(This is the tenth and final in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)
As 2017 winds down, we focus on a topic that is often a regular occurrence when a new year approaches: setting goals for employees. Goals are a critical part of any company’s corporate health. Not only do they contribute to the business strategy as a whole, but they also help employees stay engaged and motivated. Here are five questions to consider when setting goals for employees:
How should you go about choosing a goal? The procedure varies from business to business, but most companies share a couple of similar ideals:
- Make them compatible with your overall company goals. If employees can see how their individual goals tie in with larger company ones and forward the company as a whole, the goals become more meaningful to them. When they can see the big picture, they become more willing to take ownership and work to achieve the goal.
- Make them S.M.A.R.T. Make sure the goal meets the following criteria:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
Sticking to these standards when establishing a goal increases the likelihood of its successful completion. Get more details about S.M.A.R.T. goals here.
Who should decide these goals? In Bold’s Corporate Culture survey of customers, 100% of respondents stated managers and supervisors within their company set goals for their staff. However, a majority of the respondents also give employees the opportunity to share their input and be a part of the goal-setting process as well.
How often should goals be set? This also varies between companies. For instance, here at Bold, the company as a whole has annual goals. To support them, departmental goals are set on a quarterly basis, and within those departments, individual employees can also have quarterly goals. For smaller companies, or ones with fewer departments, it may be easier and just as efficient to set annual or semi-annual goals for everyone which contribute to the company objectives.
How can you help your employee succeed? Make sure they have a plan with steps and tasks outlined to complete the goal, and access to the resources required, including other employees, if necessary. Establish a series of checkpoints prior to the goal’s completion date, so they have ample opportunity to report any issues they encounter. Finally, be flexible enough to adjust the parameters of the goal should an obstacle arise that can’t be overcome.
Should the completion of goals be rewarded? A majority of survey respondents said yes! The answers range from something as simple as a thank you card or company recognition all the way up to bonuses and pay increases, depending on the goal achieved. Todd Lindstrom of Life Safety Monitoring says his company also recently implemented a pay scale reward system tied to the completion of educational goals for industry certifications, such as BoldGenius, HIPAA Training, CSAA Module training and more. Any opportunity to recognize your employee for success in the company should be embraced in some manner.
Setting goals for employees is an important part of achieving your goals as a company, but failed goals can be an excellent learning tool as well. By evaluating what caused the goal to be missed, you can gain insight on how the employee approached it, what went wrong, and how to better coach them to succeed with their next one.
If you missed any of our previous Corporate Health blogs this year, you can find them here:
- February: Getting Things Done in the New Year
- March: Core Values and Your Company
- April: The Importance of Work-Life Balance
- May: The Powerful ROI from Employee Incentives
- June: Improving the Employee Experience
- July: Employee Training and Development
- August: Employee Perks That Won’t Break the Budget
- September: The Pros and Cons of Employee Relationships
- October: Employee Performance Reviews