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How to Help Your Team Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

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How Are You Going To Set Your Goals?

McKinsey says, “When done correctly, goal-setting can help improve employee engagement in a way which elevates performance and benefits organizations overall.” Note the first part of that sentence, “When done correctly.” One of the challenges facing managers is how to set short- and long-term goals in a way that benefits the individual and the organization. Do you find goal-setting an onerous, time-consuming process that isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be? You may be doing it wrong.

Here are three key tips for goal-setting to benefit your organization and your employees.

Three Tips for Short-Term and Long-Term Goal Setting

1. Involve your employees

If you are a sales rep, you’re probably used to management setting goals for you. Never mind if the goals are unattainable. In sales, it’s typical for management to set sales quotas on your behalf because they’re usually associated with an overall revenue generation goal. If you want to be in sales for that company, you do your best to hit the numbers.

No matter the job type, however, is setting goals for your employees and not with your employees a great idea? If the purpose of a goal is to help an employee improve, you should involve them in the process. This will increase their engagement and commitment to the goals. Then, if you set goals with the employee, the manager can work with them to help them achieve their goals. It places the manager in the role of helpmate and support system instead of the “whip cracker.” Instead of placing the manager in an adversarial relationship, working together with the employee to set and attain goals makes for a better environment where everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction.

2. Make the goals measurable and attainable

SMART goals are a good guideline for how to set employee metrics. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Results-oriented
  • Time-bound

It’s also a good idea to make the goals shorter as well as long term. Having weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals give the employee a sense that they’re building towards something. However, make sure that you have plenty of rewards at every stage of this process. Otherwise, the employee will quickly grow discouraged.

3. Link the goals to the business mission

People want to work for a reason beyond the paycheck. What do these overarching goals hope to achieve for the business? Why do you do what you do? McKinsey says that 91% of companies that have effective performance management systems link employee goals to the business objectives and priorities. It’s a process of sharing the big picture with employees so they understand they’re accountable for the overarching success of the organization.

All of these steps for goal setting encourage accountability, responsibility, and overall production of employees. Working with your employees to set and achieve goals is a great process that doesn’t have to be difficult.

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