Setting objectives for your team is an important part of success, employee happiness and structure. You need to all know you’re on the same page and people feeling focussed, supported and clear on what they need to do. But, as a leader, are you clear on how to structure and set these? Here are a few tips to help set clear objectives.

What’s the bigger picture?

As a leader, you’ll be privy to the overall company goals, vision and objectives and how your team contributes to achieving those. These always have to be at the heart of all the objectives you set. It’s good to sense check that all are, as if they’re not, what are they for?

Getting clear on the bigger picture is crucial so you can relay this to your team. Then you can break it down into smaller chunks for them to strive towards and make tangible progress.

Be clear

Sounds obvious, but you should see some of the objectives that I’ve seen over the years. Long, complicated and uninspiring – it’s no wonder they don’t get met. Setting clear objectives is really important. Once you’re clear on the objectives, make sure both you and your employee are bought in, understand what they mean and are fully on board. Work backwards from when you’d like an objective met and work out how that’ll happen. Then you can create a clear roadmap together. Objectives should be motivating – you can read more about this in my recent blog post.

Set a plan

It’s all well and good setting objectives, but good leaders work with their people on a plan to achieve them. Break each objective down into chunks and create an assigned plan for each one. This will detail how to achieve each area, along with the identifying possible roadblocks that they may encounter along the way and how they’ll deal with them. By doing this, it gives opportunity for questions, concerns or contributions so it’s hugely valuable. Remember, setting clear objectives is a two-way street so having strong communication is key.

Decide what and how you’re going to measure

Objectives differ in terms of how they are measured and this needs to be taken into account. Make it clear on both sides what the measures are and ensure it’s understood so there is no ambiguity. SMART objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Make sure you check-in

This is a big one as so often I see enthusiastic leaders do all of the above then lose interest or get ‘too busy’. Investing time into your team is important so don’t forget to check-in and monitor how your team is getting on. Otherwise this can lead to a feeling of being unsupported and generate a lack of interest. I mean, if their boss isn’t bothered, why should they be?

Formulate a check-in plan, preferably one to ones, to go through their progress. Discuss what, if any, issues have arisen and make sure the objective is still relevant and in line with top line plans. As we know, things can change quickly in business so there should be room for objectives to be updated too.

If you’d like to discuss more tips to help set clear objectives in your business, do get in touch.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash