How to Help Your Employees set their Goals

One of the first things great leaders know is that they should set goals with the employees, not for the employees. In a dynamic and ever-challenging work market, successful managers and entrepreneurs turn their employees’ professional goals and objectives into motivators, not burdens.

Why is it Important to Help People set their Goals?

The process of involving the employees in the goal-setting process empowers them, instills responsibility and accountability, gives them freedom, and keeps them engaged with the company.

Also read: What Role Does Mentoring Play In Employee Well-Being?

These achievements are mandatory for any successful company. But how can you help your people set their goals, so you all grow together with the firm? Let’s find out today!

1. Use Goal Setting Worksheets

Most managers and entrepreneurs are familiar with the S.M.A.R.T system of setting goals or solving current work challenges. But there are more goal setting systems out there you can use. Just as Zig Ziglar says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”

We recommend you to consult these goal setting worksheet samples to find the best one that meets the needs of your company and suits your employees best. You will find the SMART worksheet there, the Zig Ziglar one, and plenty other goal-setting worksheets and details to help you manage the process better. Remember that goal setting is just one side of the coin. Look for goal setting spreadsheets in the database that also offer goal tracking systems and personal goals setting and tracking schematics.

  • Sit down with each employee and use the worksheet (together with the job description) to establish together the goals and the methods to verify their completion. Spending time and talking with each member of your team shows you care and you take such matters seriously.

2. When you set Goals, Think Big but Start Small

With your goal-setting worksheet on the table, discuss each goal with the employee by breaking it down into objectives and results that start small and build up in time towards success.

  • If your employee’s goal is to double the firm’s profit by this time next year you will not arrive anywhere; if you start with the things the employee can do now to achieve the big goal is more comfortable for everyone and attainable (contact prospective clients and make them an offer);
  • Do not forget to set benchmarks along the way to track down progress. If you want to make things more transparent, use the goal-setting worksheet for the smaller goals (milestones) you need to go through until you reach the bigger “dream” (contact five clients by the end of the trimester and close at least two contracts);
  • Do not allow yourself to drown into the micromanagement vortex, however. Setting micro-goals and tracking down results is one thing. Becoming a toxic micromanager obsessed with control will nullify your employees’ work and life goals, as everything they will do is trying to survive and overcome you.

3. Always remember that People are Different and Want Different Things

When you use worksheets for goal setting with each of your employee, remember to take into account their personal/life goals. In this day and age, we cannot afford the arrogance of believing that the only thing all people want in this life is to spend their best years pleasing a boss or growing a company.

Also read: In the World of Career Development, One-Size-Fits-All Is Dead

In other words, you may have outstanding employees willing to dedicate a decade of their life to your company to grow, evolve, and create their entrepreneurial ventures. Others want a comfortable and secure job at a decent salary, as what comes after the working hours is more important to them.

Some will be by your side until death do you part no matter what position they have, while other young wolves will be fierce and merciless trying to climb the professional ladder as they want to become the future managers of the world.

You need to set professional goals for each of them and factor in their ones as well. The talented rebel who knows little but acts larger than life will insist on getting bigger, better, faster, and more objectives to cross out from the list. The veteran that wants to spend some time with his family will probably choose other types of challenges. Listen to everyone and make the proper adjustments.

  • If you do want to run a successful company with your people by your side, make the goal setting process a personal development opportunity for every one of you.
  • Use the Happiness at Work White Paper together with the goal-setting sheet you already chose to create a positive, thriving, and joyful environment for your employees. Happy workers are successful workers and the ones that will make the objectives and goals come true.
  • Nevertheless, when you think about “cheery employees”, consider them from both a personal and professional point of view. It is a mistake to ignore who they are and what they want – such ignorance causes tremendous rates of turnover and company problems.


Setting goals together with your employees, taking into account their personal and career objectives, and finding the fertile ground for the growth of them and your company together are the things that make great leaders and happy employees. As long as the envisioned results are reasonable and attainable and people work through them with love and passion, you will have the best team and likely the best annual financial reports.

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