Employee goal setting worksheet for flexible (not just SMART) goals

We live in uncertain times, which means that many traditional ways of doing things – working and goal setting included – are no longer relevant. We’re not suggesting you throw out goals with your New Year’s Resolutions (cos let’s face it, those don’t work), we’ve just got a couple of tweaks to the way you set them and we’ve got a goal setting worksheet to help.

Remember SMART goals? Your goals should still be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely, but the way we think about what specific and measurable means is going to change slightly.

Action over outcome

Putting the flexibility into your SMART goals doesn’t mean adding another section to your goal setting worksheet, it simply means changing the priority and objective of your goals.

This means that rather than focusing on hard outputs of performance goals such as a specific number of sales or a specific profit number, there would be a pivot to the action taken instead. You might shift your goal towards the amount of outreach done to achieve sales or finding new sales funnels to investigate.

Prioritise the action over the outcome so that your team can still contribute and accomplish their goals without feeling as though all of their efforts have been in vain.

As part of the goal setting process, don’t forget to set both small short term goals as well as long term goals so that your team members can have small wins along the way.

However, we do recognise that targets are still important, which is why the next step ist to consider team goals and team outputs.

Goals for teams

Teams of the future are dynamic and flexible, their goals should reflect this.

A great way to look at goals is to look at teams and how they work together to achieve. Success with a team is related to all of the players, not just one, and if you’re looking to create goals that are flexible, try measuring the contribution of each team member within the group rather than the overall output.

This can be done in many different ways, but the most important thing to remember is that goals should be collaborative and should be set with your team members.

Example of a team goal:

An example of a team goal could be a manager creating an overarching goal, and then assigning certain tasks to their team members. This is known as ‘cascading a goal’ (and in intelliHR this can be done up, down and across reporting lines!).

The completion of the cascaded goal part-contributes to the whole goal, so each team member has their own unique part to play.

In intelliHR you an create a goal and cascade it to other employees.

This would be a great flexible goal as it’s not achieved purely by the outcome, but by the action taken to get there. Cascading goals are fantastic for aligning teams, that’s why we’ve built them into our system. Create an overarching goal and cascade different tasks to your team members and work with them to tick off the action items you create together.

Goals for values

Culture doesn’t always have a tangible output, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Culture dictates how team members work together, how collaboration happens in your organization and how innovation can take place. In workplaces that have a culture of psychological safety, employees are more likely to feel like they can speak up, take risks and make mistakes without fear of punishment, embarrassment or rejection. However collaboration and innovation may not take place unless you have the right skills within your team.

So how does this relate to goals?

Make soft skills a part of your goals. The best way to build a good culture is through soft skills.

If a value of your organization is innovation, perhaps create goals around fostering innovation and book in training with your team on what innovation looks like, design thinking and solution engineering. Talk to your people about these goals and develop projects around them with goals attached to continue the goal going forward.

Soft skills make a great flexible goal as they can always be improved and there’s always ways to develop into different areas. Make training an action item in this goal and then create a task where they will use the new skills they’ve learned.

Value goals are fantastic because they can be unique and help your organization and they’re also great flexible goals as timelines can easily be altered.

Goals for professional development

Create goals for professional development to build high performance to your organization and to foster loyalty within your team.

This is a great way to pave a way forward for your team members and create value for them. Professional development also makes for an excellent flexible goal as the progress for them is totally dependent on the team member showing initiative.

Work with your team members to create a path with their goals. Include mentoring opportunities within your organization to increase loyalty and show opportunities for career progression. Just like goals for values, speak to your team members about training opportunities and then pop them in as action items for the goals.

Here are some great examples of professional development goals:

  • Communicate more effectively

  • Manage time more efficiently

  • Improve leadership skills

Goal setting worksheet

Now that you know what some great goals are and how to set them, we thought we’d give you a goal setting template so that you can get started with your team today.

Final word on flexible goals

Goal setting is the way to take your team to the next level and setting flexible goals is the best way to get there. Flexible goals come in many shapes and sizes. It’s not a matter of reinventing the wheel, it’s more about pivoting your thinking about what goals should be and how we can measure them.

Although KPIs are useful, it’s just as important to also recognize effort, teamwork and values. Culture is built by every single employee and that is what will improve your output overall.

2020 was a year of change, so don’t be disheartened if you didn’t achieve what you set out to. Set your goals this year to be achievable and to focus on your people and what they can contribute to your business. Do you have a system to track and manage your goals? Our solution experts would love to chat more with you about how intelliHR can support your 2021 goals!