Free Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards & Recognition.

Goal Setting For Employees: 5 Useful Tips

4 min read
Last Updated on 28 January, 2021
Goal Setting For Employees: 5 Useful Tips

I wouldn’t be wrong if I go on to say that goal setting for employees is extremely integral to business development.

According to Wikipedia:

Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal.

Generally, planning and setting performance goals top many a companies priority lists.

As a manager, it’s vital that you set specific goals for your team. Or personal goals that employees need to achieve.

When employees have specific goals to strive towards, it positively impacts their employee performance as well.

Also when individuals and team members collaborate to reach goals, it revolutionizes how a company strives to reach it's business goals.

5 Ways To Facilitate Better Goal Setting For Employees

1. Set and achieve SMART goals

Setting goals without prior planning are of no use. That’s why today’s organizations invest in the concept of SMART goal setting.

The concept of SMART goals is easy. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

Specific Goals

Goal setting should be specific, clear and simple. Vaguely stated goals work only to confuse employees of the goal's purpose.

Unspecific goals will only make employees feel confused about what they are supposed to do to achieve that particular goal.

Thus as a manager ask yourself the following 4 questions before setting a goal for your employees:

  • What do I want a particular employee to accomplish?
  • Why achieving this particular goal is important?
  • Who is going to work on this goal?
  • Which resources will it involve in achieving this goal?

Measurable Goals

SMART goals ideally should be “trackable” so that employees can keep track of their goals and stay motivated.

Thus, setting specific measurable goals highlights the efforts required to accomplish it.

Achievable Goals

Setting unattainable goals will only result in demotivation among employees.

An achievable goal should set the bar:

  • High enough that it becomes just challenging enough to strive for it.
  • Subsequently, low enough that it is still achievable with the present resources and amount of time available.

Relevant Goals

Great SMART goals place consideration into its relevance regarding:

  • Situations surrounding the completion of the goal.
  • Unforeseeable circumstances that may hamper the completion of the goals.
  • In addition to the other urgent goals that may come in the way of completing a particular goal.
  • Also, unavailability of sufficient resources.

Time-bound Goals

Time-bound SMART goals allocate a distinctive amount of time. It assigns a finishing deadline for every goal. This ensures that everyday tasks don’t come in between the priority to achieve goals.

2. Strike a balance between employee goals and business goals

Every individual goal should work in some way to fulfill team goals or business goals.

The foremost criteria in goal setting for employees are that business goals should be aligned with the goals that benefit professional development as well.

Thus to magnify the results of goal setting for employees, every goal should strike a balance between employee goals and business goals.

It’s also important that employees get the chance to set goals for themselves. Consequently, when employees get a chance to set their own goals they are more likely to stay committed. This, in turn, makes employees more likely to achieve that goal.

3. Collaboration To Set Stronger Employee Goals

In a 2013 articleForbes cited a study that suggested that collaborating on goals with your peers boosts chances of achieving those said goals.

In this study, it was found that people who shared their goals with their peers had a 75% more chance of succeeding than those who worked solo.

Collaborating on a goal enables employees to see different perspectives and techniques to reach a performance goal. Also, it provides a boost of confidence to know that someone is there to help you out.

Here are a few ways to make goal setting for employees into a collaborative task:

  • Sometimes individual goals might cause to hamper the progress of the team goals. Give the team members access to all the goals that every individual member is working towards. Transparency is the key here.
  • Also always seek to divide the bigger goals among team members. Giving a particular employee the sole responsibility of reaching that goal is taking a big risk.
  • Furthermore, the use of project management tools make the process of setting and reaching a goal like a walk to the park. Skype, Trello, Slack are some collaborative tools that have been a big hit with today’s corporates.

4. Recognition on achieving performance goals

When done correctly- that is frequently and timely recognition helps in showing employees how their performance and efforts have helped in reaching strategic business goals.

Accordingly, research shows that engaged employees are more likely to continue performing at a higher level than unengaged employees.

Providing recognition to employees upon reaching performance goals is a powerful way to appreciate talent and build a culture of appreciation and recognition to amplify overall employee performance.

However many companies choose ineffective recognition methods that provide little or ineffective benefits. In such cases, having a corporate reward and recognition program works wonders to provide employee recognition that leads to increased performance levels and greater employee morale.

5. Align goal setting with a performance management system

A performance management system is a necessary tool that can help you keep track of where each employee stands regarding each of their performance goals.

Regardless of the employee's designation or department, a performance management system makes sure that he has achieved the performance goals that he was allocated to complete.

About 91% of companies that have effective performance management systems say that employees’ goals are tied to the broader business priorities.

Every employee, at every level, should be able to clearly state how their efforts link into achieving the broader business goals.

Thus for this to work, the company strategy needs to be communicated into clear organisational goals so that employees can easily understand it.

In particular, your performance management practices need to ensure that organisational goals are communicated and are available to employees when they are setting their personal goals.

In Conclusion

Do you have any more tips to make goal setting for your employees more effective? Tell us in the comments below!

This article is written by Barasha Medhi who is a part of the marketing team at Vantage Circle. Barasha can be found either searching for interesting HR, company culture, and corporate buzzwords to write about or looking at pictures of cozy Bel Air mansions. For any related queries, contact