The moment you put a deadline on a dream, it becomes a goal.
Helping staff transition from vague dreams to solid performance goals can do wonders for your business, particularly when you hit that sweet spot between company-objective and individual-objective.
But when you’re running an organisation with hundreds of different dreams and aspirations, hearing those goals, let alone aligning to the company them can be a massive task.
That’s why developing a framework where performance goals for employees are clear and measurable will help build a powerful and harmonious workplace.
Involve everyone in goal setting
Everyone knows the uncomfortable saying, ‘if you don’t build your dream, you’ll build someone else’s’.
This kind of wariness and friction can be very damaging to a workplace, so involve employees in goal setting early and ensure they have buy-in.
Their contribution not only does wonders for establishing an inclusive and understanding culture, but it undoubtedly will offer you and your managers unparalleled insight into sections of the business you possibly can’t see.
Make those goals S.M.A.R.T.
That said, collating a list of big dreams and goals only works if you have a structure in place to realistically achieve them.
The S.M.A.R.T goal method is a way of interrogating each goal and ensuring it is more than just a pipedream.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-Bound
Firstly, setting parameters is a relief for all involved. Once you’ve left a great brainstorm session, it can be difficult to know where to start and things can fall by the wayside.
By outlining each S.M.A.R.T. step, you can begin to see smaller steps that can be assigned to various people within your organisation, and from there a plan is likely to evolve.
Fully formed S.M.A.R.T. goals also inspire staff to commit to the longevity of a project and to take ownership of their goals.
Once you can see how you’re going to climb a mountain, the mountain might not seem so high.
Painting the big picture
Establishing the scope and process for a team or a department’s goals is one thing, but ensuring they align with the overarching business objectives is a significant way of maintaining momentum.
Whether it be via internal communications, meetings or through performance management software, if possible, develop ways employees can see the progress and impact of their work.
Despite the best intentions, people become disheartened when their work is swallowed up in the large machinations of a company, so using employee goal setting examples and their outcomes will help keep people motivated.
This kind of ongoing transparency also holds people accountable to their targets, and can be a tool to manage performance and be an integral part of your performance management process.
Adapt goals in real time
No matter how much planning you do, circumstances will sometimes prompt you to shift your goals.
Developing a culture where people are encouraged to adapt their goals in real-time creates a nimble and responsive company.
Switching up the focus every once in a while too helps employees stay motivated, as working towards the same goals for extended periods of time can wear people down.
The chance to revisit and discuss new ideas will also mean your business will have a constant and high-quality feedback loop.
Performance management apps and systems can help manage these evolving goals and offers a way of keeping track of where people and teams are at, no matter where they are in the business.