How to define the objectives of a worker?

It is the beginning of the year, and it is time to define not only the objectives of the business but also of the teams and their members. Thus, we prevent teams from working blindly and aimlessly.

How should the objectives of the workers be set, then, taking into account the economic and social situation we are experiencing? Today we teach you how to set goals for the members of your teams, and how to do it so that they are ambitious but at the same time realistic and useful.

Difference between the objectives of a worker and the objectives of the company

Although it is true that all the objectives of the members of a company must go towards the same goal, each individual who contributes his bit must have a specific and personal objective, which helps the organization to reach where you want to go

So, we understand that for a SaaS company, for example, we cannot set the same objective for a developer as for a sales representative, even though the sales objective (to sell) is the one that is furthest from the end of the process, and therefore both the one that most resembles the overall objective of the company.

Let’s use the hackneyed gear metaphor ; the different departments and even each one of the employees are a piece that fits with another, and with another, and each one has different functions but, in the end, they all form part of a whole that has the same objective and achieves it when each piece does its own job.

By this we mean that, yes, when defining the objective of a worker, the corporate objective must be taken into account, but in the end it must be actionable by the worker.

General objectives of a worker

The general objectives, in the work context and in any other, are those that seek to solve the general problem, and it is the final result that is to be reached. These objectives are broader and can be shared, for example, with the whole department or with the team.

In addition to individual goals, many companies define goals for the team, and then for the entire department. If the objectives of your employees are linked to bonuses, depending on the rank of the worker and his position within the company, the percentage of this bonus may be higher in the case of the department’s objectives, so that it does not lose sight of this goal more generally and their actions impact the department and not just the team.

Examples of general objectives of a worker

The general objectives of a worker who is in the marketing department of a company can be, for example, the number of contacts that are intended to be reached, so that the sales department can take care of the next stage and convert them into customers.

Individual or specific goals of a worker

The individual or specific objectives of a worker are those that only this employee has to develop. They tend to be more specific and approach the tasks that the employee will have to carry out. So that we understand the structure and the work process taking into account the different phases that involve objectives within the activity of a worker:

Tasks → Individual objectives → General/team/department objectives → Corporate objectives

Examples of individual worker goals

Let’s go back to the example of the employee in the marketing department. In this case, if the general or team objective is to get more contacts, the worker could have the individual objective of improving the conversion from user to contact of people who, for example, come into contact with the company because they read an article. article from his blog.

Long-term career goals of a worker

Are these goals the same as the ones we mentioned above? Maybe yes and maybe not, but these are not defined by the worker’s superior or manager, but rather have more to do with the projection of the employee. check tips for creating strategic business goals to get success.

The professional objectives of a person are those that they want to reach in general, during their profession and not necessarily within a specific company. These objectives, despite the fact that they are not defined by the manager or the manager of the team or department, must be taken into account, above all for three reasons:

  • The growth of the employee in the company. Surely these objectives have to do with the professional projection of the worker. For example, he may want to have a work team and manage it.
  • The formation. For a professional to be competent on a continuous basis, the company must offer training programs and, for them to be motivating, these would have to be related to professional objectives.
  • Talent retention. The best talent will stay in that company where they can grow professionally and will not remain stagnant. If he cannot achieve his goals, he will go to another organization where he can.

10 tips for setting goals for a worker

The objectives of an employee can be those that are directly related to the tasks and the results that they want to achieve, but they can also be those that improve their soft skills. It all depends on the needs of your company, department, team and professionals.

To define good objectives, follow the advice that we detail below.

1. Keep corporate goals in mind

To define the objectives of a worker, both individual and general, you must take into account the objectives of the company.

How to define the objectives of the entire company or a department? Collect the data from the past year or from the last few months and you will have a total; to this total you will have to apply a growth percentage. The normal thing would be to compare the year 2020 and 2021 to see what was grown in one year. If you grew X and the company expects to grow the same, a number of things will be achieved. But what if this year you also have big projects that will open up more opportunities for you? With all this information, you will be able to define the percentage of growth.

Of course, to define the objectives for 2022, we recommend that you also look at the comparison of the years 2018 and 2019, since between those two you will be able to see the real growth of the company, without this having been affected by the Covid crisis.

Once you have the corporate objectives, ask yourself how your worker can impact those numbers, and then define their general and individual objectives.

2. Analyze the performance of the worker last year

Both in the labor field and in the personal field, you can learn a lot from moments of crisis. It may be that in the past, or a year ago, the soft skills that you needed from your workers were other than the ones you need now.

In other articles we have talked about the most sought after job skills in workers, and some of them are resilience, flexibility, comfort in a digital environment and commitment. Do you think your employee could improve on any of these? Because you are going to need them in your teams during 2022.

If you resolve these “pending issues” your worker will be able to better focus on meeting the objectives that will give tangible results to the company.

3. Put adaptability at the center of the conversation

If there is one thing that we have learned from the crisis that came suddenly in 2020, it is that we must adapt to new situations, contexts and needs. And it is that knowing how to change course, back down and define new strategies has been vital in recent months… and will continue to be so in the coming months.

If your company has recently undergone a digitization process, and/or if your employees have had to telework, have they been able to implement these changes?

4. Start with the most immediate

Even if you have defined annual objectives for the company, it is important that you break them down into periods of time, such as four-month periods. And the same happens with the objectives of the workers; start with what will be needed before, and see thus establishing priorities.

5. Set SMART goals

The word SMART comes from the acronyms in English Specific (specific), Measurable (measurable), Attainable (reachable), Relevant (relevant) and Timely (temporary).

In addition, the objectives must also be adjusted to the social, economic and health context that we are experiencing and that we will continue to experience this year, so that at the end of 2021 the balance can be more positive.

This year, perhaps the most important characteristic is that the objectives are achievable, and that is that if they are too ambitious (be careful, they must be ambitious, but not exceed certain limits) you will be setting your worker up for failure, and that is very demotivating.. If you were given goals that were impossible to achieve, wouldn’t it cost you much more to work for them?

6. Associate goals with rewards

The well-known bonuses or salary percentages according to objectives are used in many companies, depending on the level of command of the worker or, simply, the department. This year, it provides the possibility of having a bonus for your workers so that meeting the objectives not only provides the satisfaction of having achieved it, but something else.

These percentages must be negotiated between the worker and the company and, as we have said before, they are different for individual, team and department objectives.

7. Follow the evolution of the objectives

The objectives are not something that is set at the beginning of the year and is not taken into account again until the end of the period for which they are set; you have to keep track of how they are doing, whether they are monthly, quarterly or more long-term.

How to track goals? Here we can start talking about the Performance Evaluation of the workers, which can be done at the end of a stage or during it. For this, there are many exercises or techniques. However, we recommend that you get specific software to be able to measure the performance of your employees, such as the one included in Factorial.

What do we get with this? Make the changes and adjustments that are necessary, which brings us to the next point.

8. Review the objectives of your workers

It may be that at the time of setting the objectives the chosen ones were the best… but this can change. During your monitoring of the objectives you will already see if you have to rethink some of them. If not, you can mark moments in which to review them and decide if any changes or readjustments are necessary.

9. Be transparent and honest with your team

When you set goals, be transparent with your team and your workers; explain to them well what is expected of them and make sure that you have given them the necessary tools and knowledge to meet their goals.

At the same time, be assertive and open to questions and doubts. What you want is that, if for any reason your employees need help to achieve their goals, they let you know and you can work on it.

In case of offering bonuses, leave this part very well spoken (and clarify if the bonuses are, for example, for each gross sale, or if they do not include VAT, etc.).

10. Make goals collaborative

It is not recommended that the workers themselves set their own objectives, because you as a manager will have more experience doing it and you will know better the results of other years of the department, the most immediate and long-term needs…in short, you have a broader picture of everything related to the company and corporate objectives.

However, let there be a dialogue. It’s good that they can offer you proposals and be more proactive and even negotiate, because they know how they work and what the volume of recurring work is.

Did you find these tips useful? Now that you know how to set good goals for this 2022, the most difficult part remains; choose the right ones. Keep our best practices in mind and you can end the year with many more successes!

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