· Tricia Tan  · 6 min read

A Manager’s Guide to Effectively Setting Goals for Your Team

As a manager, one of the things your team expects from you is guidance and direction.

Together with your team, you achieve the company’s KPIs. But as their manager, you have a special and influential role in ensuring the how.

How will your team achieve it?

How will your team do their part?

Mindfully defining employee performance goals can improve your entire organization’s financial line while helping your employees.

Developing an impartial and inspiring performance review process and keeping your best employees are essential.

Employees may find feeling inspired and confident about their journey challenging without explicit goal setting. It also becomes easy for bias to take the first seat in the performance review process.

But again, as a manager, you have the power to ensure effective goal-setting.

Read on if you’re looking for ways to develop and coordinate such performance targets.

What is employee goal setting?

Employee goal-setting is the act of determining and evaluating individual objectives. Then, an effective performance management process is built on these objectives.

Employee goals frequently take the following forms:

1. Goals according to an employee’s role, such as sales targets for sales development representatives or qualified leads targets for demand generation specialists.

2. Developmental objectives related to employees’ learning and development, such as getting a certification in leadership training.

3. The organization’s previously established knowledge, skills, and behavior (KSB) framework-related behavioral goals.

Why is goal setting necessary?

Setting goals can assist staff members in coordinating their efforts with company objectives to achieve various beneficial results.

Objectives serve as checkpoints along a path to success, allowing measurement of efforts and identification of contributions to team and organizational performance.

How can a manager get started? Employees can be stretched to perform at their highest level by goals, but they can also become demotivating when they are unreachable.

However, when done right, goal-setting can do the following for your organization:

1. Inspire workers

With something to work for, employees tend to be more engaged. Defining goals helps employees feel a better connection to their company.

This promotes more positivity at work and stimulates improved performance from staff members.

2. Establishing objectives guarantees that workers are pursuing a shared vision

Finding out that specific individuals have been spending time on projects with what appear to be disparate goals can be frustrating. How can you prevent this problem? By establishing both broad and micro goals.

By doing this, you can ensure everyone is on the same page and learn when it might be essential to provide feedback to help employees get back on track.

3. Having objectives can help everyone stay accountable

After establishing a goal, the following phase is to gauge your progress.

You can start asking staff specific questions about reaching targets rather than measuring overall effort. This can ensure that they aren’t merely functioning but also progressing in that direction.

4. Establishing objectives can aid in measuring success

Without defining goals, there is no proper way to know when a project is finished.

Instead, you can utilize goals that clearly define success and illustrate how far you’ve gone and how far you have to reach them to avoid needlessly prolonging something and running the risk of burnout.

5. Getting results might make staff members feel more fulfilled

The gratification you get from achieving goals, no matter how tiny, is challenging to match. However, this sensation of fulfillment might increase the significance of the task you undertake.

Because tracking goal achievement enables employees to understand better how their efforts affect the entire firm, it can also increase employee satisfaction and retention rates.

They’ll probably feel more appreciated. That can result in future hiring-related expenses being lower for you.

How do you effectively set goals?

Setting goals with your team members is crucial in encouraging employee engagement, improving team performance, and assisting your staff in realizing their full potential.

However, it can be challenging to know how to go about doing that. What method of setting goals for employees is the most effective? What is the ideal framework for setting goals?

How do you keep track of your employees’ development and make sure they meet their goals?

These clear, easy-to-follow, and thoroughly studied employee goal-setting frameworks will position you and your staff for success throughout the process.

1. OKRs

The Management by Objectives philosophy popularized by Peter Drucker is the foundation of the goals-based structure known as objectives and key results, or OKRs.

Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel at the time, developed the idea by including a key results component in the 1970s.

The theory was that by connecting objectives to quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs), employees would be responsible for tracking and achieving their goals.

Using this framework, the end goal is simply one consideration; another is the smaller steps, or the measurable and trackable key results, you must take to get there.

2. SMART goals

This method for defining goals has an acronym that is simple to remember:

  • Specific: What specific outcome do you hope to achieve? Is it outlined in detail?
  • Measurable: Is it possible to quantify the achievement of this objective? How are you going to measure it?
  • Attainable: Is this an achievable objective that should be set? Do you have what it takes (resources, knowledge, skills, support) to succeed?
  • Relevant: Is this target consistent with your team’s and the company’s larger goals? Would it benefit your business in a meaningful way?
  • Timely or time-bound: When do you hope to complete this task? Is the moment right to do so?

Employees can create complex yet realistic goals by responding to these questions and checking off each letter of the SMART goals acronym. As a result, everyone participating finds the goal-setting process more manageable.


Jim Collins and Jerry Porras introduced the term “BHAG,” which stands for “Big hairy audacious goals.”

The cleverly called framework is based on the notion that every great organization needs to have at least one genuinely bold aim that unites its workforce and inspires excitement for the future.

4. Goal pyramid

The main goal of this method is to take an overarching goal, such as your company’s mission, and tie it back to increasingly smaller and digestible steps.

The goal pyramid is a tiered goals framework that can be viewed in two ways: top-down, focusing on the “why,” and bottom-up, focusing on the “how.”

These essential layers make up the aim pyramid, listed from broadest to most specific:

  • Mission
  • Project
  • Task
  • Subtask

To summarize

When employees work toward the proper objectives, performance and engagement increases. And when you adhere to a simple and straightforward structure, goal-setting is not anything you should worry about.

Want to make sure that everyone is on the same page as you? You can use Hezum, a complete HR solution, to disseminate goals and monitor your team’s progress.

There are some more features that may also streamline your operations so managers and HR employees get more time to focus on what matters most—employees.

Visit the website today to learn more.

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