3 Steps for Effective and Ethical Goal Planning

It’s not always about the destination. The journey counts too.

While every organization is goal-driven, the process used to achieve a goal is equally important to the overall well-being of the company and its employees. If your organization prioritizes results above all else, ethical issues can emerge.

When results are placed on a pedestal, internal values will inevitably fall by the wayside. Click To Tweet

The ethics instilled within your organization can play a major role in its long-term success. Without setting in motion a solid set of cultural guidelines that outline the values of the company, an organization’s entire core can crumble leading to a drop in employee retainment and even public outcry about the unethical practices occurring within the business.

Search-engine giant Google took their organizational values public when they published their Code of Conduct in 2015. Each year Ethisphere surveys companies on their values and compiles a list of 124 of the world’s most ethical companies. In 2017,  Linkedin, Microsoft, and Mastercard made the coveted roster.

When creating training materials for an employee goal program, consider these three steps to establish proactive, integrity-based performance management.

1. Agile Leadership

Today’s workplace and workforce aren’t what they used to be and it’s continuing to swiftly evolve. This means leadership has to be ahead of the curve. While your employees are working flexible hours, from remote locations, HR management must also keep abreast of broader societal and cultural changes, and consider how these changes might impact their employees and the organization as a whole.

When it comes to creating ethical practices within an organization, being an agile leader that is aware of current social issues is vital for implementing relevant cultural values within the organization, thereby ensuring the psychological safety of the employees. Once an agile cultural foundation has been established, goal-setting needs to become agile too.

Implementing an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) based system that breaks down company goals into smaller tasks and assigns them to teams that are a good talent-fit is an agile method of goal planning. With this system, individual teams can efficiently tackle goals that are immediately critical to the organization while still maintaining the flexibility to shift focus if and when the priorities of the company pivot.

Agile organizations respond to the collective values of their employees. Click To Tweet

2. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals and attainable timelines is a recipe for success. However, that may not be as easy to implement as it sounds. When your company is cramming to meet project deadlines and unattainable timelines are placed upon employees, it’s likely that the main objective will not be achieved according to plan.

Furthermore, individuals may lose morale while attempting to accomplish the seemingly impossible goal. Another issue that is likely to arise is one of unethical practices. If performance is the main priority, then both managers and employees may do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Your managers will find themselves pushing employees to meet the organization’s key goals and your employees will find themselves under extreme pressure. Setting approachable goals under realistic timelines will support positive morale, efficiency, and success towards reaching the company’s goals with your OKRs system.

3. Frequent Check-Ins and Real-Time Feedback

Measuring team progress on a quarterly basis may not be enough. While it’s important to set realistic employee goal programs that align your employees with the key objectives of your organization, it’s equally important to support an open channel of communication between employees and their managers.

Encourage your managers to check-in with teams and individuals as often as bi-weekly, or even on a weekly basis.

Have your managers offer their team members real-time feedback as they work towards accomplishing their personal and team goals. Some employees may be more focused than others while some may even feel that they aren’t the right talent-fit for the objective, regardless, open communication is key to identifying talent issues that might be holding back a team from their desired goal.

Employees will meet goals when they feel that success is within their reach. Implementing an agile, open-channel goal-setting program that breaks down company goals into digestible projects will allow for steady and efficient progress.

There are many ways to reach the top of a ladder but ensuring that your company is climbing with your ethics policy in mind will support your organization in retaining talent and achieving sustainable success.

Get the HR Innovator's Guide to Agile Goal Management

Download Now