With 2017 just around the corner, you’re no doubt already planning your company goals for the New Year. If you’re hoping to bring your team to the next level.  Then you know that having clear goals in mind will serve as a roadmap toward each and every milestone. It’s essential, however, that you set effective goals and do so wisely in order for them to be the most impactful both for your team and for the company as a whole.

Here are 4 things to keep in mind when you set effective goals for the New Year:

1) Set goals that people can genuinely contribute to

Employees want to engage in work that is rewarding and fulfilling. In fact, one of the biggest reasons for job dissatisfaction is the feeling that there’s no ‘greater purpose’ attached to the job. For that reason, it’s important to connect whatever goals you set to the company’s overall mission statement. How will the company grow in the New Year? What does that mean for your department and team? How does each person’s work make a difference? When your team feels as if their contributions are making an impact on the overall bigger picture, it leads to higher work satisfaction and greater enthusiasm at accomplishing goals.

2) Set effective goals that encourage the right behaviours

Consider whether the goals you set for your team are driving behaviour that you want your company to be known for. Do the goals compel your team members to work harder…but at the cost of treating your customers with the utmost care and attention? Are your workers having to sacrifice company values in order to meet set standards?

When you’re setting goals, don’t just think about the results and the outcomes. Take into consideration what behaviours are required in order to achieve those goals and the persona that your company’s brand will ultimately take on.

3) Set effective goals that are focused on the bigger picture

There is a story about why it’s so difficult to get a cab in New York City when it’s raining. We assume it’s because the cabs are busy—after all, it’s raining and therefore everyone is hailing a cab left and right. But this isn’t the case at all. As it turns out, the cabbies have daily earning targets. and once their quota is filled, they call it quits for the day. Because more people hail cabs on rainy days, they reach this quota sooner and therefore retire for the day sooner.

As such, the cab drivers have lost sight of the big picture. If they continued working even after they met their quota for the day, they could actually earn a lot more money on rainy days—maybe double, triple, or quadruple their usual earnings! When goal setting, make sure that you and your team aren’t getting too caught up in metrics, statistics, and other means of data analysis. It’s important to measure success, of course, but don’t lose sight of the overall bigger picture in the process.

4) Set goals that are important to success

As you set effective goals for your company, ask yourself what are the success factors you genuinely are striving for. What does success look like for your company? Is one aspect of success more important than another? Or are all the factors at play equally important? If so, then exercise caution when esteeming certain goals over others and be sure that no two goals conflict.

The beginning of a New Year is the perfect opportunity to regroup as a team. You’re able to look back on the accomplishments of the previous year and examine areas for improvement.  January 1st brings with it renewed energy and a fresh start. People are ready to take on new goals and challenge themselves to reach a higher level. Using the strategies above, you’ll be sure to engage in effective goal setting with your team that will help everyone reach milestones like never before.

Are you setting goals for success?

Rosalind Cardinal is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, a consultancy specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations.
Ros is a solutions and results oriented facilitator and leadership coach, with a career in the Human Resources and Organisational Development field spanning more than 20 years. Ros’ expertise spans leadership development, organisational culture, team building, change and transition management, emotional intelligence, organisational behaviour, employee engagement, strategic direction and management.
Ros is a Certified Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI), a member of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) and a Professional Member of the Australian Association for Psychological Type (AusAPT). She holds a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources from Deakin University, an Australian Human Resources Institute Professional Diploma in Human Resources and has completed the Australian Graduate School of Management Executive Program, Strategic Human Resource Management.