As a leader setting goals with the members of your team is essential for motivating them.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts when setting inspiring goals.
Do empower individuals to suggest their own goals
Allow your team to be a part of the goal-setting process. Get their input on what their goals should be and discuss how they will achieve them. This will engage the members of your team and increase their productivity as they work towards the goals. It is however important to first generate organizational objectives, cascade these to department objectives, and share those departmental objectives along with the intended outcomes, with the team. This will ensure that personal goals are aligned with departmental and organizational objectives.
Do set stretch challenges and enter new territory
Give the members of your team a chance to step out of their comfort zone. Doing new tasks that they’ve never completed before, gives individuals a chance to grow and build new skills. This is a great way of building initiative and is best accomplished by having the employee come up with out of the box solutions to problems and giving them the time and space to develop said solutions using methodologies formerly unknown to them.
Do make the goals measurable
These goals can be defined in numerical or financial terms. They can be broken down into measurable steps. Make the measures as clear as possible, it will be easier to focus and concentrate on achieving those set numbers. This is an important component of SMART goals i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. The development of key performance indicators is an excellent way of ensuring that goals are tied directly to employee performance as what gets measured gets done!
Don’t ignore strengths and weaknesses
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Instead of setting goals to improve weaknesses, focus on goals that will allow each individual to use their strengths. Your team will be energized if their goals are matched to their capabilities. Listen closely to the things team members are interested in or enjoy. Give them the opportunity to suggest improvements using those strengths. They will invariably go after elegant and unique solutions using those skills adding value to the organization.
Don’t leave them open-ended, set time frames clear boundaries and progress milestone
Once you’ve set the goals, don’t leave them without a completion date. Give the members of your team a period by when their goals should be completed as well as check-in points to see how they are progressing. Again key components of SMART goals i.e. specific and timely, are accomplished using this strategy.
Inspiring your employees is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Helping them set inspiring goals is a sure way of ensuring high levels of discretionary effort.