By RedBalloon for Business

Setting mutual goals to motivate and engage employees

No matter what industry you work in, making – and achieving – goals is a key part of every individual’s success. But the act of goal-setting shouldn’t be restricted to upper management or business owners. In fact, working with employees to set and strive for goals can boost motivation levels and keep employees engaged – reducing attrition rates in the process.

Lack of employee engagement could be costing your business

Recent statistics show that highly engaged businesses see a 20% increase in sales, so employee engagement should be a top priority on every company’s to-do list, right? Actually, the same study revealed only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide, and a staggering 51% of workers are looking to leave their current jobs.

These figures reveal just how much importance some companies place on satisfying their customers’ needs instead of keeping their employees happy. Low engagement often leads to low morale, and a high turnover rate is inevitable for businesses that fail to engage their staff.

Not surprisingly, when managers recognise their employees’ contributions, their engagement rises by 60%. Even more telling, 80% of workers who see their employer as “empathetic” are willing to work more hours for them. So what’s the big secret to getting your employees engaged?

What are mutual goals, and how can they contribute to company success?

A mutual goal is the process of aligning company goals with employees’ personal goals. You can get started by gathering the team in an informal setting and discussing what they can expect for the upcoming months. A good time to discuss mutual goals is in the period leading up to the holiday season, as that’s often the busiest time of the year.

If mutual goals are a new solution for your team, get started with a quick four-step process:

  1. Outline the company’s goals: A well-oiled business needs clear organisational goals to hit its defined targets. Rather than figures-based goals (sell 10,000 units per year), strive for broader achievements (hit multiple target markets through an e-newsletter campaign).
  2. Clarify the company’s ongoing strategy and vision for the future: If you want your employees to follow in your footsteps and understand your direction, you need a solid vision and clear strategy.
  3. Get employees to set their own goals within that framework: Once everyone understands the business’s vision for the future, employees can start defining their own goals within it. These personal goals should have a definable metric that can be measured against the company’s long-term strategy.
  4. Combine short-term incentives with reaching long-term goals: No doubt you want your staff to be in it for the long haul. This can sometimes be hard in seasonal roles or in industries that typically see high turnover rates. But by combining short-term incentives alongside long-term goals, you give your employees a reason to stay engaged and contribute to the success of the business.

Popular mutual goals and incentives

Whether you’re part of a small business or a multinational, there are countless incentive programs that can get the ball rolling for employee goal-setting. Steptember is a great example of an easy and collaborative mutual goal that doesn’t require a lot of additional work to participate. The ultimate goal is to hit 10,000 steps per day for 28 days. Not only is it for a great cause (the Cerebral Palsy Alliance), but it attaches a daily target for the individual to reach. By doing the challenge as a team, everyone – from the CEO to upper management to new hires – is on the same level and can work towards a common goal.

Other common programs that thrive on defining – and achieving – personal goals and can be conducted as a company include the 40 Hour Famine. For longer-term programs, Movember and Mental Health Month are always popular, and you might find that a lot of your employees know someone – or are themselves – directly impacted by the cause.

Reward your employees to keep them happy and healthy

Mutual goal-setting is a great place to start, but it’s not a set-and-forget strategy. To keep yourself and your employees engaged in the process – and therefore engaged in the company’s success – you can implement a rewards system for their efforts.

A peer-to-peer recognition system can decrease attrition rates while building a high-performance team focused on achieving their personal and business goals. Give your employees a reason to want to be part of your team. Let them set their own goals, build a framework in which they can strategise with you, and keep them happy and healthy with a goal-based and rewarding system for their ongoing success.

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To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help you reward and recognise your people, contact us today.