Build great Teams – People management

Why Set Goals For Your Employees?

Why Set Goals For Your Employees?

Now is the time of year when many of us set goals. As a business owner, hopefully you have objectives set for your business. Objectives that align with your business plan and your longer term strategy. Do you have goals in place for your team? Why should you do that? Is it really necessary? Isn’t it just one more thing to do? My answer to you is a couple of questions. Are you paying your team to do a job that will help your company be successful? Are your team doing their jobs to at least the minimum requirements that will help make your company successful?

The Purpose

Before we look at those questions, let’s briefly look at goals in general. Often when I talk to business owners about employee goals, it quickly becomes clear that we’re talking about different things. To some people, ‘goal’ means career goals. Those people are thinking about what their employee wants to achieve with their career. It’s a great discussion to have with team members. If individuals know what they want to do in the future that’s great. If you can help facilitate them achieving that while they’re working for you, then that’s even better. Don’t forget, however, that your primary concern is making sure they are doing the job you’re paying them for now. You need them to support your company’s success. If they don’t, they might not even have a job, let alone a career.

Tied To Business Goals

When I talk about goals, I mean goals that will ensure they do the job you’re paying them to do. Answering the questions above; hopefully you’re paying your team members to do tasks that will support your company’s success. The answer to “Are your team doing their jobs to at least the minimum requirements that will help make your company successful” may be more difficult to answer. That’s why you need goals that tie the job your staff are employed to do, to your business objectives. Make sure your team are doing what you’re paying them to do, to the required standard, so your company will meet its goals.

Job Compliance

Think about what you are asking your team to do on a daily basis. Then think about the impact of them not doing that on time, accurately enough etc. Write goals for (or better still, with) your employees that drive them to exhibit the behaviours you expect, consistently. Those behaviours that will help drive your business forward. Write goals in such a way that it’s clear to the individual how their goal impacts the business. That will make them feel more connected to ‘Why’.


Goals need to motivate people. Make sure the goals you set stretch your employees and give them something new or better to aim for. This will give them a real sense of achievement when they meet the goal. They also need to actually be achievable. An unachievable goal (a stretch too far) is not motivating – the person will give up before they’ve started. Find that happy medium.

To really motivate, goals should be SMART. A SMART goal will be much more likely to be met than one that does not fulfil the SMART criteria. If you write good SMART goals, you will find your employees become more self-sufficient. The goals allow them to see exactly what they need to do. Once they have that they can start taking more ownership and responsibility for their own work. You will see the best results if you work with your team to create goals, rather than delivering them from the top down.

Not Set In Stone

If you set goals now, don’t forget that they don’t have to be set in stone for the next 12 months. If something changes, and the goal you set is no longer relevant, replace it or update it. The goals that are in place at any given time should help motivate and drive your team to achieve your business objectives.

Once you have set goals for your team – don’t just wait until the completion date to see how they’ve done. Frequent checks on how they’re doing and ongoing feedback sessions with your team will help you see if they’re on track. If they are not on track you will then have plenty of time to guide or coach them to make sure they end up successfully meeting their goals by the completion date.

My Question To You

Have you set goals for your employees that will help your business achieve its objectives? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.


About the Author:

Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

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