Effective Workplace Goal Setting

Written by Jenna Kressler | Curriculum Developer

The year 2016 has come to an end, and with January started, you may have tried to start checking off some of the resolutions on your New Year’s list. You know, the typical “I’m going to lose 15 pounds” (8 lbs which you gained just in the last two weeks) or the re-occurring goal of finally taking your last drag from that cigarette you spend way too much money on and is terrible for your health (Redundant, I know). We often set personal resolutions for ourselves, but have you thought to include professional goals on your list?

How do you get that promotion you’ve been vying for? How do you incorporate your passion for teaching within your current role? How do you expand your current skill set?

In other words, how do we actually accomplish the professional goals we set out for ourselves? Our family and friends can help us be held accountable, but can our workplace help us achieve our goals as well?

The answer: absolutely!

Setting goals in the workplace motives employees, boosts morale, and makes the company operate more efficiently. One study found that only 8% of people

achieve their New Year’s goals, with an outstanding 92% failure rate. Employees like to see how their professional goals contribute to their workplace, but the goals must be meaningful for the employee to be fully engaged and to follow through.

How can managers play an effective role in goal setting in the workplace?

Managers should be providing support to their employees by:

  • Connecting employee goals with larger company goals
  • Making sure goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART)
  • Creating a specific and thorough plan
  • Monitoring progress
  • Track daily and / or weekly goals
  • Adjust steps towards the goal if something isn’t working out
  • Providing feedback
  • Celebrating success and learning from failure

Benefits of goal setting

  • Sense of purpose
  • Increases motivation
  • Positive emotions
  • Sense of pride
  • Productivity
  • Reduces stress
  • Increased self-confidence

Goals are more likely to be met when workplaces provide a supportive culture and there’s a co-accountability dynamic between manager and employee. This type of collaboration promotes a culture of teamwork, but it has to start at the top.

So, what are you going to accomplish in 2017?

As seen in our January Be Safe Newsletter


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