As the jobs market remains strong and workers continue to change jobs amidst the Great Reshuffle, those who remain in their current roles may find themselves with heavier workloads while their employer struggles to fill open roles.
Workers who left their jobs may not be having an easier time. Many who changed jobs for more pay or greater flexibility are finding their new roles aren’t what they expected.
As leaders, we know that team goals (our goals) are attained through the achievement of the individual goals of our team members.
An article published by Harvard Business Review offers advice that resonates with me. In the piece, “Making Sure Your Employees Succeed,” workplace dynamics expert Amy Gallo writes:
“Since failure to meet goals can have consequences for you, your employee, and your team, as well as the broader organization, you need to balance your involvement with the employee’s ownership over the process. Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and co-author of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader, says ‘A manager’s job is to provide ‘supportive autonomy’ that’s appropriate to the person’s level of capability.’ The key is to be hands-on while giving your people the room they need to succeed on their own.”
Their advice works for me.
If you actively involve employees in the identification, creation and ownership of their work-related goals, the goals no longer belong to just you or the company, the goals become shared. As a leader, it is your responsibility to provide the vision on “why” the goal is important to the organization and specifically to them. You need to tie the achievement of their work goals to career growth and future opportunities whenever possible.
While our personal goals may differ slightly depending on where we are in life, it’s safe to say that most of us are working to take care of our families. Let me use a real-life example to demonstrate. Say, a recruiter on of our teams is interested in moving to a business development role. Together, she and her manager can “reverse engineer” what's needed to achieve that personal goal — break the goal down into smaller monthly or weekly goals that are easier to reach. They won’t reach every goal, but when they have a “win,” we encourage them to celebrate it—together. If attaining one of the smaller goals is a struggle, then they go through the struggle together.
The key is to not lose sight of what’s important.
Having specific targets is essential to achieving individual and team goals. In my experience, it’s the process of discussing, creating and executing goals, rather than their actual achievement, that drives professional growth.
What’s your experience? How do you motivate your team to achieve its goals? What works for you? What motivates you to achieve your goals?