Is Your Staff On Board?
When employees share in the setting of their own goals, they’re more committed to achieving them. They develop a better sense of self-esteem in addition to sharpening their professional judgment. Follow this four-step process for participative goal setting:
• Take the lead. As a manager, you have the main responsibility for identifying performance targets. Start by creating a goal, or list of goals, and then ask your employees to evaluate it and tell you what might be unclear or inaccurate. Listen to the employee’s opinions as you revise the goals, and make sure you both know how you’ll measure the employee’s efforts.
• Formalize the plan. Once you’ve agreed upon employee goals, write them down so there’s no misunderstanding about what you’ve agreed to. You might have both parties initial the final version. Keep one copy for yourself, and give the employee his or her own for reference and motivation.
• Follow up. Hand the employee responsibility for follow-up by asking him or her to check in with you regularly while working toward goals. Agree on the follow-up intervals at the outset, especially if the employee is entering new territory where his or her skills may not yet be up to par. Write a reminder on your calendar to check in if the employee doesn’t come to you with a progress report on the specified date.
• Evaluate the process. Once the goal has been reached, meet with the employee to discuss what worked well and what didn’t. Ask for suggestions on how to improve things the next time.