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Employee Goal Setting: 11 Tips you need to Know

Employee Goal Setting.

Employee Goal Setting.

Setting goals for your employees is indispensable to the success of your business!

However, setting goals as a manager can be challenging.

First, as the manager, you must deal with a different universe in each group. Among these subgroups, you have to ensure a good work environment and that the motivation levels remain optimal so they can accomplish the goals.

Now, you shouldn't base your employee goal setting solely on strict deadlines and almost daily quality controls since these modalities tend to cause more stress and less motivation for employees, so it is urgent to find effective tactics.

Therefore, this article will share 11 tips for setting employee goals.

Also, if you want to increase productivity in your company, we share eight extra strategies to keep your employees motivated.

CodeDesign is the leading digital marketing agency in Lisbon Portugal.

What is Employee Goal Setting?

Employee Goal Setting is a strategy that establishes specific, measurable, and role-oriented objectives employees strive to achieve while working at your company. 

Usually, these employee goals require a mixed effort between you (the manager) and a direct report so both can consider aspects like:

  • The employee's personal growth targets
  • Future role requirements
  • Resource availability.

These work goals aim to assess performance during their tenure at your organization, monitor development progress, and recommend any necessary upskilling or ongoing education to achieve these goals. These goals can be either short or long-term; any rewards for completing them should be proportionate to their impact.

With this basic concept in mind, we can go right into the tips you should apply to improve your business's goal setting.

1-Choose a Goal-Setting Framework.

It is always better to start with a structure since the most solid monuments are built on well-established foundations. 

So, depending on how you structure hierarchy and promotion within your, there is a more effective framework to set goals that can be realistic and achievable. 

Let's see what options you can choose. Read this complete guide on digital marketing funnel and then choose the right digital marketing channel for your business.

OKR Goal-Setting

OKR stands for objectives and key results, which consist of setting actionable challenges with measurable outcomes. 

To implement it, you must define a great objective, which we will call "The What?" which will give direction to the entire team on the last goal. You will accompany it with the key results, or "The How?" based on small objectives they will develop to reach the ultimate goal. When you set these "mini-goals" within the "big goal," you have a set of milestones you can track to evaluate your team's performance.

MBO Goal-Setting.

Management by Objectives is a strategy you can use to imrpove your employee and company performance simultaneously, all this through a reward system.

With this model, you want to identify achievable employee targets that align with the organization's goals. They are rewarded with a monetary bonus or more recognition every time they achieve a goal. This goal and reward strategy is strongly related to motivation, and an interesting insight about this topic is that money isn't the first motivator for employees, so if you want to learn more, read our article "Why Employee Motivation is so Important for Performance?."

SMART Goal-Setting.

SMART goal setting is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It is also common to include efficacy and feedback at the end of the abbreviation to emphasize the significance of evaluation in an objective setting. 

With this framework, you can offer clear steps to aid individuals and organizations in accomplishing their goals.

2- Make Goal-Setting a Team Work.

When you include your team in the employee goal-setting process, you acquire two benefits from this:

  1. They feel represented within the organization.
  2. They can give you insights that you may not be seeing from your position of power.

Let's develop the first one.

Setting goals without prior communication with your team detracts from them.

They may feel that their opinion does not matter and that they are just the workforce, and that's it, and obviously, this is not good for their performance within the company.

That is why it is critical that you encourage them to take sides within these processes since this makes them feel part of the organization.

Finally, some managers could dismiss employees' opinions within the company since they see them from a position of authority, thinking that they know everything, but maybe not.

It is good to include representatives from each team because they serve as your informants within each department, and since they live firsthand what is happening in each of them, they can extend your ideas to goals that are more productive for each of these teams. Ultimately, all these established goals add to the company's big plan, which is your objective at the end of the day.

3-Set Realistic Goals.

As a manager, your mindset will always be to achieve great things for the company. And this is fine, but be careful. You have to be realistic first.

In the first instance, the goals must go hand in hand with what is within reach: resources and work team. 

Before conquering the world, you must be popular in your city. You have to go one step at a time.

However, you can break it down into small objectives, like the OKR Goal-Setting framework. This way, you don't overwhelm your employees with an almost impossible goal.

4-Be Realistic but still, Challenging.

What is realistic should not be mediocre. It would be best to put things your employees can achieve but make them go beyond their comfort zone.

In the end, you must sell this goal as a double benefit for both parties:

  • Employees grow professionally
  • The company develops and surpasses itself with this.

That's why make sure that these goals require an extra effort that motivates them to push a little more to achieve it and thus reach a new professional status.

5- Play to your Employee's Strengths

Great leaders know their team and their skills and strengths.

When managing goals, you have to put the correct member for each of these, as this will impulse the achievement of this goal.

In addition, when you recognize an employee for their strengths, you give them that proud feeling that they are recognized for what they do, motivating them more to prove their worth to the company. Check these Amazon FBA tips to grow your business and see how optimising your Amazon listing could help you grow. 

6- Mentor your Employees

Many of your employees have the talent to get things done; however, they could feel insecure about some tasks. They understand what they want and need to achieve but still figure out how to get there.

As a manager, you must know about these specific cases to give them the necessary mentoring to achieve their goals. Associate them with the right people internally, giving them visibility and opportunities to learn and shine.

7- Offer Professional Growth Opportunities. 

If you want to aim higher and higher with the goals that you set for yourself, your employees must be increasingly capable of facing new challenges. For this, you must take the mentoring tip a step further and allow each team to enter courses, webinars or intensives that help them develop their skills to a new level. 

It is also good to give your team fresh energy since staying stuck in the same outdated abilities demotivates them; they do not feel that they are advancing. Therefore they lose that engagement that they can have in their work. When you incentivize them to grow professionally, they can even implement new strategies that help the company move forward.

8- Evaluate Periodically and Decide where to go from there.

As we said, checking goals almost daily is stressful for employees. However, if you do them every quarter or for a more reasonable period, you can achieve good results moving forward.

The idea is to get the balance between ASAP and later.

If the occasion warrants it, and the goals must be achieved as quickly as possible, there will be no other option than to tighten the reins of your team to achieve the goal. Even so, when we give a reasonable time well stipulated, we can put that necessary pressure on the deadline and give you the freedom to take advantage of the time as you see fit.

Once the due dates arrive, organize a large team meeting in which all the advances or inconveniences that have occurred are discussed, and then decisions are made.

These dynamics are essential for developing the goals since, as events happen, the objectives may change, or you have to modify the way of doing things. Read this guide on E-commerce supply chain and voice search optimization.

9- Provide Feedback.

During these periodic meetings that you will have with your team, you have to gather as much information as is necessary about the processes.

This process will help you identify how they are doing things, and if you find a flaw in their tactics, you can correct them by giving them the necessary feedback.

Giving feedback is a big part of a manager's day-to-day, so you should become very good at it.

Many managers are afraid to give feedback for hurting their employees' sensibilities, while others are tactless enough to make recommendations that build, not tear. Whatever your case, it can benefit you to know the 11 Mistakes Managers Make When Giving Feedback.

In the same way, it also allows employees in these feedback sessions to give their perspective on the goals and their processes, and if they find flaws in any of these, provide solutions for better management of objectives.

10- Reward Employees who Achieve their Goals 

You have to give credit to those who deserve it, especially if you talk about your employees.

Although the work is an obligation for them, this does not mean that they should not be rewarded for a goal achieved or even for having gone the extra mile for the company.

The reward motivates them to achieve more goals since they know they will benefit from a great effort.

You can choose the benefits ranging from a bonus, a promotion, being the employee of the month or even a week of paid vacation.

11- Line Up Goal-Setting with a Performance Management System

This list of tips wouldn't be ready without recommending a software tool to make the goal-setting process more manageable. With the help of a performance management system, you can easily track the fulfillment of employee goals, regardless of the employee's role or department.

Correspondingly, every team member can see how their efforts are helping and identify what tasks they should prioritize to achieve the business strategy.

Among the options you can find there are:

Final Thoughts.

At the end of this article, we can see a close relationship between well-defined goals and the motivation of our employees.

It is notorious that if our team does not have a goal to reach, there will not be a clear path to where to go, and if they do not know how to get there, they will feel lost in the process. That is why good employee goal setting goes hand in hand with teamwork with the manager, their ideas and proposals, and the opportunities we offer them for professional development.

When you master these 11 tips that we offer you to manage the goals in your team, you will see how each piece falls into place, and everyone begins to move towards that worthy business goal you have set for yourself. It would be best if you continued studying and preparing yourself as a leading professional.

For that, make sure to check all the articles we publish on our blog since it ranges from business strategies, startups and, of course, our great specialization, everything that has to do with digital marketing. If you want more advice on your business, contact us right now!

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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