Internal business goals are dynamic. Strategy, time, data, and labor are poured into establishing achievable goals for an organization, whether it’s company-wide, departmental, or individual. Sometimes even with all the data on their side, companies don’t reach their goal within the projected timeframe. When this happens, it can be disappointing for everyone involved, but it should not be less motivating. In fact, missed goals are an opportunity for teams to leverage retrospective failures, shaping new goals and outlook.
To assess goal progression, leaders must set goals that are attainable and measurable. If there are no indicators built into a goal, there will be no definitive markers of accomplishment. One way to ensure goals can be measured is to insert smaller, targeted benchmarks within a larger goal. It’s best for management to set goals for their team with employees to synthesize ideas and personalize objectives for best results. Gallup research found that only 30% of employees are involved by management in goal setting at work, yet those employees who are included are statistically 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than those who are not involved by management.
As it turns out, approximately 80% of small to medium business owners fail to track goals, while only 33% of management and 19% of front-line staff update their goals throughout the year. Depending on the timeline, goals need to be reviewed regularly. As they’re revisited, management should evaluate how varying conditions have changed the path to accomplishing said goals. Whether there have been interruptions to the timeline, reduced resources available, or even more employees available who can speed up the process. Monthly or quarterly reviews can keep teams motivated and help them to stay on track. Review periods give everyone the opportunity to re-measure what resources are available and what it would take for them to be successful at the task at hand.
Employee feedback doesn’t need to happen every day, but employees should come to expect feedback on their performance on a recurring basis, and leaders should be prepared and equipped to offer that. While it may come across as a time-consuming nuisance, offering individual and team feedback as it pertains to targeted performance goals can guide behavior and amplify positive results. According to 89% of HR leaders in a Globoforce survey, feedback and check-ins have an undeniable positive impact on their organization.
A completed goal should not be the end. Aiming for more with new goals and larger targets can help improve performance by keeping your team motivated. By adjusting the metaphorical goal posts, you can leverage the momentum of the current behavior, attitude, and strategies that has gotten your team thus far to keep pushing forward. When there are setbacks in progress, acknowledge them quickly to assess the cause and find a solution or adjust the plan as soon as possible. This flexibility maintains a sense of progress in addition to a positive demeanor.
Goal setting helps maintain positive behavior by creating motivation for long-term progress. By embedding goal setting into your workplace culture you can secure a cohesive and productivity environment for the long run.