Tips For Setting Employee Goals

By Ashley Paskill on December 30, 2021

Managing a business and employees can be tricky. You have to make sure your employees are being taken care of while they are working towards the goals of the company. When your employees accomplish goals that are challenging but attainable, they feel better about the work they do. Helping your employees set goals to help move your company forward can help them feel proud of working for your company and give them pride in what they do.

Make goals challenging

While it may seem like making goals easy would give your employees more pride since they are able to accomplish them, it is important to keep goals a little bit challenging to help them stay motivated. Setting goals that are too easy can make you seem like you have no aspirations for the company or that you do not have faith in your employees to accomplish goals that are challenging. Make goals that are challenging but not impossible. That way, employees will feel pride in accomplishing something and they will be pushed to achieve something challenging. This will give them greater satisfaction than accomplishing something that was too easy.

Have employees make their own goals

You may have specific goals that your company needs to meet, but having your employees make their own goals will give them the motivation to accomplish them. This gives them a sense of ownership over their goals. Your employees know their strengths and weaknesses and while you can guide them to what needs to be done, ultimately giving them the freedom to make their goals will give them more motivation to work towards the goals. They will also have more pride in these goals as they created them and accomplished something they set instead of goals that were imposed on them by you and other managers.

Encourage teamwork

Working alone on individual goals is great, but as a company, your whole team is striving towards the same hopes and goals for where the company hopes to be in the future. Have groups of employees set goals to accomplish together, especially if the employees do similar kinds of work within the company. This is especially true for goals that are a bit bigger than individual goals. This way, individuals can break goals into smaller tasks and come together to have a final accomplishment completed. Encouraging teamwork to meet goals builds connections among coworkers and allows you to see how well the team works together.

Image: Cottonbro via

Motivate employees

Working towards a big goal can seem daunting, even if a group is working together. Be sure to commend employees who are on the right track and offer constructive feedback when things could use some improvement. Staying motivational will help employees ensure they are on track for completing the goal in time and not feel drained. Commend them along the way and offer a reward for accomplishing the goal once it is completed. This will also ensure that your employees are continuing to grow as they work towards the goal they want to achieve. Being negative and criticizing without ways to improve will only make your employees feel bad and they will not know how to make changes to what their strategy is.

Stick with company values

When creating goals, make sure your employees can clearly see how these goals will specifically fit in with the company values and what the organization as a whole wants to accomplish. This will give them a sense that they are contributing to the larger picture and not just doing tasks for no reason. Have a clear answer for why the employees are going after that goal and how it will help further the company’s mission. Employees likely joined the organization because they aligned with your values, so ensuring that the goals they are working towards fit the company’s values will encourage them to keep going.

Set SMART goals

Creating a goal may seem easy, but without specific parameters, it will be hard for employees to go after the goals. Consider making goals that fit within the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) framework. This allows employees a chance to track and see progress and the deadline of the time-based aspect gives them something to work towards. Otherwise, your employees may not be as motivated to accomplish their goals. Employees are more motivated if they can see the progress and how it is helping the company. Having a deadline prevents employees from being complacent and gets them to work hard so they can meet the goal in time. Have goals be specific so employees know exactly what needs to be done and how. Setting boundaries within the SMART framework will help employees stick to their goals and do what needs to be done.

Setting goals with and for employees is a crucial part of your job, but with the right perspective of what works and what does not, your employees will flourish and be able to take pride in their accomplished goals. Do not forget to honor them and reward their hard work once goals are met.

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