Connect employee goals to larger company goals

Connect employee goals to larger company goals

Posted by Torben Rick | June 21, 2011 | Business Improvement
Connect employee goals to larger company goals

For goals to be meaningful and effective in motivating employees, they must be tied to larger organizational ambitions.

Employees who don’t understand the roles they play in company success are more likely to become disengaged.

No matter what level the employee is at, he should be able to articulate exactly how his efforts feed into the broader company strategy.

Make sure goals are attainable but challenging

Since employees are ultimately responsible for reaching their goals, they need to have a strong voice in setting them.

Ask your employee to draft goals that directly contribute to the organization’s mission. Once she’s suggested initial goals, discuss whether her targets are both realistic and challenging enough. Your team members are likely to resent you if you insist on goals that are too challenging to accomplish. At the same time, you don’t want to aim too low, either. If you are overly cautious, you will miss opportunities and settle for mediocrity.

When done well, stretch goals create a lot of energy and momentum in an organization. But, when done badly, they do not achieve the goal of motivating employees and helping them achieve better performance as they were designed to do. Even worse, poorly set goals can be destructive to employees’ morale and productivity, and to the organization’s performance overall.

A simple approach - Performance management -Targets

Create a plan for success

Once a goal is set, ask your employee to explain how he plans to meet it. Have him break goals down into tasks and set interim objectives, especially if it’s a large or long-term project. Ask your employee: what are the appropriate milestones? What are possible risks and how do you plan to manage them?

Monitor progress

Don’t wait for review time or the end of a project to check in. Review both long-term and short-term goals on a regular basis.

Top-performing organizations understand that employee engagement is a force that drives performance outcomes. In the best organizations, engagement is more than a human resources initiative – it is a strategic foundation for the way they do business.

Celebrate milestones

But do remember to celebrate milestones once they have been reached. Taking the time to celebrate is important because it acknowledges people’s hard work, boosts morale and keeps up the momentum. If you want something to grow, pour champagne on it.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

Hello Rick,

Is it an observation that there is greater workforce engagement where there is a more human connectedness and EQ approach in these times. Almost allowing team leaders to constructively workshop the goal setting and the “how” they will achieve those goals?

Nigel

So true. It will also help referring to employees as “Human Community” in stead of “Human Resources”. People seen as ‘resources’ are just waiting to be used, people in ‘communities’ work interactively to the best of each others potential!

Couldn’t agree more. Employees knowing what the company is trying to achieve in the longer term is vitally important to productivity and alignment. I found it also helped enormously with project (or even task) prioritisation. That said, communication is the key. People need to know what it is the company is trying to achieve and how they fit in with that plan otherwise there’s no point in creating it. 
 
My experience with poor communications, poor vision and inapproriate tools to support any sort of process is what inspired me to set-up Cogendo and our tool PerformanceHub

PerformanceHub links company goals and company objectives to employee objectives and it does this with a navigable cascade to help focus and align employees on what’s important. As a result, not only do you get an excellent communications platform, but employee performance data without the hassle of the usual performance management processes. 
 
PerformanceHub covers all but one of your points here – at the moment, it’s just missing “Celebrate Milestones”. We have an idea for that, but really just to celebrate on an employee basis. Joint celebration is, I think, more down to the management and again revolves around communications. 
 
We’ve helped a number of companies, schools and charities move away from their old processes now, dealing with HR and Operations directors who want to move to a more practical and useful process. I wish I could share the old processes PerformanceHub replaced – you wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry, some of them are that bad. It’s just a pity that the old process had to break before someone took action to replace it.

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