Posts tagged goal setting

New Year, New Development Goals

Traditionally the new year is a time for reflection and goal-setting for the future. You may have done this for yourself, it’s important to also plan for your company and your employees. A recent Gallup study showed that lack of career advancement opportunities was the most common reason for employee leaving organizations, being cited by 32 percent of respondents. So if you want to motivate engage and develop your top performers you must engage in good quality career development, the basis of which is a properly executed employee development plan.

Begin by considering your company’s goals for the new year. What training or skills would help you and your employees reach your business goals? To get started, design a development plan that outlines the goals you have in mind for your company and your employees—after all, goals clearly direct attention and effort toward action. Here are a few ways you can set development goals for yourself or your employees.

1.  Consider your business goals

Before you set objectives for employees, you should try to align their development plan with your company’s needs. Consider what your long and short-term business objectives are. Then identify the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies that support those objectives.

2. Talk to your employees

Don’t just presume you know your employees’ skill level and career aspirations. If possible, have a face-to-face discussion with each of your team members to get a better understanding of what their career goals are and how they think they can accomplish them. You should also talk about any challenges they’re having in their current position. Have your employees do a self-assessment of their work. In what areas do they struggle the most? Would they benefit from additional training or mentoring?

Some of your employees may already have a career path in mind. But many times, they don’t know how to get started. By talking to them, you can work together to figure out what role your business plays in this plan as well as what opportunities you can offer them.

3. Develop your training plan

Once you’ve looked at each of your employees’ abilities and experience, as well as your company’s needs, it’s time to decide exactly what skills each person needs to acquire. Be sure to your employees’ goals are specific and timely. It’s much more difficult to measure an employee’s progress when their objectives are vague or broad.

4. Create an action plan

Now that you know what the objectives are, it’s time to figure out how your employee will go about achieving them. Developmental programs can include a combination of activities such as formal training with an organization like NorthStar360, reading, working directly with subject matter experts, one-on-one coaching and mentoring. Once you’ve identified some specific learning opportunities, create a plan.

5. Apply the new skills in the workplace

You’re spending a considerable amount of time and possibly money on helping your employees improve their skills. To get your greatest possible return on investment, your employees need to be able to put those new skills to work in your company. Set up some opportunities where your employees can quickly apply the new skills to the job and get feedback. This will help them reinforce and refine their new skills. If you’re working directing with a training and development organization, focus on applying this new knowledge as a key part of the development plan. If they don’t use the new knowledge when it’s fresh, they’re likely to lose it.

Creating a development program not only helps you make your workforce more effective and knowledgeable, but it can also improve employee satisfaction. And when your employees are happy, they’re less likely to go looking for work elsewhere. Let’s keep that 32 percent engaged and high performing.


New Year, New Goals, New You … Starts with One

The countdown to 2013 brings a time for reflection and looking ahead to new beginnings. This time for reflection should not only include personal goals … dropping those holiday pounds, planning more time to spend with friends and family or finally ditching any bad habits. Let’s make a resolution for ourselves and our organizations. Is there a science or an art to achieving our goals? Is there something beyond wishful thinking and optimism that will increase our chances that our wondrous best self will flourish in 2013?

Yes. No. Sort of. Not exactly. Apparently. Possibly.

Stephen Covey, one of the godfathers of goal setting would suggest starting small; with only one goal in fact. Starting small and committing (really committing) to one thing to accomplish throughout the year will build confidence and strength to do more. It’s what he calls “baby steps.” Start small, keep at it, and stay consistent until you’re ready pick up the pace.

Keeping on this goal requires time and effort on a weekly basis. Every week establish where you are currently and where you’d like to be at the end of the week. Starting small and constantly working on your goal throughout the year will develop strength, confidence and capabilities to discipline yourself to achieve other goals.

Covey also suggests that you enlist the help of someone close to you. It’s important to have some support, encouragement and a system of accountability. You might even invite this person to set a small goal that you can encourage them on. Work together and create synergy to help each other.

Best wishes on your own personal journey in 2013. You have the potential for greatness in you! Go for it! Start small. Make a promise and keep it.

A Time for Time Management

Labor Day has come and gone; the symbolic “end of summer.”  Many of us will reluctantly turn our attention away from summer recreations and will approach our work with renewed focus. Autumn brings a relentless schedule of deadlines, meetings and other challenges. Preparing a time management strategy is one way to improve our overall personal effectiveness. Time is constant, we can’t beat it, but we can manage it. Below are five time management strategies to improve personal effectiveness and success within your organization.

  1. Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
  2. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
  3. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
  4. Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to achieve. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take five minutes after each call and activity to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, what was missing? How do you put what’s missing in your next call or activity?
  5. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.

Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results. We have to learn to let go of the “nitty gritty” and spend our time on the things that produce results.