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It’s the beginning of the year and management has communicated the vision and strategic goals that will drive successful outcomes for your organization. If your organization has a defined performance management process, you are likely in the process of setting goals for 2018.

In a typical performance process, employees create an initial draft of their goals and then forward to their managers for review and approval. Many employees find it difficult to write goals and will require coaching.  

If you’re a manager tasked with helping your employee(s) set their goals, it’s your responsibility to ensure that their goals not only tie in to the overall strategic business goals, but that they can also be achieved.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend setting 3-5 SMART goals. Here’s what we mean by SMART:

By setting SMART goals, employees will have a clear understanding of their individual goals and how they relate to the larger goals of the organization. This will naturally create a more engaged employee who takes pride in their work.

Specific: Well-defined to inform employees exactly what is expected, when, and how much. With specific goals, managers can easily measure progress toward goal completion.
Measurable: Provide milestones to track progress and motivate employees toward achievement.
Attainable: Success needs to be achievable with effort by an average employee, not too high or too low.
Relevant: You should focus on the greatest impact to the overall company strategy.
Time-bound: Establish enough time to achieve the goal, but not too much time to undermine performance. Goals without deadlines tend to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve established goals, you’ll need to have a way to track them throughout the year. It’s important for employees to have a place to document the status of their goals, visible to managers who track progress of said goals, so that when it comes time for a review, all the information is at their fingertips.

If you aren’t currently utilizing a goal management software, we would recommend that you evaluate this valuable tool, as it’s a great way to create and manage companywide goals. A tool like SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, could help you keep your workforce constantly focused on the right business objectives, help employees improve and succeed with ongoing feedback and coaching, and accurately measure the value and impact of your employees. If you’re interested in seeing a demo, contact us today!

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