How do you effectively motivate employees so they’ll hit their performance goals? It’s a question that every manager has grappled with. What makes answering this question so difficult is that some employees respond better to the proverbial carrot, and others to the stick. Although there’s no definitive solution to the motivation problem that works for everyone, it’s worth your while as a business owner or executive to keep asking. To that end, we’ve rounded up some of the time-honored ways you can motivate workers
to meet performance goals.
Setting Goals for the Company At Large
Before you can motivate employees to work towards goals, you need to set overarching, company-wide goals. Most companies’ goals will be a variation on the themes of growing the business, reducing expenses, and making more sales. These should be clarified and quantified, as well as broken down into smaller quarterly or even monthly goals. The SMART approach
stipulates that goals must be:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Achievable
- R = Relevant
- T = Time-bound
More and more companies are also including employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and improved workplace culture in their annual goals. That’s a truly smart idea since happy employees tend to be productive employees.
Team- and Individual-Level Goal Setting
Goals involving the bottom line are all well and good in the boardroom, but may not be an adequate incentive for individual employees. especially in larger corporations, employees might not care much about the overall financial health of the firm — as long as they keep getting their paycheck every two weeks. Developing goals for teams or departments can help narrow the focus. To really motivate people to meet performance goals, however, you need to enlist their help and cooperation in setting their own objectives. Sitting down with your direct reports, mapping out a path to excellence, and then breaking that journey down into more easily understood steps, is the first order of business. People are much more motivated to meet a goal they have set for themselves. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to draw connections between the employee’s daily tasks and the larger end-goals. You must also push the employee to challenge herself so that her objectives are neither too difficult nor too easy to achieve. Re-evaluate those goals regularly, and be ready to pivot if necessary.
Recognition for Meeting Performance Goals
Naturally, you’d like employees to be internally motivated to hit goals, but it doesn’t always work like that. So some external motivations can work wonders. The possibility of earning a one-time or year-end cash bonus or a gift card will no doubt push employees to do their best. You don’t need to pony up big bucks to provide motivation, though. Public recognition
of a job well done –and of performance goals met — can also be effective. The key to rewarding performance this way? Clearly communicating
the metrics that employees must meet to receive recognition or a bonus.
Curious About Other Ways to Help Employees Meet Goals?
Let’s face it — there are probably as many ways to motivate employees as there all, well, employees. It may take a few attempts before you hit on the right combination of goal-setting, mentoring, and recognition. But don’t get discouraged! We offer an innovative product that helps align teams, build trust, and hit the performance goals bullseye. Give us a call
. We’d love to tell you all about it!