When it comes to our management style at CTA, we have always relied heavily on the advice of Ken Blanchard in the One Minute Manager series. This was a process of leadership that was taught to me at a young age and I have seen time and time again it prove its reliability in management scenarios of all kinds. Today I want to talk to you a little more about how we implement the foundational step in this three step process: Goal Setting.
The benefits of successful goal setting in any working scenario cannot be overstated. An employee that has had proper goal setting with their supervisor generally will feel confident, in control of their success, productive, and secure in their work. In comparison an employee that has not had someone set goals with them could feel confused about what they are supposed to be doing, unsure if they are completing their work correctly, burnt out, and unproductive while spending time trying to guess exactly what needs done and when or if to ask for more direction. So, what is proper goal setting anyway? We focus on three steps to goal setting in our call center. Let’s take some time to go through each step.
- Agree on their goals
This step is where you, as a manager would take time to discuss with the employee what the expectation of the business is. What needs to be done? When does it need to be done by? Why is this the best thing for the company? This sounds pretty one sided though. It really shouldn’t be. It is very important to get to know your employee. Make sure you have an understanding of their personal and professional goals. How does reaching your company goals co-exist with and help them achieve their goals? The goals you set should be based on what the company needs, but also what is reasonable for each individual employee. What was their most recent performance and performance history like? Agree on goals together that challenge the employee, but do not leave them feeling overwhelmed, like they have far to great a goal to reach.
2. Write out their goals
Goals always must be clear, specific, and in writing. Walking away from a great goal setting conversation with nothing on paper is setting everyone up for failure. Chances are if you asked the employee at the end of the day what their goals are, they may not remember. Make sure they are in writing – short and sweet is best – and front and center in their workspace so they can refer to them often.
3. Follow up
Now you have an employee that knows what is expected of them. They have written goals in their workspace that they have helped develop and agreed upon. These goals will help them get where they want to be. However, over time that paper may just become a desk ornament if someone hasn’t checked in months later. It is important to the whole process that you are able to check in with them often to ensure their goals are being met and that their behaviors are bringing them closer to reaching them. Reference their goals often and praise them heavily when they are moving in the right direction!
After implementing this process from entry level employees to upper management level I can testify to the difference it makes in employee engagement, productivity, and the overall success of your employees and company. The best advice I can give you is to invest in your people. Your people are the cornerstone of your company and every moment invested in them will bring you an incredible return!