Manager’s Guide to Helping Employees Meet Their Goals and Objectives

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( — March 7, 2016) — As a manager, one of the most critical aspects of your job is helping employees reach their goals and do their work well. Failure to meet goals and objectives could spell disaster for you, your team, your customers and the business as a whole. So how do you help your fellow co-workers? The key to success is in achieving the right balance of support whilst respecting their autonomy and capability. You need to get hands on, whilst giving them the room they need to succeed on their own. Here’s how to get it right…

Firstly, make sure everyone knows what their goals and objectives are. This might sound obvious, but it’s absolutely critical that goals are clear and agreed upon in order to ascertain whether or not they’ve been met. It’s also very important that these goals align to wider company values and ambitions: if they fit well with the ethos of the business as whole, your employees will be more motivated and engaged as they’ll understand why the goalpost is set where it is.

Secondly, discuss a plan. Once a goal has been set, show them you’re there to help them achieve their goals by asking them to make a plan with you. You might need to break goals down into smaller tasks and identify key milestones if it’s a longer-term objective. You’ll also need to identify any troublesome areas too. For example, what risks or barriers might arise? How do they plan to work around them? If your employee’s goal is dependant on the actions of someone else in the business, it’s important to make it clear they’ll need to work with that person in order to succeed.

Get your hands on some useful software. Tools with objective setting and tracking functions like those provided by are very helpful for managers. This kind of software will help you to monitor employees’ progress by centralising tasks, organising individuals and tracking their work with clarity and reliability. You can also add commentary within these tools, ensuring you and your employees are communicating effectively in order to help them succeed.

Also, be approachable. In order to help employees succeed you’ll need to make sure they’re comfortable coming to you. When a problem arises, they need to know that you’re their first port of call and that it’s better to raise an issue immediately rather than waiting for their annual review. If you want to ensure they retain ownership and independence, refrain from too much hand holding. Instead, ask them to offer potential solutions so that you can offer them coaching and support.

Finally, be accountable. Are employees struggling to meet their goals and objectives due to something you have or haven’t done? For instance, have you been too hands-off and not checked in with them frequently enough? Have you been too busy to hear their concerns? Did you set them a goal beyond their reach? Address it now and work with them to get back on track. If an employee is still unable to fulfil an objective for a reason outside of their control, it might be worth realigning what’s expected of them.