6 Ways to Help Your Team Set Their Goals

Chelsea Finn
6 Ways to Help Your Team Set Their Goals

As the end of the year approaches, there are two things everyone can expect: performance reviews and goal setting for the new year. While we know these things happen every year, they always tend to come up sooner than we expect them to. As a manager, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your team is set up for success when it comes to setting their goals for the upcoming year. 

How to Set Goals

First, you want to ensure that you're aligned with your organization's priorities when it comes to setting goals for yourself and your team. Meet with your manager and make sure you know what leadership is expecting from your department before meeting with your team. And once you meet with your team, be open to hearing what they want out of this next year. While company goals are going to be the primary pillar to guide the goal setting process,  your team member's insights and ideas should be another major part of the goal setting process. 

As you and your team set goals, consider using the SMART method to make sure each goal is well-rounded. 

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are goals that include the following criteria: 

S = Specific: Define your goal in detail and be as specific as possible.

M = Measurable: Decide how the success of your goal will be measured. 

A = Attainable: Ensure that your goal is realistic and possible to attain. 

R = Relevant: Make sure the goal relates to the potential success for your department and organization. 

T = Time-Bound: Set a clear deadline for your specific goal(s).

These five pieces of criteria will help make your goal setting process more efficient and precise. 

Goal Examples

Establishing specific goals and the metrics that go along with them is going to be dependent on your industry, organization and department. While everyone's goal setting process is unique, we've rounded up a few examples that can hopefully help spark a few ideas if you're unsure of where to start. 

  • Brand Goal:  Increase your organization's social media followers by 10% across all platforms.
  • Customer Satisfaction Goal: Have a 90% or higher customer service satisfaction rate.
  • Cost Savings Goal: Reduce overtime by 10% this year.
  • Meeting Goal: Schedule and hold monthly strategy meetings. 
  • Financial Goal: Increase company revenue by 5%.
  • Educational Goal: Complete 5 webinars related to your field. 
  • Technology Goal: Finalize training across all technical platforms that are used throughout the organization.
  • Production Goal: Increase production by 5% or more this year.
  • Employee Engagement Goal: Set up a monthly team building activity 

6 Tips to Set Your Team Up for Success with Goal Setting

1. Identify What Needs to Be Achieved

The first step of the goal setting process is establishing what needs to be achieved. There are 3 considerations that come into play here, 

1. What Your Organization is Expecting Your Department to Achieve

2. What Your Team Would Like to Achieve

3. What You Think Should Be Achieved 

As a leader, it's important that you're simultaneously taking into consideration what your team wants and establishing what's going to lead the entire team to success. 

2. Set Team Goals First

Consider what needs to be set as a team goal versus an individual goal. For example, if one of your goals is to rebrand the organization's website, that isn't going to entirely fall on one person. This team goal will need to be set first, and then individual goals will follow after. See below for an example,

Team Goal: The organization's website should be entirely rebranded by the end of the year

Individual Goal - Graphic Designer: Update the graphics for the rebrand

Individual Goal - Website Designer: Ensure all webpages have been updated with the rebrand

Individual Goal - Writer: Update any of the content that needs to be included in the rebrand

3. Let Your Team Identify Their Own Goals

Give your team the power to identify at least a few of  their own goals. Their own insights will help them come up with key initiatives and goals that will support their team. Be there to support them if they are feeling stuck, but letting your team identify their own goals will make them feel empowered for the year ahead. 

4. Set Deadlines

Going back to SMART goals, establishing key deadlines is crucial in the goal setting process. While many goals are going to be based on a one-year timeframe, don't be afraid to establish deadlines monthly or quarterly. For example, if someone on your team is expected to onboard 40 new customers within the year establish the deadline as 10 new customers each quarter. This will help them stay on track so they aren't playing catchup at the end of the year. 

 5. Establish Goal Check-In Dates

Let your team know when you plan on checking in with their goal progress. Whether you're planning a mid-year check in or a quarterly check-in, get those meetings on the calendar now so your team can feel prepared. Seeing meetings related to their goals can help your team stay on track in the same way that setting deadlines can.

6. Support Your Team

Lastly, be available to support your team when they need it. Whether that's support when it comes to choosing their goals or support with their goals during the year. Understand that deadlines may have to change depending on various factors such as life changes for employees or if your organization decides to focus on something new in the middle of the year. As a manager, always make sure you're offering the tools that your team needs to stay productive and the time for 1:1 meetings with each of your employees. 

Goal setting can seem stressful and overwhelming, it's important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Understand what your organization is looking for, take into consideration what your team wants and set one goal at a time. 


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