Setting Goals with Your Team

The end of the year seems to light a bit of a fire in me for looking into the new one and refreshing my goals and thoughts for the future. But goal setting doesn’t have to be confined to the December/January transition. From time to time, it is wise to sit down with your team throughout the year and ask, “Where do we want to go from here?” This can relate to new or existing projects, initiatives that need to be changed, or dreaming for the future. Here are a few tips for making goal-setting as a team effective and fun!

Dream big, but be reasonable. Let your team brainstorm crazy ideas and after they are all on the table, then begin to select a goal that is reasonable. For example, if they want to have a big appreciation event for your clients, let them brainstorm big, then design and edit as needed to fit budget and business culture.

Merge individual and team goals. Encourage your team members to set individual goals as well as name what they would like to see the team do as a whole. For example, perhaps a team member would like to learn a certain software program in more depth. Let them be the ones to use that program to track details for a project the entire team will be involved in. Or maybe a few of your employees have fitness goals. Tie these in with a group registration for run/walk benefiting a local charity.

Rotate leadership. Short term initiatives are a great way to hone the leadership skills of individual team members. Allow those interested (and encourage those who are not) to take the helm for a particular project, while staying accessible for guidance and mentoring.

Measure and celebrate. Most goal setting experts will tell you that goals should be measurable and that when they are reached, should be celebrated. Keep the team informed of progress, keep one another accountable, and plan small celebrations for milestones achieved along the way (and perhaps a big one when the entire project is complete!)

Be flexible. Goals are great as a map, but you must be willing to adjust expectations in light of economic concerns, illness, staff turnover, etc. Don’t make the goal so lofty or rigid that you can’t celebrate a partial accomplishment.

Have fun with goal setting! While it’s likely your plans won’t go perfectly, it’s better to have a plan than to wander haphazardly through work and life!

Question: How do you set goals with your team?

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