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Helping your employees set achievable goals establishes a formal outline for professional development over a given time. Whether for projects or individuals, the goals can act as a road map for employees and allow you to gauge progress throughout the year. Not only does goal-setting help provide direction for employees, it also helps with your company's long-term strategic business planning efforts.
Establishing project goals can assist in project planning efforts and in creating workflow charts that help keep an employee focused and on track. Projects may be long-term or short-term and should have specific parameters, including timetables for completion and cost projections. For example, an administrative assistant project goal might be to create a comprehensive database for each department in the company. A marketing coordinator project plan might involve drafting a new marketing campaign or updating a website design.
Earning goals are fairly easy to measure, and are most commonly used in setting goals with sales representatives. Financial goals should be based on attainable projections, and employees should be given the tools and resources necessary to accomplish their objectives. Financial objectives can also be set with marketing and advertising employees, or any other staffers who have a direct and measurable impact on company earnings.
Encourage employees to enhance their skills and learn more about their profession and your industry to become stronger contributors to your workforce. Push employees to set goals with regard to continuing education classes, participation in industry organizations, seminars or conventions or involvement in professional enrichment activities.
Encourage collective as well as individual goals. For example, goals can be set according to department, division or work group. A graphic design department might have a goal of developing new corporate logo designs, while a finance department might have a goal of computerizing its accounts payable and receivable practices. Specific parameters of collective goals should be established to ensure workload is evenly distributed.
Components of Goal-Setting
The goals you establish with your employees should be a reflection of your company’s core competencies, and should tie in to your long-term strategic plans. Refer to your business and marketing plans when setting goals to ensure you are not overlooking key areas of focus.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.
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