Five Ways to Make Goal Setting Meaningful

Working hard is easy when you feel motivated. However, employer and employee motivations don’t always align. Help your team achieve more by making goal setting meaningful and motivating.

#1: Share the numbers.

When employees clearly understand where a company is going and why, they are more likely to drive toward the common goal.

  • Be transparent. Show them exactly what you plan to achieve and how each department and individual contributes.
  • Review progress regularly. Whether the results are bad or good, let the team know where you stand every month.

#2: Involve employees in goal setting.

Help employees set individual goals that clearly link to the corporate goals when possible. This helps each person feel accountable.

  • According to Gallup, employees who are involved in goal setting are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than other employees.
  • Instead of setting and measuring employee goals on an annual basis, consider using quarterly goals. The shorter period allows people to stay more focused, earn rewards faster, and you can collectively adjust goals each quarter to meet the company’s evolving needs and priorities.

#3: Provide rewards that matter.

According to a survey from Udemy, 37% of American employees said that having a “good work-life balance” was the most important part of giving work meaning, beating out other options like “personal accomplishment” and “contributing to a greater good.” It may seem counterintuitive, but letting your employees spend more time away from work may help them accomplish more at work. Consider offering more “work-life balance” perks as rewards for individual goal achievement.

  • Provide flexible hours and work-from-home options if possible.
  • Provide paid time off, including personal, volunteer, or mental health days.

#4: Make advancement opportunities clear.

Nobody is motivated in a dead-end career. If your employees think that working harder will benefit the company but not them, they’re unlikely to put in much effort. On the other hand, if they know that their hard work will pay off personally, they’ll be motivated to do more.

  • Promote internally.
  • Provide mentorship and training opportunities.
  • Encourage your leaders to engage team members with career-pathing.

#5: Recognize hard work.

A kind word goes a long way. If your employees are putting in extra hours to meet a deadline, you need to recognize their efforts.

  • Thank employees for their work and celebrate goal achievement.
  • Host a company-wide team lunch to share numbers and progress each month or quarter.