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6 Employee Goal-Setting Best Practices Every Leader Should Know

employee goalsEvery decade or so, a new version of employee goal-setting emerges, seemingly always accompanied by a catchy buzzword. MBO. SMART Goals. OKRs. Goal Science Thinking. It can be difficult to keep up. Setting employee goals can be complex enough without having to think about which goal philosophy you’re following.


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Let’s lose the flavor-of-the-month buzzwords and passing philosophies. Here are six simple best practices for setting employee goals that foster buy-in and achievement, no matter what goal acronym you’re using. 


1. Provide Transparency and Visibility


If goals are going to be truly impactful and driving, they must be aligned at every level of the organization. Give everyone visibility to organizational, team, and individual employee goals. Be open about progress toward goals and even failure to meet goals. Common understanding about goals within your organization creates alignment, encourages shared knowledge, and fosters collaboration. It helps employees and teams see how their responsibilities fit into the organization, and it cultivates recognizing the work of others.


2. Include Employees in the Goal-Setting Process


Giving employees ownership in setting and tracking their goals promotes buy-in and accountability. Strong team leaders don’t dictate; they rely on their people and work together to determine what goals to set and how high to aim.


3. Provide Real-Time Progress Updates and Adjust Goals Frequently


Don’t leave employees in the dark! Remember, transparency is key. Providing real-time goal tracking on employee goals will keep your team  motivated and focused. With access to progress updates, employees can adjust their work accordingly to increase efforts or shift focus.


4. Promote Social Reinforcement and Recognition


Take transparency around employee goals one step further, and you get social reinforcement. When employees’ goals are public, their feeling of accountability increases because there is a social pressure. Everyone knows the goal and is expecting to see progress.


Public employee goals and progress updates provide the opportunity for social recognition, encouragement, and collaboration. A good on-demand goal-tracking tool will make it possible for employees to comment, like, ask questions, and recognize one another. 


5. Just Set Goals Already


Don’t get bogged down in the employee goal-setting process. You can spend a lot of time perfecting your stated goals, analyzing the “right” target, and deciding whether you’re more into OKRs or GST. But at the end of the day, achieving, not setting, is the main objective. As 

“Don’t ever be impressed with goal setting; be impressed with goal getting.” - John C. Maxwell

You can always fine tune and adjust your goals over time. But in the meantime, keep it simple. Set some goals and go after them.


6. Select a Tool to Support Goal Best Practices


How can you provide visibility to goals, let employees update progress in real-time, and foster social reinforcement? An on-demand goal-tracking tool makes it easy. Whether you choose Quantum Workplace or another provider, an on-demand goal tool is the perfect solution to making goals visible across the organization. Need help determining which goal setting and tracking software is right for your organization? Here are some goal setting software must-haves you need to know.



Want more information on how to create awesome goals? Check out our free ebook, 5 Sure-Fire Tips to Setting Goals that Get Results.


Free ebook! 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Set Goals That Get Results


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