Menu Close

How to help employees meet their goals

Josef Herman, Flowers Gallery

On HBR.org's 'Best Practices' blog, Amy Gallo looks at ways of making sure your employees succeed in achieving their goals.

Because there are serious consequences for all parties if the employee fails to meet their goals, you need to be sufficiently involved to provide support while allowing individuals room to succeed on their own.

Gallo provides some principles to follow as you balance your hands-on role:

  • Connect employee goals to larger company goals. Employees are more likely to become disengaged if they are not aware of the role they are playing in the success of the company. They should understand how their efforts contribute to the broader corporate strategy.
  • Make sure goals are attainable but challenging. You could destroy morale if goals are too challenging to be accomplished, but aiming too low will create missed opportunities and mediocrity.
  • Create a plan for success. Ask employees to explain how the goal will be met, with broken down tasks and objectives.
  • Monitor progress. Don't wait until deadlines to review accomplishments. Offer regular feedback and coaching and encourage communication.
  • When things go wrong. Your employees should feel comfortable in approaching you if problems arise. Ask them to find a potential solution and then offer guidance and advice.
  • What about personal goals? Don't neglect what the employee is trying to achieve on a personal level.
  • When goals aren't met. When employees fail to meet their targets, hold them to account and discuss what happened. Offer your opinion of what went wrong and listen to theirs. Consider how you might have contributed to the failure and also discuss that openly.


Making Sure Your Employees Succeed
Amy Gallo