Join Lisa Gates for an in-depth discussion in this video Aligning professional goals with company objectives, part of Coaching and Developing Employees.
Up until now, we've been focusing on coaching to guide your employees to set and accomplish their workplace and career goals. Now, we're going to take a look at a couple of activities that will help your employees align their professional goals with organizational objectives, so everything syncs up. First is setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. SMART goals provide the framework for accountability and the basis for PowerTalk conversations, also, quarterly goal meetings and annual review conversations.
Here's how you test a goal for SMARTness. S is for specific. This means your goal needs to clearly and specifically state what you're trying to achieve. Answering these questions. What is your goal? Why is it important? And who is involved? M is for measurable. In other words, how will you know if you are making progress towards your goal? Can you quantify it? A is for attainable. While you want to stretch people to grow them, you don't want to go so extreme that their goals are unreachable.
R is for relevant. A relevant goal will answer, yes, to these questions. Is the goal worthwhile? Is it the right time? Does this match our other initiatives and goals? And, am I the right person? T is for timely, and simply answers the question, When will you achieve your goal? It's a good idea to identify incremental goals as well. Okay, so far so good. Our next activity is to investigate the gaps between your employee's current capacity and organizational needs.
We've been anticipating these gaps in the Grow Model questions, in the self assessments, and in the SMART goals work. So at this point, you should have a good understanding of your employees' gaps well ahead of deadlines and annual reviews. So I want to give you a simple set of gap questions you can ask your employees to identify and manage the gaps. First, focus on skills. Ask your people, what skills do I need to improve my contribution or expand my scope in my current role? And what skills do I need to progress in my career? Next, address the impact of developing new competencies. Ask your people, how will I use these skills in my current role? And how will my growth generate better results for my team? Third, focus on the future.
Ask your people, how will mastering these skills prepare you for expanded responsibilities? And how will your professional growth impact the organization? And finally, focus on the how and ask, what are your next steps? Goals are really a contract between you, your team, and the organization. Goals are the foundation of your PowerTalk conversations. They generate accountability and act as a tool for tracking progress and outcomes.
Combining PowerTalk practices with SMART goals and identifying the gaps will give you and your team clarity and a sense of purpose. People will understand where they fit in and how they bring value to their roles and the organization. Put all this together with quarterly meetings and the annual review should just show up as a formality, in which there are really no surprises.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Finding time to coach
- Establishing a relationship with your employees
- Asking powerful questions
- Becoming an active listener
- Maintaining accountability
- Using questionnaires and self-assessments
- Aligning professional goals with company objectives<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.