Best Practices for Achieving Talent Success Maturity

Getting Started with Goals: Increasing Performance and Engagement

  • Who it’s for: 
    HR and all managers
  • What you’ll get: 
    An overview of the importance of setting goals
  • Why you need it: 
    To begin your goal-setting process
  • When it applies in the talent success process: 
    As close to the date of hire as possible
of employees

According to Boston Business Journal, 90 percent of employees don’t have written goals. * Only 10 percent of employees set themselves up for greater success by capturing their goals.

The Value of Setting Goals with Your Employees

Setting goals with your employees early on provides them with a tangible direction to strive toward and gives them a sense of the role they play within your company. Clearly set goals define expectations of success for your employees, and those goals empower your employees to achieve better results.

higher chance

Writing goals down and reviewing them regularly gives employees a 95 percent higher chance of achieving their desired outcomes, according to The Leadership Training Workshop. * With only 10 percent of employees capturing their goals, a lot of business potential is missed.

Using Goals to Empower Your Employees

Goals help employees understand their function within your organization and how they assist your organization in achieving its overall vision.

of employees

Only 41 percent of employees know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from competitors. *

Once your employees understand what makes your company unique and how they function within your organization’s overall mission, they can create goals that closely align with the company’s objectives. And when your employees are engaged with their goals and your company, you will start to see improvement.

higher earnings per share

According to Gallup, companies with an average of 9.3 engaged employees per actively disengaged employee “experienced 147 percent higher earnings per share” when compared with their competition. * Engaged employees will drive your company’s results, but goals will tell them where to focus their energy.

The Value of Reviewing Your Employees Against Their Goals

Addressing your employees’ organizational goals during their performance review is the best way to assess how they’re growing within their role and how they’re aligning with your company’s mission. Addressing employee goals directly also enables them to perform better in their roles.

more likely

One study found that at a major global financial services company, financial services staff who earned high review scores were twice as likely to achieve their goals and 49 percent more likely to be highly accurate at work. *

more likely

The same study found that customer service representatives at a U.S. call center provider who scored highly in reviews were 64 percent more likely to achieve quality-assurance goals and five times as likely to meet deadlines. *

Reviewing your employees against their goals not only gives you a view into how your employees are aligning with your organization’s overall mission, it enables your employees to achieve greater success within their roles.

The Value of Goal Revision

of front-line employees

According to a study from Bersin by Deloitte, only 18 percent of front-line employees revise their goals throughout the year, while 56 percent of senior leaders and 36 percent of middle managers do revise their goals. *

Employee goals should be regularly updated based on their workload, how well they’re performing with their assigned tasks, and changes to the company’s plans and strategy. Assessing how those goals improve or decline will give you a good idea of how your employees are performing within their roles.

The Value of Goal Variation

Goals do not have to relate just to your company’s bottom line. As Inc. puts it, “Goal setting doesn’t have to be only about revenue. It could relate to innovation, employee retention, service offerings, or anything that is important to enhancing your business.” * Envision what measurements for success are most important to you and your company, and set your goals accordingly.

Goals Motivate A-players to Achieve A-player Results

People will often achieve higher levels of performance when given a clear target to hit rather than when they are simply told to do their best. Defined goals help employees to prioritize their work and focus their efforts in the most valuable direction, and act a silent and constant coach encouraging them forward. And nothing is more attractive to a top performer than an opportunity to do something big!

Goal-centric Management Is Within Your Reach

Getting started with goal-centric management doesn’t require dramatic or difficult changes to how your company works today. You already have conversations with your employees about their performance, and reframing those discussions around goals makes those conversations more concrete and actionable. The most important thing to do is to take the first step of having employees and managers set goals together, check in on their progress regularly, and revise or replace goals as needed. The investment now can be as little as a few hours per month (or even per quarter) but will pay huge dividends as the company learns and grows around it.