Three Steps to Apply Your Talents to Goal Setting

As an employee, you can have a lot of power over what your goals look like for the next year. Many companies cascade goals down through the organization, linking individual goals with the overall strategy. Instead of waiting to hear what those goals are, though, you can pull together ways you best contribute to the business.

Here are three steps to follow when creating individual goals that you might bring to your manager:

  • Tap Into Your Talents and Interests: People perform best when they’re working on what gets them energized and excited. While your job might include not-so-fun tasks (everyone has something administrative to do), make it clear to your manager where you do your best work and where your passions lie. For example, a retail store manager still has to set the schedule every week, but she could also be great at hiring and onboarding new associates. When she thinks about her goals, her talents in hiring and onboarding should be on the list.
  • Make the Goal Measurable: Before bringing a new goal to a manager, make sure that you’ve thought through how you’re going to measure progress on that goal. Without these metrics, your own manager won’t know if you’ve accomplished that goal, made progress or are behind. When hiring and onboarding store associates, our manager can put some time metrics against her goals: Hire associates within two weeks of opening, associate proficient at point of sale system within two days, and so on.
  • Bring It Back to the Business: Identifying your new goal isn’t complete until you’ve also included how it relates back to the business. Our store manager might get a lot of fulfillment by getting to focus on hiring and onboarding, but she also needs to say how that would be relevant for the store’s goals or even the company’s success. Her goal could include pulling together best practices for other store managers so all stores improve their hiring and onboarding processes.

Make sure you’re including your manager in the development of these goals, giving them plenty of notice that you want to work on these individual goals. If you surprise them too late, you might not get to focus on these areas. By being proactive, you’re working on things that help you perform better, but also help the performance of the business.