How to Use Public and Private Goals for Employee Management

A company’s success depends, in large part, on its ability to identify and achieve goals that align with its mission. This includes both public and private goal setting. Generally speaking, public goals are goals affecting the company, an entire department, or a team, and usually originate with executives and managers. Private goals are work-related projects initiated by employees, and generally center on personal development.

SEE ALSO: The HR Innovator’s Guide to SMART Goals

Public and private goal setting can come into conflict–an employee who feels her work development goals conflict with those of the larger company may feel torn between the two. With a little planning, public and private goal setting can enjoy a symbiotic relationship, with the employee’s personal goals in sync with the larger company mission.

Public Goal Setting

Setting public goals does more than achieve a desired end–goal setting also keeps your employees focused and aware of the company mission. When creating public goals, keep the following in mind:

Public Goals Should Align with Company Objectives

All public goals should be based on company objectives. This helps determine which goals to follow, and helps the company remain focused on its mission. Goals which are out-of-step with company objectives detract from your mission and cause confusion amongst employees. Be aware some goals may not initially appear to align with your mission–renovating the company’s staff room may not seem to help reach company objectives, but the resulting improvement in employee satisfaction could increases productivity.

Setting Public Goals

Several frameworks are available for setting public goals. They include:

SMART goal setting. All goals must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Structuring goals to meet these criteria provides direction when pursuing goals and a measurable outcome of success.
● ORKs goal setting. ORKs stands for Objectives and Key Results, and helps staff achieve public goals by understanding what they’re working towards and why, while providing a means of measuring progress towards goals.
● Cascading goal setting. In a cascading system, leadeshop sets public goals. Departments then set goals based on the overarching goal. Teams set goals based on department goals, and so on down to the individual employee. Ideally, this results in a series of ever-smaller goals, integrating the company mission into all levels of your corporate culture. .

Team-Building Opportunities

Public goals offer opportunities for team-building and strengthening inter-departmental cooperation. Discussing public goals with employees helps teams see how they work together to reach specific objectives. Different teams can then encourage and support each other as they work towards public goals.

Use Public Goals to Guide New Hires

New hires need time to adjust to a company’s culture and expectations. By explaining public goals to new employees–and their role in working towards such goals, you provide them with a roadmap of company objectives. Make public goals part of your onboarding process, and new hires will have more direction as they find their place in your organization.

Build Accountability into Public Goals

Your organization’s success hinges on meeting goals. Building accountability into goals increases the chance you’ll reach those objectives. Public goals should be realistic, offer a clear vision of what project completion looks like, and come with a specific time frame.

SEE ALSO: The HR Innovator’s Guide to OKRs

Setting Private Goals

Public and private goal setting have much in common. Both types of goals should be realistic and provide built-in accountability. Private goals need not align completely with public goals, but neither should they conflict with the company’s larger objectives.

Managerial Involvement

All personal development goals should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor or manager. Managers can encourage the development of personal goals while helping the employee determine what type of development is needed and whether the employee’s goal conflicts with public goals.

Employee Accountability

Public and private goal setting both require accountability. In the case of personal development goals, the employee’s manager will be the one holding the employee accountable for goal completion by providing feedback–informally or formally–on a regular schedule.

Choosing Private Goals

While public goals focus on projects and matters related to the company as a whole, private goals should focus the skills the employee needs to fulfil his or her career aspirations. These needs may include the skills needed to qualify for a promotion, a new role in the company, or extra training to better complete current job responsibilities. Safety training, leadership skills, first aid certification, mastering a new piece of equipment, or learning more about a different department are all potential private goals, and all benefit the company in some way.

Public and private goal setting have a profound effect on company success. Set your goals wisely–and encourage your employees to do the same.

SEE ALSO: The HR Innovator’s Guide to SMART Goals

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