COVID-19 has changed the global landscape in many ways, for organisations across the world in virtually every sector. From effectively managing employees who are working from home to the impact on learning, there have been many observations on how disruptive it has been, but it’s also important to look to what you can do to help achieve and maintain stability and performance.
It is a case that proves the importance of goals for business; although it has been widely understood that goal setting improves company performance in normal times, it’s even more important to keep a clear vision and focus during a crisis of any magnitude.
During a period in which employees are often overwhelmed by the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the pandemic, the real value of goals becomes clear. As the primary objective of goals is to give employees directions and prevent employees losing focus, the importance of both of these becomes even more pronounced during periods of stress on an organisation.
The current situation also shines a light on the effectiveness of performance management systems that improve individual performance and organisational success, and let employees know and understand what is expected from them during uncertain times.
Put simply, it is the task towards which you dedicate efforts. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to make them meaningful and if they are set and achieved properly, they are highly beneficial to any organisation.
Company goals: The main benefits of company-wide goals include improved operating margin, greater profitability, increase ability to execute more quickly on strategy and better employee turnover.
Department goals: Mid-level goals allow groups aligned employees help achieve organisation-wide goals, generating clarity around ownership, expectations and purpose, enhancing collaboration and overall performance.
Individual goals: These give employees something to work towards and need to be clear at the bottom of the chain (individual goals) as well as all the way up the organisations to achieve maximum potential.
Uncertainty reduces motivation – goals need to be clear and focused, and that motivates them to work towards achievable and impactful results.
Creating clarity and focus
Goals create focus and clarifies what success looks like. Without these there is nothing against which to benchmark success and it becomes far harder to reach a point of success without a clear aim and understanding of how to get there.
Improving motivation and persistence
Good goals help with employee persistence and give people a reason to be dedicated to achieving a goal. With increase uncertainty it’s vital that employees remain motivated.
Knowledge and skills optimisation
Fill skills gaps by creating a framework that can be used to either train up workers or find ways around skills that are essential to achieving goals but currently missing.
Remote working has had a negative impact on communication and collaboration between teams, so there needs to be a focus on what you can achieve and building up trust to help reach goals. With clear goals, teams know what’s expected of them, and what they can expect from others, facilitating working inside and across teams and departments. Clear goals give teams a sense of priority in times of ambiguity as well as a sense of alignment and shared understanding.
Readiness at the end of a crisis
Through consistent evaluation and development during a crisis – including adjusting and simplifying performance processes where needed – businesses will be well prepared for when the crisis ends. While compensation and promotion, for example, often become secondary considerations during a crisis, they will eventually become a focus again. Because of this, it is essential that performance has been tracked throughout the crisis, and simplified SMART goals help with this and make it easier to deal with new issues once you have emerged from the crisis.
Following this process with provide businesses with greater clarity and more success in the short term, and in the longer term can help you develop a framework for adjusting goals in crises or other periods of disruption. By creating a model that allows employees, management, and stakeholders to create adaptive goals, businesses can allow quick decisions that lets them adapt quickly to any external situation.
As always, the process of assessing, setting, and achieving goals is made easier and more efficient by using the right tools. SuccessFactors helps the process by:
In addition to this, the library of over 500 ready-to-use goals within SuccessFactors simplifies goal development and helps to keep goals SMART. Mobile goal management lets employees and managers adapt and achieve goals in the current, and goal sharing makes sure that goals are aligned across the organisation.
To find out more about the specific approach that it best suited to your organisation during this or any other crisis, one of our expert team will be able to help with all your goal setting questions. Contact us to find out more today.