When it comes to motivating your team, there are lots of different schools of thought. However, one thought that remains clear among all business owners is you must set clear and effective employee goals. Your staff won’t be able to truly do their best for you until they know what you’re measuring and how you’re measuring it. You may just be surprised to learn how easy it is to set the wrong goals or to track the wrong progress. As you sit down to come up with the right employee goals, here are a few things to keep in mind.


Make goals that make sense

Though this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not uncommon to find goals that don’t align with the company mission. Any goal or metric you set should directly relate to what it is you’re trying to accomplish. It may not need to be a direct line, but it needs to connect in some way. If you’re selling a product for example, the goal doesn’t always have to be sales, but it should be something that can help lead to a sale, like achieving new leads or making new contacts. The more direct your goal, the easier it will be to see how it impacts your bottom line.

Make it visible

Once you have a few goals set, don’t keep them a secret. You don’t want those metrics to be hidden away online somewhere or tucked into a filing cabinet. Instead, make it big and bold where everyone can see it. Track your progression toward your goals and make sure everyone has access to see them. Depending on how you’re tracking them, you can find fun ways of including your whole office in on the progression toward each goal.

Be willing to change

Sometimes you set a metric that just won’t work out. You might need to adjust it, or even abandon it completely. Each day in the life of your business should be viewed as a learning opportunity, so if goals suddenly seem totally unattainable or completely irrelevant, then a smart manager will be willing to adapt and change as needed. If it turns out to be a totally irrelevant goal, be willing to get rid of it and start over.

Measure and move on

Just as in every step of the life of your business, you’ll want to measure your progress to see how you’re doing along the way. Whether you’re measuring sales, leads, customer satisfaction or any number of different metrics, you’ll want to find tangible ways to keep track of your success. Then, you can use those measurements to help you set future goals and to modify as you move forward.


Every time you and your team hit a new goal, it should be celebrated. There are a lot of ways to acknowledge an achievement, and you can decide what works best for your organization, but large parties, team celebrations and similar events tend to be great motivation. If something smaller is what you’re seeking, try noting it in a performance evaluation or discussing the achievement in a daily meeting. Just take the time to acknowledge the hard work that went into reaching each metric.


This article was written by Deb Flomberg for CBS Small Business Pulse.