Every employee has professional goals they'd like to achieve, and being able to do so in their current position is a key element of job satisfaction. Not only does it lead to more employee fulfillment, but those who can successfully complete their goals are more likely to receive raises, promotions, be more productive and are more likely to stay with the company than those that do not.
"Organizations benefit when employees have clear goals that help meet overall business objectives," said Michael Steinitz, an executive director for staffing firm Accountemps. "Employees who can see a clear future with a company and feel supported in their professional endeavors are more likely to want to stay with the company."
Accountemps, a Robert Half Company, recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. office workers aged 18 or older. According to the results, 93 percent of employees believe goal-setting is important to their on-the-job performance.
Based on the survey, Accountemps offered a few tips for workers who want to set and achieve their professional goals:
1. Work backwards from your end goal.
When setting professional goals, begin with your final destination in mind and then work backwards. Once you know where you want your current position or overall career to go, list out the steps that will ultimately lead you to your end goal.
2. Get detailed.
Break your larger goal down into small, specific, quantifiable, realistic and timely goals. Also ensure that you have deadlines attached to each one to make sure you stay on track.
3. Put them in writing.
This may seem old-school, but it's a very effective practice. You want to write down your goals so you can remember them and hold yourself accountable for accomplishing them.
4. Enlist your manager's help.
Accountemps found that only 25 percent of survey respondents met with their managers once a week to get performance feedback, and 26 percent met with their managers monthly. Steinitz noted that goal progress discussions shouldn't wait for the annual performance review. Instead, employees and managers should discuss this topic more frequently so any challenges in meeting goals can be addressed earlier.
"Managers can often remove obstacles, offer guidance and advice, or adjust goals so they're more realistic and attainable," he said. "Managers should ask employees about their work objectives and check in on progress regularly."
Steinitz added that managers should be upfront about expectations and ensure that employees' goals support overall business objectives. As an employee, you can "manage up" and help your boss help you by clearly outlining how your goals connect to the company's mission.
For more tips on revamping your career and getting ahead in the workplace, visit this Business News Daily article.