The third part of being engaged is to ensure that the employee is on track to accomplish those goals. Assigning goals at the beginning of the year and then checking to see if they were completed at the end of the year is a useless exercise. If that is the case, one would question the actual purpose of creating the goals in the first place.
Things change. Priorities change. Organizations change. Emergencies happen. Personnel changes. Lots of things can affect an individual’s goals and at times they will have to be adjusted to meet the current needs of the organization. How unfair would it be for someone to spend time putting out business fires which resulted in saving the company money, time, or customers only to be told at the end of the year that they didn’t meet their department goals because they were engaged in another activity.
During the periodic review of the goals, adjustments may have to be made pertaining to the due date, the expected outcome, and in some cases to the goal itself. It makes no sense to try to accomplish a goal that is no longer relevant to the company or the employee. Additionally, during the periodic review, the engaged manager helps to identify areas where the employee is in need of assistance. Not for the purpose of dinging them at the end of the year but for the purpose of actually helping them accomplish the goal. An engaged manager would know if there are problems or issues because they would have been monitoring the situation between review periods and would know the types of probing questions to ask in order to obtain the information necessary to gauge the level of assistance needed. Remember, there will be employees who will not want to reveal that they need help for fear of failure or retribution. It’s the job of the manager to ensure that the employee knows that the aim is to complete the goal. The aim is not to punish the employee.
Finally, the last part of being engaged is to engage your employees in the goal setting exercise. This is different than letting them write their own goals. This is a collaborative effort of explanation, reasoning, negotiation, prioritization, and finally agreement on the goals, timeline, expected outcomes, follow up, and reporting.
Occupied, committed, and involved. That’s the engaged manager and it all starts with how you set your goals for your employees. The more occupied you are, the better the chance for success. The more committed you are, the better the chance for engaged employees. The more involved you are, the better the chance for building an effective and efficient work team.