February 14, 2018

Got goals? How career development leads to happier employees

Work shouldn’t always be about work. Personal development and growing your skill set should be a top priority too. Here’s how setting clear career goals will energize your teams for the long run.

Let’s be honest. The glow of goal-setting wears off eventually. The gym doesn’t feel as fun, you skip a couple meditations, and you eat gluten… a couple of times. Daily.

But don’t worry––we’re here to make sure that you don’t back down on business goals, both for yourself and your team. Why? Because as a leader, you can inspire your employees to set milestones that keep them engaged throughout the year.

As Gallup noted in a recent opinion piece, “Employees used to expect to work for a boss. Now, they’re looking for a coach….Your employees want personal and professional development, immediately and for the future.”

While that seems like a big ask, we promise that you have what it takes. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to developing your employees to meet their career goals:

Learn from the lows

What lessons did your company learn from the previous year? If you’re not sure, it’s time to reflect on the past 365 days. To start this process, open your office’s calendar from the past year. Next, grab any interested employees, a timer, and a Notebook. Finally, give yourselves 10 minutes to write about the highs, lows, and lessons learned from each month.

After everyone has had time to reflect, schedule a meeting so everyone has a chance to share. (Always include someone from a different department!) This conversation will help them feel like an integral part in the company’s biggest moments.

As Dennis Sarkozy, Managing Director of BestMe, says, “The best managers help connect the dots between employee actions and the company’s results. Motivation has a limit; but helping employees shift the mindset around work from a ‘job they do’ to ‘a true application of unique talents and strengths’ can profoundly impact employee engagement.”

The best managers help connect the dots between employee actions and the company’s results.”

Send satisfaction surveys

Getting anonymous feedback from your employees is one of the best ways to know where your company can improve. While it might be scary, the anonymity gives people the opportunity to say anything. For best results, include specific questions about every aspect of your business, from management style to the restaurant selection for Taco Tuesday.

Some of our favorite prompts include: “How could you feel more supported?” and “What skills do you want to develop?” These hypotheticals allow the recipient to dig into what motivates them and what they expect from the ideal employer.

Plan your path

Amazing companies motivate their employees by helping them understand how they want their job to progress. That’s why great managers give their team space to explore their career path.

This means bringing an employee into meetings that gives them a glimpse of how things operate at a higher level. This can easily be done by scheduling time to shadow a superior, or sit in on a meeting with another division.

Who knows? This move could totally shape an employee’s career trajectory.

Set objectives

Now that your team members know where they want to go, it’s time to decide how they’re going to get there. Each employee should have a set of objectives to achieve by the end of the year. Be sure the objectives are relevant to the employee’s goals and career paths. Include both achievable and stretch goals that will help each employee grow their skillset.

To kick-start the goal-setting process, have some of these guiding questions in your toolbelt:

  • What do I want to accomplish?

  • Why is this goal important?

  • How will I know when this goal is accomplished?

  • How realistic is it that I will achieve this goal?

  • What can I do today?

  • What can I do six weeks or months from now?

In order to reach these goals––and make your team closer––form accountability groups within each department. This will show that your employees care about each other’s successes. Then, have a quarterly meeting to discuss how you’re progressing.

But don’t forget—along the way, always promote a sense of camaraderie. Make sure you celebrate everyone’s wins, no matter how small!

How do you encourage growth within your team? Let us know in the comments!


About MOO Business Services

At MOO, we’ve been helping people make their mark in the world with amazing quality print products for over a decade. And as our customers have grown, so has our service offering. That’s why for bigger businesses—with 10+ employees—we now offer MOO Business Services. It’s MOO + benefits. MOO Business Services combines dedicated account management with an easy online ordering platform and expert design services. It’s a complete package for businesses to give you more brand control and consistency—while saving you time, stress, and money in the process.

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