Growing up I lived in the same house until I left for college. I remember my dad catching the bus down the street, and taking it to the station for the train into San Francisco. When I entered college, I thought I would be in the same job for a long time after I graduated. I have now graduated from college, gotten married, started a family, and have a career. It’s clear to me now that it will be a process to get to the state my dad was at. I will need to make goals and achieve them to progress.
Based on the National Longitudinal Surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/nlsoy.nr0.htm), we can see that as people get older, they change jobs less frequently. Which category are you in? Which categories are members of your team in? No matter where your team is at, it is important to keep in mind that you want them to succeed in what they do. How can everyone improve their skills? By Setting Goals—personal and career goals. As a member of a team, you set your own goals and motivate others to achieve theirs.
Do you have your own goals, and do you know what goals your team members have? Are goals discussed on a regular basis? If the subject is never approached, then nobody will be helping anyone else to achieve their goals. Even worse, your team members might not even have goals. What do you do then? As a member of a team, promote an environment for open communication. Goals should not be hidden in the back corner of a closet, instead bring them out so others can help. Work environments have changed, and it is not certain that they will all return to how they were. Now is a good time to start a habit of checking in with others on goals. This might be to get feedback or to motivate others to keep focus on theirs.
A good start to helping your team develop strong goals is with a Team Rater feedback survey, collecting feedback on how you interact with your team and how your team works as a whole. You can try the Team Rater Solo version which won’t involve anyone from your team. You can start this process anonymously to start getting feedback and see what areas you might want to focus on.
Keep the following in mind when helping others to develop a plan. Goals should be well-defined, written down, and read out loud.
Let’s use a well-known acronym: SMART.
What exactly will be done? Are there steps to complete?
What data can be measured?
Is it achievable? We want to have goals that make us stretch ourselves, but at the same time, it needs to be something that can truly be achieved.
What is the overall picture? Make sure the goal is in line to help progress to the overall goal.
When will the goal be done? Make sure there is a timeframe defined so that it is known when it will be done.
Talking is great. But what happens when the conversation is over, and everyone moves on to other things? Will everything be remembered next week or the week after? Let’s not lose anything from that great conversation we had. Make sure it is written down so it can be referenced later.
Read Out Loud
This might sound silly but reading it out loud will help. Everyone retains information in different ways. Having discussed and written it down we are starting to commit it to memory now. Reading it out loud will further cement it into our memory.
Once this goal is established your work is not over. Keep in mind that you need to own the goal. You need to keep it moving. As a member of the team, you can check in with team members to see what progress is being made on their goals and give encouragement or feedback as needed.
For you and your team to develop and be successful, remember you should have well-defined goals that are SMART. These goals should be written down and read out loud.
My younger self thought finishing school would make me ready for everything. I now know that it is a path of continually improving and refining. Along that path, goals are made and feedback is both given and received. You and your team can focus on progress and not perfection resulting in overall success.