Merge's Blog

If you want employee engagement, set and articulate attainable goals

I hope you’re enjoying this video series that I started at the beginning of this year, focusing on specific strategies you can use to create employee engagement.  My last tip was to give your employees face-time with your customers.  Today’s idea, strategy #16, is very fundamental to good leadership: set and articulate attainable goals.

Set and articulate attainable goals

There are three key words that I want you to take note of : they are “set”, “articulate” and “attainable”.

Let’s talk about “set” first.  There is an old leadership adage – what gets measured gets done.  If you don’t set goals, people don’t have anything to shoot for, there is no destination to get excited and motivated about, quite frankly, there will be zero employee engagement.  If you don’t tell people where you’re going, don’t be surprised if they don’t get there.  In fact, don’t be surprised if they end up some place completely different than what you had intended.  So set goals.

Second, make sure you articulate them.  And by that, I mean, make sure you actually say them out loud to your employees.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have come across situations in client organizations where leaders think about goals, but neglect to actually voice them to their staff.  Don’t assume that your people can read your mind.  Tell them where you want to get to, what your intended destination is.

And third, make sure that these goals are attainable.  There is a lot of talk in organizations about “stretch targets”, and “stretch” is good.  But if you make them so far out of sight, they actually become de-motivators rather than motivators.  So make sure that they are attainable.

Remember, if you truly want to get to employee engagement, then you need to set and articulate attainable goals.  But what has been your experience – good or bad?  Please share by commenting below.

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