With the new year underway, we are now able to reflect on the previous year’s performance. One method managers will often use to analyse an employee’s output is a performance review. This can include a structured breakdown of yearly goals and how employees have performed against them. But why is goal setting so important?
Goal setting provides direction and encourages employees to focus on a collection of tasks. When effective, goal setting can lead to an increase in motivation1. Employees achieving their goals can create a huge sense of internal satisfaction, which can improve both employee retention and engagement within the workforce. In turn, this can enhance overall performance. With this in mind, here are some top tips that could be used for goal setting this year:
1. Be reflective
When creating goals for the year, it’s important to reflect upon what has gone well compared to what could have been better. Encouraging constructive feedback between colleagues will help when looking for new, realistic measures in the new year. What has been achieved and what is necessary or appealing for the future? Asking questions of yourself and others promotes discussion and is a far more thought provoking way to create goals.
2. Reverse engineering
This is an important tracking method for employers to use. Breaking down yearly goals into sectioned reviews, means we can consistently measure performance against the goals that have been set. A monthly update can be an efficient time scale for tracking performance. Here, goals can be tweaked if necessary, ensuring they are both realistic and developmental.
3. Set metrics to measure against
Having a goal that is vague and non-descriptive does not provide direction. It will also make it harder to compare performance against the goals set. How can we be expected to engage others with a level of success if the key term was to ‘improve’? Unless there is a numerical scale for ‘improvement’, we are being ambiguous. Having a clear statistical measurement means we can monitor goals progressively and see which areas need working on.
Goal setting is a fundamental method for improving performance that should not be overlooked2. Using these 3 top tips could significantly enhance our goal setting ability and motivate ourselves and others to perform better within an organisation.
Have you set your goals for the coming year?