We’re now in our final month of the first quarter of 2019. What does that mean? Well, not much if your employees don’t set quarterly goals.
Setting goals quarterly vs. annually can net businesses 31% greater ROI from their performance management process, according to analyst Josh Bersin. How? Well, here’s six ways that quarterly goals make your employees more successful – and we’ve really just scratched the surface.
1. It breaks the year into manageable time periods.
In today’s business environment where things can change overnight, 12 months is a really, really long time. It’s a lot to ask employees to set goals for an entire year, especially considering that many businesses need to adjust their own objectives over the course of 365 days. By asking employees to plan out their goals 90 days at a time, there’s less chance of a major company shift derailing their plans.
2. It forces employees to set realistic goals.
It’s difficult to grasp how long a year really is. Each person has their own perception of time, so there’s likely to be a lot of inconsistencies between individual employee goals, with some aiming too high and others, too low. It’s much easier to think about what we can realistically achieve in three months’ time, and map out a plan that will get us to the finish line.
3. It creates an opportunity to celebrate little wins.
With annual goals, you either win or lose, so to speak, once a year. There’s no way to use goals as a motivational tool for employees or a way to encourage collaboration between peers through recognition. By making goals quarterly, public and social, companies can use them to drive both employee development and engagement.
4. It allows employees to show progress.
Quarterly goals are incredibly valuable to managers, too, who can use them to track employee progress. When we’re stuck in the day-to-day activities of our jobs, it’s hard to see progress. Quarterly goals create a natural stopping point to take stock of how far we have – or haven’t – come. Staying on top of goal achievement can help managers redirect employees who are stalling in their progress and recognize employees who are on track.
5. It enables employees to build on their success.
Mentally, it’s much easier to tackle a series of smaller goals than it is to achieve one big one. That’s one of the great things about quarterly goals. Employees can think about what they really want to accomplish in a year’s time, and then set four smaller goals that will get them there. If they are progressing more quickly than they originally planned, they can reach even higher with their end goal. If they’re not hitting their milestones, quarterly goals give employees a chance to adjust at different points through the year vs. having nothing to show for their work come December.
6. It empowers the entire organization to think about development all year long.
When goals are woven into the fabric of everyday activities, development becomes an important part of your company culture. Quarterly goal setting keeps development top of mind for employees year round, pushing them to think strategically about their careers and what they need to accomplish their goals. It also creates an opportunity for employees and managers to talk more openly about what success looks like for them and what they need to do to get ahead.
There you have it. Six BIG reasons why quarterly goals can be effective at leveling up your employees – and your business’ success.