4 Approaches To Goal Setting That Employees Will Thank You For 

Are you working in a competitive, fast moving market where having a great product, amazing customer experience and a highly engaged workforce are table-stakes? Are goals getting missed and major projects or initiatives often not delivered?

Many businesses are find it difficult to manage the complexity of distributed offices and workforce and employees often feel stretched and are struggling to keep up and feel motivated. If one or more of these is resonating with you then there’s a good chance that you need to invest in finding new and better ways of working. 

Frameworks, processes and habits that become part of a firm’s culture are powerful and will allow you to not only perform, but adapt. They can take pressure off your people and out of your systems, whilst allowing you to navigate change, improve critical decision making, get clarity on what really matters and deliver at a pace. With that in mind, here are 4 better ways of working that you will want to be part of your company DNA. 

#1 Rethink how you set and communicate goals

Probably the best way of allowing all levels of the company to get involved in goal setting is to use Objectives and Key Results aka OKRs.

OKRs work because leaders can’t possibly see and know everything that’s going on in the company, let alone control it. An external working environment only makes it more difficult. However, it doesn’t stop a number of managers trying though. 

It’s better and much less stressful to guide and empower teams to set goals and work out the best way of achieving them, then coach them through the delivery process, as opposed to prescribing the answers and micromanaging.

OKRs help employees feel connected to your company goals, giving them a sense of purpose. Priorities across the business are clear and conflicting demands can be filtered out. 

Having a license to focus on a few high impact goals at a time is a breath of fresh air for teams that are used to firefighting and a constant stream of new initiatives being presented.

#2 Do things that add the most value: measure and learn

When you know what outcomes you want to achieve you can use logic, creativity and critical thinking to plan the Initiatives most likely to have the desired impact. These mostly untested hypotheses are what are going to occupy your day-to-day when you’re not doing your business-as-usual activities.

They are also the activities that you learn from the most. These learning loops can exist because there is a measurable outcome at the end of these experiments that tells you whether it works or not, and what you should keep, start and stop doing.

#3 Be more transparent and agile

Make what you’re working towards and on and your priorities for each week transparent. Share your wins and what’s holding you back and solve problems in record time. Make adjustments as you go and you will achieve more.

#4 Make ambition and psychological safety a priority

It has been proven that hard goals make a big difference to performance and easy goals really don’t. The flip side of this is that it’s also been proven that ‘psychologically safe’ teams outperform those that are less so. Having a high trust environment at work is important for morale and productivity. 

What this means in practice is that if goals are not reached that’s seen as a learning experience, employees feel comfortable speaking up, sharing their best ideas, and where it is required to disagree and offer opinions of their own. Employees also feel like their own unique talents and expertise are being utilised. 

So, what will you implement first into your workplace? If you can successfully make these 4 things part of your company and team DNA the chances of you thriving on a continual basis are much higher. The best thing is, they are not that hard to achieve, you just need to commit to wanting to achieve them.

Author bio: Matt Roberts is the founder of the OKR and Performance Management software company ZOKRI.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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