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3 tips to turn goal setting from monotonous to meaningful

Psst, your millennial employees crave development.

Setting performance goals is an annual tradition at nearly every workplace.

For the employer, performance goals provide specific, measurable, time bound ways in which to determine the level of success for a particular team member.

For the employee, they provide direction — a roadmap to follow to reach a desired destination.

However, many times, these goals can seem arbitrary, and the practice can feel repetitive, rigid and time intensive. But when done correctly, goal-setting can boost employee engagement in a way that positively impacts both the employee and the organization, according to recent McKinsey research External Site.

If the goal-setting process is feeling tedious and tiresome, try these three tips.

  1. Connect individual goals to corporate priorities. Feeling a sense of connection to the mission of your company is important to your employees — particularly your millennial population. According to Gallup®, millennials are motivated by their ability to make an impact. In fact, studies show that 86 percent of millennials would even consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own — compared to only 9 percent of baby boomers. When discussing goals with employees, find ways to draw a connection to your company’s mission or its strategic priorities. This provides employees with a direct line of sight to how their individual impact leads to collective success for the company, its customers, and the community.
  2. Revisit and recalibrate. Goals shouldn’t be set in stone at the beginning of the year and not looked at again until year-end review time. Situations can evolve, priorities can change, and external factors can alter timelines. Goals are fluid — a moving target. Think of the situation like an archer shooting an arrow. If someone moves the target, you wouldn’t aim at the same spot you did before. You’d adapt and aim in a new direction. The situation is the same when it comes to setting goals at work. Take time to revisit goals on a more frequent basis (at least quarterly) and revise them as needed.
  3. You can offer your employees the best benefits and salaries, but if they don't feel connected to the work or the mission of the company, odds are, they aren't engaged. With the help of SALVEOTM Partner's Thriving Workplace Culture Survey (TWCS) and your dedicated well-being consultant, you can learn how to engage the current engagement gap in your workplace.

  4. Incorporate personal development. Goals tied directly to an employee’s job are clearly important, but don’t lose sight of career growth and development to reach future aspirations. Talk with team members to determine current versus desired skill sets, strengths and weaknesses, and even what fuels employees’ passions so they feel empowered to bring their best self to work each day. This isn’t just a short-term trend — 87 percent of millennials cited access to personal growth and development or career growth as being very important.

Download your free copy: Millennials in Your Workplace e-book

The millennial employee population is expected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. This generation craves personal growth and development and millennials are eager to work in roles where they can make a difference in the community. Download our free e-book Opens in a new window to take advantage of extensive research, in-house data and subject matter experts to create sustainable, long-term changes in your workplace today.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at Send Email.