Embrace goal setting in both your business and personal life as a tool to achieve outstanding results.

Steven Covey told us to ‘begin with the end in mind’. He explained highly effective and successful individuals do this extremely well, by clearly envisioning what success looks like and what it will feel like when they arrive.

Creating relevant and well defined goals, whether related to work quality or personal development, provides an opportunity for employers and employees to build alignment in purpose, and establishes a means by which we can measure progress on our path to excellence.

Goals can push us to achieve something better or new.

The strategic value of goal setting to the business, by providing relevancy, motivation and inspiration, is unquestionable; when employees create their own quality and development goals in collaboration with a manager:

  1. we build greater autonomy through accountability for setting and achieving these goals
  2. we provide employees a clear sense of purpose by building alignment with manager, team and company objectives
  3. we provide opportunities for mastery and personal development of key competencies (learning objectives).

Goal setting establishes desired outcomes, and provides filters to guide and direct individual and team activities; this clarity of purpose in turn cultivates motivation and inspiration, leading to improved performance and engagement.

Clear goals inspire excellence in teams and individuals.

To help build a culture of goal setting in your company or team, consider the following:

  • Start with a clear vision around current company and/or team goals –have an elevator pitch or mission statement which clarifies the business purpose
  • Educate your managers and staff on why they should care about goals and their potential impact (“What’s in it for Me?”)
  • Run workshops to allow staff working in similar areas of the organization to collaborate and brainstorm on relevant goals for their work discipline
  • Provide relevant goal examples that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Based)
  • Goals should clarify a tangible outcome or set of results but can also include the ‘how’ (the way in which the work is done)
  • Keep the conversation going – measure progress, clarify expectations, adapt and adjust along the way

This last point is critical to achieving clear results from the goal setting activity, and to have an ongoing impact. Managers must regularly engage in quality conversations with their team members, checking for continued goal relevancy as well as ensuring there is an aligned understanding of progress against goals. The regularly scheduled 1:1 conversation provides a perfect platform for this discussion.

Original article on linkedin

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