This article first appeared January 16th, 2012.
I set annual goals for my staff last year but found that I lost track of them within a month or two. The focus seemed to just go. Should I set shorter timeframe goals this year around?
The first problem is the fact that you set the goals. Therefore they are your goals not your team’s. It smacks of an edict, really.
If you can have your team have a go at setting their own goals, you are more likely to achieve “buy-in”.
Allow them some opportunity to initially set goals, no more than four or five at a time. They can have a 12 month time stamp.
Have them submit the first draft and then you can edit them. Authorship builds ownership.
This immediately creates a dialogue and will give you a window into what they are thinking. In my experience everyone can have a set of goals, no matter what the role.
Your role is then to review, amend, edit and set in place a set of measures (where you will look to see if the goal is on track).
You can call these Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) but measures will do.
Then you set in place a monthly one-on-one and guess what you use as the agenda items? The measures!
In this way you are achieving the following:
- Empowering your team.
- Guiding not directing.
- Observing the different approach each team member takes (this can be fascinating).
- Negotiating and setting standards.
- Putting in place some measures.
- Reviewing and keeping on track.
In my experience the majority of managers fail to set goals and really manage their people because they claim the following:
- Lack of time.
- Lack of data.
- Lack of skill and expertise in this area.
- Lack of objectivity.
- Lack of real and measurable objectives.
My contention is that if we first focus upon the last and have our people be involved in writing their own objectives and goals we will become more objective, build our skills to manage, obtain great data, therefore we will be more comfortable and find the time to manage and lead.
So if you adopt this simple formula of involving the team you will not only build effective goals but you will bring all five elements in to play.
Happy 2013 and start having your team author their own goals!