How To Make Goal Setting For Employees More Impactful


How To Set Goals For Employees

Motivation is the key to success. Plenty of us know that, but not all of us know how to put that into practice. That’s why goal setting is so essential in our professional lives.

Key Takeaways

  • Help your team create SMART goals
  • Define goals within the SMART framework to ensure they truly benefit and help your team members
  • Align employee goals with organizational values and objectives
  • Reward employees that meet their goals and achieve what they set out to do
  • Hosting a company event with a corporate comedian is the best way to align all objectives in a fun, collaborative setting

As a workplace leader, it’s up to you to help your employees along this entire journey. After all, the goal-setting process isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to make your employee’s goals more impactful and effective.

See Related: 8 New Year’s Resolutions To Implement In The Workplace

#1. Ensure Your Employees Create SMART Goals

Setting professional development goals isn’t about jotting down the primary stat you want to increase and hoping it happens. Besides, that’s not the best way to measure progress or improve oneself.

If you just absentmindedly tell your team they need to set goals, they probably won’t be successful. And there are a few reasons for that.

Your team members need guidance and direction from their leaders. And that means you!

You need to be the one to help ensure your employees set goals that they can realistically achieve. And the best way to do that is by helping your employees understand how to create SMART goals.

What Are SMART Employee Goals?

Some of us may have heard of SMART goals before and understand the general format for how it works. Regardless, here’s a crash course in helping your employees set goals with the SMART method.

SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. But that doesn’t mean much spelled out like that.

So let’s dive into each of these terms one by one.


You probably know the general definition of each of these terms, so we’ll spare you the dictionary retelling. Instead, we need to review how each of these terms affects how your employees set goals.

Employee goals need to be clear, precise, and as specific as possible.

If your team members say, their goals are to “be better at managing time,” that’s not specific enough. Following this path, there’s no feasible way to understand the best way to improve.

Specific goals need to address the distinct desired accomplishment or outcome.

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One of the most significant parts of goal-setting includes recognizing when the target has been met. Or, at least, points along the way that signifies growth.

Employee goals need to be measurable.

Measurable goals ensure your team members are held accountable and stay on track. Without a method for tracking progress, it will be virtually impossible for your employees to maintain motivation.


Unattainable goals aren’t goals. And goals that are easily achieved aren’t really goals either.

A fine line needs to be walked in the employee goal-setting process. Your team needs to be able to set realistic goals that are still challenging.

Achievable goals are reasonably attainable. When setting performance goals for employees, think about the following factors:

  • Does this goal fit in with your employee’s current workload?
  • Have others been able to achieve this goal?
  • What else do you need to get it done?


Your employees can set their own individual goals in their personal life. But when it comes to creating employee goals in a workplace setting, they need to align with current business objectives.

Your employees’ goals need to walk the same path as the company’s goals. At the same time, they need to be goals that are relevant to your employee.

Relevant goals need to benefit and improve individual employee performance while complementing company values and goals.

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The thing about goal-setting is that they need to have an end date. Your employees can set the perfect performance goal but still have it fail if it’s not time-bound.

Goals for employees need to be defined by a specific time period.

Without a set deadline for goal achievement, employees will have no motivation and no sense of urgency. Therefore, if you want to ensure your employees actively work towards meeting their personal goals, you need to set a time frame.

Wondering how it all fits together? Here are a couple of ideas for SMART goals for employees.

  • Attend one networking event each quarter and share new industry knowledge with co-workers at staff meetings.
  • Contact 100% of a customer base each quarter via phone or in person.

Bonus: 5 Key Ways To Inspire Employees For The New Year

#2. Make Goals That Align With Company Objectives

Understanding the SMART framework is the foundation of employee goal-setting. Without this fundamental knowledge, the entire process falls apart.

But there’s more that goes into crafting the perfect and manageable goals for your employees. Knowing the technical side of employee development goals isn’t going to cut it.

So, now it’s time to figure out what your employee’s goals need to be made of. And there’s one place we should always start at.

The Foundation Of Setting Employee Goals

Employees are part of a broader organization with values and objectives. As a workplace leader, you should already understand this.

This fundamental aspect of the modern workforce is critical in creating business goals for your team.

Know that employee goals should be aligned with organizational goals.

When employees understand that their work is connected to a broader purpose, it gives them drive, power, and determination. Finding a purpose is the single-best way to improve employee engagement and create a passionate organizational culture.

Employee goals should be beneficial toward individual performance as well as organizational success. After all, that’s why we’re here!

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How To Give Your Employees A Purpose At Work

How exactly can we ensure individual employee goals are tied to company objectives?

To provide your team with a purpose, communication will be essential. If you keep silent and expect your employees to read your mind, everything will crash and burn. But we shouldn’t need to tell you that.

You need to ensure your employees identify with the company culture. Working for values they agree with is a surefire way to connect your team to a broader mission.

Consistently communicating strategic business goals and objectives can also help ensure your team understands company goals.

Your employees should know what is expected of them in the workplace. That’s why taking the time to set organizational and individual goals is so essential.

#3. Recognize And Reward Employees Who Achieve Their Goals

We are social creatures as humans. And whether we like it or not, we thrive when we feel we are doing something right.

Goal setting is only part of this entire process. And even achieving said goals isn’t the rest of it.

If you genuinely want to make employee goal setting more impactful and meaningful, what you do after also matters a great deal.

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The Benefits Of Employee Recognition

This solidifies a few things. Firstly, it shows your team that you appreciate their efforts. It also demonstrates how genuine determination and hard work are celebrated and rewarded within your company.

Not only does this improve company culture, but it also goes towards creating a happy and healthy working environment. Because, at the end of the day, everyone enjoys true recognition.

In fact, employee recognition is one of the best things you can do for your team and the organization. Expressing gratitude in the workplace and finding ways to reward and recognize your team can help:

  • Boost employee engagement and productivity
  • Improve morale and moods around the office
  • Create an atmosphere of encouragement and appreciation

When it comes to recognizing employees in a goal-setting situation, this helps demonstrate that both you and the company value hard work and dedication toward professional development.

It can even work as an incentive for others to pursue their own goals. This also helps make the employee goal-setting process more of a collaborative effort.

The Best Way To Make A Genuine Impact

Wondering where to begin your employee recognition journey? There are a few proven ways to give your team the genuine recognition they deserve. But there’s one surefire way to truly make the impact you’re looking for.

The best way to reward your team is more than a tangible item or compliment. Instead, the best rewards are meaningful and touching and can still give your team a memorable treat.

That’s why hosting a company event is truly the best way to go. This way, you can enjoy an entertaining and enjoyable experience with your team while bonding with them.

The Best Reward To Treat Your Team

Company events allow you to truly show your team how you appreciate their hard work and efforts. Plus, it’s an excellent incentive for team goals.

To ensure your event is a success, pick the right speaker. This person needs to be funny and entertaining without crossing the line. Standard inappropriate comedians won’t cut it in a professional setting.

That’s why the speakers here at Clean Comedians® are the way to go. Our team is drop-dead hilarious, all without resorting to crude, offensive, or divisive content.

We know exactly how to entertain a professional crowd. And we are the best reward to give your team when they meet their goals!

Keep Reading: Why Reflection Is Important For Workplace Learning

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.