The Art of Continuous Goal Management and 4 ways to make it work
Personal career growth and company growth are two sides of the same coin, so when it comes to goal setting at work, there should be little separation between what you, as an individual and your company at large is hoping to achieve. However, this can be easier said than done! Often, goal setting can be equally daunting to both employees and the people who manage them, largely because performance reviews normally only happen once a year.
Rather than building up to stressful and stuffy annual reviews, many companies are now realising the benefits of a more holistic and agile approach to aligning employee and company goals - understanding that a more continuous approach yields far better results. Enter stage right – continuous goal management…
It’s nothing more complicated than the name suggests - a style of goal setting and goal management that happens on a regular, ongoing basis. While initially this approach may seem like more effort, it can actually be more productive. Here’s why:
Frequent ‘check-ins’ can also help to create a collaborative framework from which employees and managers can enjoy a more authentic relationship. This drives value for both the company and the employee as the merging of goals becomes natural, rather than forced.
Have a Plan of Action
The first step to becoming a goal getter in 2022 and beyond is to decide on a meeting schedule with your manager. This is where you’ll actively discuss and assess the flow of work, and the ever-changing demands of your role. These check-ins can be set up however works best for you both, be it daily, weekly, or monthly, in-person or online, and whether they take half a day, or half an hour. The point is to secure a regular slot in which communication and prioritization of work can happen.
Practice Regular Goal Setting
Becoming a goal getter means treating goal setting, as well goal managing, as a daily practice. If each day is filled with micro goals, it will lead you to completing weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. This means defining your daily tasks and organising them according to matter of urgency. The urgency of these projects can be something you discuss in your regular check-ins. Bear in mind, you can only control your portion of the work. Being part of a team, or multiple teams, means you’ll be sharing some goals and responsibilities with colleagues, so it’s good to remain flexible while doing your best to plan and manage your projects.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
It’s important to think about your career and where you’d like to go in the long run. Once you have a personal ‘big picture’, you’re more easily able to align your daily efforts and short-term goals to it. You’ll be able to identify what skills need strengthening, what areas you want more success in, the accomplishments you’d like to take away from your role, and what experience you’ll need to move further up the ladder. Once you’re aware of these things, you’ll also become clearer on how to line them up with your work and your company’s big picture.
Visualise Your Success
It’s one thing to name a goal, and another to know when you’ve reached it. The clearer you are on what successful goal setting (and achieving) looks like to you, your manager, and your company, the better. To check that you’re moving in the right direction with your goals, you should be able to visualise their outcomes, for example: If you complete ‘XYZ’, it will result in ‘XYZ’, which will make ‘XYZ’ more successful. It’s a good idea to keep a running log your achievements and wins as they happen, so that when more formal reviews take place or when you’d like to track your own progress, you’ll already have them handy.