Importance of feedback for setting goals

Goal-setting processes act as signposts for the employees. It guides them on the right path that elevates their performance and productivity. 

But, this isn’t enough until they are provided with fuel continuously. 

Fuel = Feedback. 

Timely feedback ensures that employee targets are met effectively. Without it, the employees may know their goals, but not how to reach there. They may take the wrong direction and get stuck in the same place for a long time.

Feedback should be related to the specific goals. It needs to be detailed to get a clear understanding on a timely basis. 

Benefits of feedback in goal setting process

Feedback in the employee target process may seem to be like a longer route. But, isn’t it better than a shorter route having bumpy roads and no proper knowledge of directions? 

  • Improves individual performance: Employees aware of their roles and know how to do it can complete more goals. It improves their skills and capabilities both at the personal and professional levels. Goal setting process lets them take one step at a time. Through feedback, they understand their strengths and areas of improvement.
  • Provides direction: Goal-setting process and feedback go hand in hand. Properly stated goals let employees know their progress towards goals. The feedback after every completed task lets them know where they go wrong and how can they improvise it. So, they know what not to repeat when they are moving ahead to complete their goal. 
  • Open communication: Goal setting process usually is from top to bottom. But, when two-way feedback is involved, it keeps everyone aligned on the same page. Open communication allows employees to ask questions and clarify things. It also lets them get insights timely on their work. And the issues if any, can be resolved. 
  • Effective evaluation: Future-focused organizations take employee targets and feedback seriously. They aim to improve, grow and succeed step by step. As a result, it gives them a clear path for evaluating employees’ success. It includes getting things done at a specific time frame and adhering to defined metrics. 

Best practices for incorporating feedback in goal setting process

  • Involve employees in goal setting process: As said above, employee targets shouldn’t just be decided from top to bottom. 
    • Include them from the beginning. 
    • It allows them to invest in their performance from the start. Hence, they will be more accountable for their result and give ideas/suggestions as well. 
    • Hear them out and understand their thought process. 
    • Make sure when you set up the goals, you incorporate their words and ideas too. 
  • Set SMART goals: One tried and true approach is setting up SMART goals. It allows you to make the plan feasible and focus on five key areas. It includes: 
    • Specific (S): Make sure your goals are tangible and objective. I.e. Having a clear target that answers questions like ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘Where’, and ‘Why’? 
    • Measurable (M): Have clear metrics and milestones. It helps in tracking processes as well as defining success. 
    • Attainable (A): Have realistic resources and tools to make this process possible. Also, employee targets should be based on their skill sets and experience. 
    • Relevant (R ): Ensure that their personal goals align well with the business objectives. So, it seems suitable to them what and why they are doing it. 
    • Time-bound (T): Goals should be presented in time-constrained situations. It creates a sense of urgency among the employees. But, ensure that the time frames are realistic and fair. 
  • Write out an action plan: Preparing an action plan gives your progress a sense of existence. 
    • A step-by-step plan or a checklist gives their goals shape. 
    • Ensure that the action plan is detailed and clear. It will let your employees see the larger picture. 
    • The action plan should act as a roadmap that includes feedback on the completed tasks.
    • It will allow them to take one step at a time but with a focused mindset.
  • Adapt goals in real-time: The goals shouldn’t be overly ambitious or unrealistic. They should be related to employees’ skill sets and available resources. 
    • The employee targets aren’t only discussed at the beginning or end. Keep discussing it in between the tasks as well. 
    • It ensures that these goals are realistic to the given time and achievable. 
    • Use examples and discuss how the goals are aligned with business goals. 
    • Encourage them to give their suggestions and feedback too. 
  • Connect employees’ roles to the company at large: Employees should feel that their work is valuable and plays a big role in the company’s mission. 
    • Let them know their roles and responsibilities and how they contribute to making the business a success. 
    • Ensure that both personal and professional perspectives need to be considered. 
    • Make them understand what metrics are important to hit and why it needs to be taken seriously. 
    • As a result, the employees will be focused and motivated. They will understand that they matter in the workplace. 
  • Continuous check-ins about their goals: Have meaningful one-on-one meetings weekly and daily check-ins with your employees. 
    • It helps in bringing every employee on the same page. 
    • Ensure that you have daily check-in to answer their questions and if they are facing any roadblocks. One-on-one meetings weekly can be to revisit goals and see their performance. 
    • Step in to provide help where needed. 
    • Make sure that you already have a culture of open communication. It let your employees share their genuine opinions.  

In a nutshell

Goal-setting process is important. But more than that, it is how you implement it. Incorporating feedback into the process will make it smoother and more effective. 

When both go together can increase employees’ productivity and contribute to the organization’s success.