3 experienced managers share their best one-on-one conversation tips
Great managers know that one-on-one conversations play a key role in the success of each individual on your team—including yourself. These dedicated …
Part of the role of a manager is connecting your team’s work to the broader mission of the company, and guiding them to success. Especially in the era of remote work, ensuring alignment is as important as ever.
What makes all this possible? Meaningful and attainable team goals that are aligned with both the company strategy and the individual strengths of your employees. As a manager, you have the important task of setting these goals for your team. It’s your role to help establish what needs to get done with your team members, so they can bring their creativity and expertise to the forefront, and figure out how to get there together.
When employees have a clear understanding of the company strategy and how their work contributes to their team’s role in it, they form an aligned, motivated, and high-performing workforce—exactly what drives business success. But this doesn’t just happen; it takes dedicated efforts from every level of leadership to create clarity of the mission, objectives, and each team and individual’s role in actualizing it.
Setting clear, motivating, and attainable goals for your team connects their work with the goals of the organization, and doing this effectively underpins every other element of your role. Team alignment supports you in coaching employees, prioritizing initiatives, strengthening collaboration, and maintaining healthy team dynamics.
Whether you’re an expert or this is your first time setting team goals, you don’t have to do it alone. Let’s check out the how-to of team goal setting.
Having a centralized location for team members to refer to collective goals promotes transparency and keeps them front-of-mind for everyone. Officevibe makes team goals easily accessible, and easier to align with business objectives and individual employee goals. Try it free!
This 5 step goal setting process will guide you along the way to establishing the right goals for your team.
It might seem obvious, but it’s essential that you and your employees have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the business goals. Meet with your own manager to go over them, then present them to your team. Remember that presenting objectives is a time to get buy in, so complement sharing the hard numbers with motivating communications around the larger strategy and your belief in the team.
Once everyone has a common understanding of the bigger picture you’re all contributing to, explore how your team’s work accounts for its own piece of the pie. Work together with your team to pinpoint where you can have the greatest impact.
Narrowing down where to direct your collective focus helps you create clearer goals and more effectively prioritize initiatives with your team.
Come up with a first iteration of goals for your team using the smart goal setting method. Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound.
Present your goals to your team and to your manager and ask for their feedback. Tap into their knowledge and perspectives to take your goals from good to great, and ensure they really align with your team’s reality. This is also a great way to get everyone feeling inspired and motivated to achieve these goals.
Don’t be afraid to adjust when needed. Have touchpoints with your team and your manager as time passes to ensure that your goals still make sense. Things can shift quickly, and you want to be sure to hold down your team with a solid sense of direction.
Frequent communication around team goals is essential to maintaining alignment, especially when you’re working remote. Have weekly or bi-weekly team meetings and have a different employee present the goals and whether you’re on track to the team. Make sure everyone is well-equipped to measure progress with clear key performance indicators and targets, and the necessary tools to track these metrics easily.
You’ll also need a dedicated recurring moment to go over what’s in the pipeline, flag any potential roadblocks or risks, manage workloads, and prioritize together. Sometimes things seem simpler on paper, or end up getting done more quickly than expected once the right resources are put in place. Adaptability and flexibility with timelines and workflows are essential to ensuring the work gets done without compromising in quality, nor overloading anyone.
To be there for your team, it’s important to have an ongoing understanding of their reality, their challenges, and their concerns. Officevibe helps you keep a pulse on your team and facilitates safe exchanges between managers and employees, so you can spot issues early and direct your support where they need it most. Try it free!
Once you’ve established your goals and aligned your team around them, it’s time to translate them into action! This is exciting, as it’s where employees get to really connect their work with the team objectives, and visualize how their projects feed into the business strategy. Here are some tips on how to best support your team in achieving their goals.
Not only do employees want (and deserve) a say in the work they do, they’re the best people to know how their skills and strengths apply to collective goals. Have a brainstorm session with your team to come up with ideas for how you’ll meet your goals, and decide together which ones you’ll tackle.
Repeat this process every quarter or each time there are big shifts to your team goals. Keeping everyone aligned means revisiting goals and adjusting initiatives when needed.
This can be disappointing for everyone, especially when your team has worked really hard towards their goals. Remember that as a manager you’re not separate from the team, but a part of it. Now is a time to come together and use that collective brain power. Have a team retrospective to not just reflect on what blocked you, but set action items for how you can apply these learnings and adjust your processes and work methods going forward.
You want to create a safe space where employees feel comfortable to share their honest perspectives, so you can effectively move forward as a team. One way to facilitate this is by sending an anonymous survey where everyone can answer these questions without fear of being judged or facing conflict. You can build a personalized team survey with Officevibe Custom Polls to better understand your employees’ experience.
To build a motivated and high-performing team, each employee should have a sense of purpose in their role, and feel that their work has meaning. This happens when everyone has a clear understanding of not only what’s expected of them, but how it contributes to the bottom line of the team and business. Setting meaningful employee goals that align with team objectives connects team members to the bigger picture, driving employee engagement and motivation.
When team goals are clearly established and each employee understands their role in achieving them, it supports you in leading your team to success. Follow the steps in this guide and refer back to them whenever needed to keep your team on track and motivated.