5 tips for setting effective goals and objectives

Setting goals is crucial not just for the success of your organisation but also your employees.

As a leader one of your key tasks is to set goals and objectives for your team. Your team will take cues from you and so it is crucial that the objectives and goals you set for them are not just specific and measurable but also achievable and time-bound. Here are five tips to set effective goals and objectives for your employees so that they perform to their optimum levels.

1. Be specific
When your goals are specific, you are also able to assess at the end of a particular period how close or far your employee is from achieving them. There is no ambiguity in the employee’s mind as to what is expected from her/him. This can help them plan their time better and prioritise tasks in a manner that helps them achieve the goals set. It also helps you, at the end of a specific period, to assess and give feedback about their performance.

2. Be realistic
It is easy to give unrealistic goals to your employees and then remind them at the end of the project how they were unable to achieve them. That is the mark of a bad manager. It not only makes your employees disgruntled, it also makes you come across as an unreasonable manager with unrealistic expectations. But at the same time you cannot set an easily achievable goal; you cannot set the bar so low that you don’t challenge your employee’s intellect. That will lead to complacency. So it is crucial to walk that fine line between being challenging and being unrealistic. And you can do that by assessing the potential of your employee and then setting the target outside of her/his comfort zone.

3. Define the schedule of your goals
This is another crucial element. No matter how much time you spend on defining your employee’s goals and objectives, the moment you don’t give her/him a particular time frame to achieve them all your goal setting will come to naught. Because no matter how realistic and specific your goals may be, the moment you don’t set a deadline, it is easy for the employee to slack off and as a result derail the project she/he is handling. Therefore the third and the most crucial aspect of goal setting is setting deadlines. Yet again, these deadlines need to be realistic, just as the goals you’ve set.

4. Set the finish line
This is an extension of the first point. When you set the finish line you are telling your employee that this is where the race ends and crossing that line will give her/him a sense of victory. It is crucial for your employee to know how you, as the manager, define winning and therefore what she/he needs to do to cross that finish line.

5. Provide rewards
Yes, praises and recognition over emails can give your employee a sense of achievement, but that’s for a limited period of time. And while it is crucial you do that on a regular basis to keep your employees motivated, it is also important to provide a financial reward as well. When time comes, you need to stand up for her/him and give them their due. Failing to do that is bound to cause disgruntlement at best and attrition at worst.

Photograph: Katemangostar – 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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