When performance goal setting and achievement happens in the dark – that is, between an employee and his or her manager only – it’s a missed opportunity to make goals a main motivator for better performance across the organization.
Today we’re talking about how to make performance goals count. And if you want to put an end to set-it-and-forget-it forever, just add an extra set of eyes. Or an entire company’s eyes.
Here’s three reasons why making performance goals visible, social and part of the everyday conversation can benefit your organization.
1.) We don’t want our actions to go unnoticed.
When we get a haircut or buy a new car, we want our friends to notice. The same goes for the work we put in at the office. When we accomplish a goal, we want people to notice. As employees, we crave acknowledgement of our hard work from our manager as well as those around us.
Having our accomplishments out in the open levels the playing field for employees. Making goal progress transparent leads to a fair, unbiased approach to promotions and role changes. Companies then rely less on managerial discretion alone, which can be inconsistent.
Peer-to-peer recognition of our goal progress also strengthens organizational culture. It rallies employees together around positive performance and helps to create awareness around individual contributions to a company’s success.
2.) We tend to do better when people are watching.
When we put our goals out into the universe for all to see, it creates a sense of accountability. It’s why the buddy system works well when it comes to actually going to the gym that takes a good chunk out of your paycheck. Or why we try a little harder in group classes than in online ones we take from the comfort of our own homes.
At work, it can be easy to blend in and not give it our all when we feel like no one is watching. When goals – and progress we make towards them – are transparent, it makes us accountable to them, and to each other. It’s often easier to let ourselves down than to let down our managers and peers.
3.) Great work breeds great work.
It’s the holiday season, so we’re feeling jolly. They said it best in the Will Farrell classic, Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear.” Just like we want others to join in on our caroling, we also want our peers at work to contribute to the broader team’s goals.
High individual performance can be a catalyst for others to up their own game, especially when employees are competing for the same promotions. When goal progress is transparent, it sets the bar for how others in the same positions should be performing.
With the right mindset and process, achieving performance goals can have the same effect as recognition or rewards.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re getting the most out of performance goals.
As it relates to employee mindset…
- Are employees motivated by goal achievement?
- Do they see it as a reward for their hard work?
- Does reaching their goals make them feel a sense of accomplishment? Are they celebrated for it?
As it relates to your process…
- Does your performance management technology allow an employee’s performance goals to be visible to others in the organization?
- Can peers congratulate each other on goal achievement?
- Is the process interactive and social?
Adding transparency to your employee goal process can make all the difference when it comes to performance across the entire organization.