Improving Your Management Skills 3/12: Set Clear and Attainable Goals

If you want to keep your employees engaged and motivated, goal-setting is the way to go! When you have goals and expectations clearly laid out for your team, they can achieve and celebrate success. Without goals, even the most talented employees will wander aimlessly. Here’s how you can improve your management skills by setting clear and attainable goals.


Clearly define specific goals


The goals you set with your team have to be clearly identified or focused on one thing. If you lay out something vague, like, “grow the company,” no one will really know what that means. Instead, think about what needs to be done in order to do that. Do you need to boost your sales? Hire more staff? Expand your marketing? Break that grand, ambiguous goal into smaller pieces and identify who’s responsible for what.


Make them measurable


You need an endgame. Otherwise, how will you know when you’ve accomplished your goal or whether you’re making progress? Assign a target number to aim for and identify milestones along the way. Celebrate those milestones to keep your team moving forward. Let you’re team know that you’re thrilled with progress and praise their efforts.


Set attainable goals


Your goals have to be realistic. Know what resources you have at your disposal and what timeframe is feasible. If you’re a startup, you’re probably not likely to become a Fortune 500 company in three months. If you set a goal that’s unattainable, your team will get discouraged when they don’t reach it. Frustrated, unmotivated employees are likely to disengage from their responsibilities and might start to look for new challenges elsewhere.


Create relevant goals


There’s no point in setting goals that aren’t useful to your organization’s long-term success. It’s hard to keep your team motivated to achieve a goal that’s meaningless or unimportant. Be sure to communicate the relevance of your goal to your employees so they understand the significance of their efforts. Keep them in the loop, ask to hear their insights and concerns, and offer regular praise and advice. Regular feedback helps to keep your team engaged, focused, and loyal to the company.


Set a deadline


You have to have a deadline. Without an end date, your employees won’t know whether or not they achieved the goals. The deadline doesn’t have to be firm. If, at the end of six months, you still haven’t reached your target number but you’re making pretty significant progress, go ahead and push your deadline back. There’s no harm in admitting that you had an unforeseen setback or that your goal was a little too ambitious. Just let that be a lesson for you the next time you set goals. Keep asking “why” as you reflect on your productivity and efficiency.


For more tips on keeping your employees engaged and focused on your goals, contact our team today.


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