress and identifying any issues in the workplace.

Setting goals for employees can have numerous benefits for both the company as a whole and the individual employees – but how exactly do you set goals for your employees?

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of setting employee goals, and how you can set employee goals effectively.

Why Set Goals For Employees?

Setting goals is one of the best things that managers can do to guide, motivate, and encourage employees.

Setting goals for employees can also improve the business – employees are the backbone of any business, and goals can bring out the best in them.

There are countless benefits to employee goal-setting – first of all, it can align staff goals with the business’ broader goals, ensuring that everybody is moving in the same direction.

It can also keep your employees motivated in the workplace. Far too many businesses don’t put enough effort into employee well-being – which leads to poor employee retention.

Having no goal to work towards can affect the productivity of work, as well as dampen the morale of an employee.

Ensuring that your employees have goals to work towards can not only keep them motivated but improve their confidence and make them happier in their roles.

Another benefit of setting goals for employees is that it encourages them to focus on their priorities.

Setting and reaching goals requires the ability to plan ahead, so it can make your employees better prepared to prioritize work tasks.

Employee goal-setting can also make your employees more prepared for progression in the business.

It can help an employee identify what they want, where they want to be, and exactly how they can progress in the business – which can improve your business as well as improve employee retention.

How To Set Goals For Your Employees

Now you know why it’s important to set goals for your employees, it’s time to learn how to set goals for employees.


Set SMART Goals

If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, now is the time to learn.

Setting goals without adhering to the guidelines of SMART goals is far less likely to be effective, so it’s important that you ensure all employee goals are SMART.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. It’s an effective framework for goal-setting and is more likely to produce results.

When setting goals for your employees, stick to goals that are specific and measurable.

Vague goals are less likely to produce results, whereas having something specific to work towards can be encouraging and motivating.

Being able to measure a goal can increase the chance of success, and give you something to celebrate when you meet a milestone.

A measurable goal in the workplace could be to make 100 for 3 weeks in a row or to be on time to work 5 days a week.

It’s also important that employee goals are attainable – if the goal is to attend work every single day for a year, then chances are, the employee won’t reach it.

Goals should also be relevant to your company’s overall objectives. An employee goal such as ‘Bring in a healthy lunch every day’ may benefit the employee, but isn’t relevant to the business.

Having time-based goals can also increase the chances of success – having something to work towards while measuring progress is key to successful goal setting.

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Implement A Rewards System

Although the sense of achievement when reaching a goal may be enough for some, it’s generally more effective when there’s a reward on the table.

Having a reward system in place to celebrate when an employee reaches a goal will make the employee feel valued, and proud of their achievement.

It can also encourage employees to work harder to meet their goals, as they know that they will be honoured and rewarded for doing so.

A reward can be something as simple as a certificate of achievement, employee of the month, or a mention at a staff meeting – but many businesses will opt for physical rewards such as a bonus, a bottle of wine, or a gift certificate.


Set Goals That Align With Company Goals

In order for the employee goals to benefit your company, it’s important to ensure that the goals align with the company mission or vision.

This can be achieved by educating the employees on the goals of the business, to enable them to see the bigger picture.

Many businesses make the mistake of keeping employees in the dark about the company’s goals and motives.

However, the truth is that employees become more focused and motivated when they know what they are working towards, and recognize that their performance has an effect on the company.


Help Employees Who Are Struggling

Everybody is different, and some may struggle more than others when it comes to reaching goals.

Having a goal-measurement system in place is key to identifying when an employee is struggling to meet their goals.

If you notice that somebody isn’t reaching their goal milestones, then a manager should intervene and have a discussion with the employee as to why.

Instead of punishing the employee for not reaching their goals, offer encouragement and support – ask the employee what tools or assistance they need in order to reach their goals.

Feedback and open communication should be at the core of any workplace, and goal management is no exception.


Encourage Job-Specific Goals

Although having wider goals such as ‘become a manager in the next year’ can be motivating for employees, it’s equally as important that employees have job-specific goals.

This encourages employees to learn more about their roles, and exceed their own expectations.

Managers may have specific goals for each employee, but having employees identify their own goals in relation to their role will likely be more effective.

Managers can then work with their employees and develop action plans to help them reach their goals.

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