Setting goals is a critical part of those who succeed amongst the masses – as a lot of people find themselves cruising through life without really setting out a plan of action for what they want to achieve.
However, recent studies have shown that setting goals in the workplace have not been as effective as once thought. On the other hand, are they getting taught how to set their goals? Do they know how to measure their goals? Do they know how to keep track of their goals effectively?
Goals cannot be spoken out loud and expected for people to remember them and deliver. There are far more elements that go into achieving a goal beyond just doing them. This is why we’ve created this guide so you know how to set development goals at work – so keep reading this blog to find out more.
What is a Goal?
When you think of a goal, you probably think that it is just something that you set and you work towards achieving. Which is correct! However, goals are so much more than that.
Whether you’re setting career goals, setting personal goals, or learning new skills – they all have distinct patterns that allow you to attain what you want.
First of all, you have the actual ‘end point’ known as the goal of what you work towards to help get your desired result. Next, you need a strategy put in place on how you will approach going about reaching your goal.
Subsequently, after this, you need to carefully take action on your tactics. This way you can start moving towards carrying out your strategy.
Finally, the results are exactly what has been executed and performed during the time you have set yourself. The results of the goal reveal whether you have met what you want or you may need more time to improve and reach your final success.
If you’re a manager of some sort reading this, try to fit all of these key components into your employees’ schedules when looking at the quarter coming up.
Take your employees one by one or call a team meeting and get specific with them about what they’re going to do, how they’re going to achieve that goal using strategies and tactics and ultimately reap the rewards of these professional goals.
Goal Frameworks to Use (SMART Goals and OKRs)
From our personal experiences and seeing the stats of certain goal frameworks – SMART goals and OKRs seem to be the most sought-after picks from some of the biggest companies around the world.
With their easy to remember acronyms and relevant steps, they come in as the most popular forms of goal setting for progress – and can make it easier to set career goals. Let’s take a look at how you can work your way through each one:
Smart goals are most likely the type of goal framework that you’ve heard about before but never done any research on how you can implement it into your personal development goals, professional development goals or just your career goals.
The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Just from the words in the acronym, you can see how well-thought-out this process could be and how it could change your perspective on future goal-setting. Let’s break them down individually:
Specific – Goals that are easily defined, clear and not random towards what you’re trying to accomplish.
Measurable – These goals should have criteria that can be met and able to be tracked effectively aiming to see progress consistently.
Attainable – Goals that are physically able to be achieved – with given or required resources and tools at one’s fingertips.
Relevant – These goals must align with everything that you, the company or whatever the mission is for, are trying to achieve.
Time-Bound – This is the stage of the goal where you have to put a deadline on how long you believe it will take to complete the full task at hand.
Once again, we have another acronym that was created by Andy Grove of Intel – a Technology Company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. This has a lot fewer parts to it than the SMART goal template – as it is only made up of two parts.
Firstly you have the Objectives and then the Key Results. Let’s break down these key components of this effective goal setting strategy:
Objectives – These are the exact goals that you want to accomplish, whether it be short, medium or long-term goals. They can be used for self accomplishments, company/ team accomplishments and everything in between.
Key Results – This time-specific strategy measures how you will achieve the results. Every challenge or objective you set yourself – your company sets you, etc should have three to five key results in each one.
Using this goal framework is considered very helpful when it comes to organisation and ambitious goals. If you’re hitting anywhere near ¾ of your main goals, it is thought to be a successful venture.
Tips for Setting These Goals Effectively
It is important to know the meaning of a goal and the goal frameworks – but it is no good not knowing how to set these goals effectively for personal development or professional development. Here are some productive strategies that you can use to set your work goals effectively:
Applying Goals to Drive Employee Engagement
As an employee, if you’re not in a job that you’re looking forward to when you wake up in the morning – then it certainly doesn’t make you work any harder. Whereas, if you like your job, it makes it a lot easier to work towards goals. The most straightforward way to set goals (whether it be to set personal development goals or professional goals) is to increase employee engagement.
If the company’s goals are aligned and compatible with your personal goals, there becomes a lot more engagement from an employee standpoint.
If the company, boss and employee all align their goals with each other – they will feel more connected and will see a shift in mindset to a more productive and meaningful state. This is possible if there are weekly chats between bosses and employees, which encourage check-in conversations on setting relevant goals. If this occurs consistently and setting goals becomes a frequent task – the relationship of the company will certainly feel more like a team which will only enhance results in the workplace.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.