How to Move the Needle in 2016 with Goal Setting

How to Move the Needle in 2016 with Goal Setting

With a new year around the corner, it’s time to focus on reviewing 2015 results and creating a plan to move the needle in 2016. When it comes to performance, nothing beats goal setting. Setting goals gives you focus, allows you to measure progress, and keeps you motivated.

In a business environment, setting goals “as a team, for the team” is vital. If you don’t have everyone on board, the goals will be difficult to achieve no matter how important they are. Too many companies have a top-down approach to goal setting. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, follow these steps to move the needle in 2016.

Have Employees Participate in Company Goal Setting

Many companies have employees participate in setting their personal goals, but very few involve them in company-level goal setting. The truth is, when employees participate in goal-setting it dramatically increases engagement and helps each staff member feel that they are part of something bigger.

It can be hard to imagine how to integrate employees into goal setting strategy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can choose an employee representative from each department to be part of the meetings, or you can form an employee team to review results and provide input into the 2016 goals. Whatever you do, be sure to take employee contributions seriously. If you ignore them, you’ll damage morale and send the message that you’re more about appearance than true action.

Inspire Employees to Set Challenging Professional Goals

Once the company goals are outlined, share them with your employees and encourage them to set challenging goals for themselves that tie to the company goals. Employees who feel that their professional goals are closely linked to the overall direction of the company are more likely to take ownership over their jobs and perform to the best of their ability.

Encourage employees to set stretch goals that are achievable, but take extra effort to obtain and tie rewards to those goals. Rewards can be monetary or not, such as a cash bonus, lunch with the boss or an extra day off. You can even tie different rewards to different levels of performance to be equitable with all of your employees.

Publicly Recognize Success and Milestones

When someone meets their challenging goals, or the company hits a major goal-related milestone, celebrate it! Constructive feedback is great, but most employees need recognition for the positive contributions they make. Recognizing successful employees helps provide incentives to do well, unites the team and provides motivation for staff and departments. You can hold quarterly recognition celebrations or have individual managers provide more frequent feedback.

If your company is getting close to a specific milestone, you can even make a game of it with your employees. This will heighten anticipation and provide a bit of fun. For instance, some companies have employees guess the date and time that they will reach a certain number of customers and provide daily updates on how the trend is going. When the day arrives, a big celebration ensues and the person who guessed closest wins a small prize.

Goal setting for 2016 will help you understand where your company is going and how it can get there. When you involve your employees, help them set professional goals that fit in with the overall company vision, and publicly recognize accomplishments, you’ll be well on your way to a very successful 2016!

For more information on goal setting or to get advice about how to set your business up for success in 2016, contact me today,