Goal planning in the workplace often feels like an obligitory process that gets forgotten by February. Everyone takes fifteen minutes to jot down a few goals and email them to their manager without really thinking through what they actually want to achieve, either personally or professionally.
Part of the problem is that real goal setting in the workplace is often limited to the executive suite. CEOs and their top execs come up with annual goals for the whole company and then hand them down as mandates, rather than involving the whole organization in the goal setting process.
This is a big mistake, and an incredibly common one. When execs don’t let the people who work for them take part in goal planning, major opportunities for insight, motivation, and focus are overlooked.
Think about it: your employees are the people who actually make your company run. They are the ones who use the systems and processes that you have created to get work done, so they know better than anyone what is working well and what could be better. Many of them have great ideas about how to implement improvements, but if they never have a chance to be heard (or are never encouraged to speak up), your company will suffer as a result. They also have their own ideas about their role within your company and what more they could be bringing to the table, if given the chance.
As the leader of your company, business unit, or team, the overarching goals are your responsibility. You should set the lofty, inspiring mark for your team to aim for. But don’t make the mistake of managing all the specifics yourself. Have meetings with the people you manage. Ask for their input about how to achieve a given goal, whether it’s achievable, or whether it’s misguided. Gather opinions from the people who know the business best – your loyal, trusted employees.
The best path to ensuring goal achievement is to get everyone on board, and the best way to do that is to let them be a part of the goal planning process.