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From Aspiration to Attainment: Ensuring Employee Success Through Goal Setting

Managers typically want their teams to reach their full potential. Often, managers play a critical part in the success equation. Using various goal-setting strategies, managers can put employees on the path toward greater success.

Ideally, goal-setting should involve more than giving team members specific targets. Employee engagement typically rises dramatically by making the process collaborative, leading to better results. If you want to ensure your team reaches its full potential, here’s how to approach goal-setting.

Identify Organizational Priorities

Managers need to understand existing organizational priorities before speaking with employees about potential goals. Knowing what the company hopes to achieve makes it easier to create alignment between employee goals and those of the business. That increases the odds of any selected targets being a win-win, as managers understand what the company needs to thrive.

Plus, identifying organizational priorities allows managers to consider the types of goals they’ll present during upcoming conversations with team members. It makes streamlining the discussion possible, leading to greater efficiency and less ambiguity.

Schedule One-on-One Meetings

Once organizational priorities are identified, it’s time to have one-on-one meetings with each employee. Let workers know the conversations will focus on goal-setting, and give them enough advance notice to consider the topic before the discussion occurs.

When the meeting begins, allow employees to take the floor. Ask them to describe their professional and career goals, particularly those that could play a part in their current role. Additionally, during the conversation, use active listening techniques – paraphrasing and clarifying questions to promote understanding.

After the employee has described their goals, introduce the company’s needs into the equation. Present potential targets that generally align with what the employee shared and the organizational priorities previously identified.

Then, encourage the employee to enter into a back-and-forth dialog with you to refine the potential targets and find those that most spur their motivation. This part heightens engagement, allowing workers to focus on objectives that pique their interest, align with their strengths, improve their weaknesses, and support their goals.

Select Realistic Targets

Once goals are generally identified, it’s time to associate them with relevant metrics. Those help both managers and employees know when a target is successfully hit.

Just make sure that any objective is realistically achievable. While it’s fine if the goal is challenging – as that can spur growth – it should feel reasonable to reach. Otherwise, the target may become a source of frustration, which can cause engagement and productivity to drop.

Meet Regularly to Assess Progress

After setting realistic goals, meet regularly with employees to assess their progress. Managers should offer praise if workers are progressing well, as positive feedback can keep motivation and engagement high.

If an employee is falling behind, resist the urge to chastise them. Instead, have a conversation to see if an unexpected roadblock is causing an issue. Managers should find ways to offer support or guidance to get the worker back on track. If certain factors are unchangeable, it’s also wise to determine if altering the goal to make it more realistic is necessary. Doing so can keep the employee moving forward and restore their motivation.

Whenever a goal is met, make sure to recognize the achievement, too. That helps build a positive culture and encourages employees to continue being at their best, increasing the odds they’ll continue striving for greatness.

Ultimately, the tips above can help managers ensure employee success. Premier Staffing Inc. wants to hear from you if you’d like to learn more or work with experienced recruitment professionals to secure top talent for your vacant positions. Contact us today.

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