The most fundamental responsibility of being a manager is guiding your employees on how to excel professionally in their roles. While regular feedback and clear expectations help your team perform their day-to-day tasks, if you want them to make real progress, they need to have goals to pursue. With your assistance, setting goals can allow them to understand how to take the steps needed to grow and develop professionally. Learn more about how managers can help employees set goals:
Tie Specific Goals Into the Bigger Picture
Employee goals should ideally be created as a way to advance the company’s overall mission. Do not set arbitrary goals, but instead tie specific goals into the bigger picture. As you set goals for your employees, clarify how they will contribute to the main objectives of the company.
Encourage Employees to Give Input
No one truly understands your employees’ roles better than your employees themselves, so provide them the opportunity to weigh in on what goals they would like to set. They may have ideas for goals you may not have necessarily considered. Plus, being encouraged to give their input may make them more personally invested in achieving those goals.
Aim for a Balance of Attainability and Challenge
There is a fine balance in terms of difficulty that needs to be maintained when setting goals for your employees. Aim for a balance of goals being realistic, but that will still require effort. If the goals are too difficult, employees will lose motivation, but ones that are too simple won’t help them grow professionally.
Ensure They Are in the Proper Framework
Any employee goals you set should be in the SMART framework for maximum success. SMART goals are:
Clarify exactly what the employees should aim to achieve and how its success will be assessed. Ensure the goals are realistic, align with their current roles and have set deadlines to keep them on track.
Develop a Plan for Achieving Them
Once you have actually set your employees goals with them, develop a specific plan for achieving them. This may include:
- breaking down bigger goals into smaller sub goals to make progress
- determining how to schedule dedicated time for pursuing goals into their current workload
- scheduling regular progress update meetings
Taking the time to plan shows your employees their goals and professional development are a priority.
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