We frequently get asked questions by our customers on goal-setting, and what the definition of a goal is. For example, is a goal something that is target driven? Or is it a skill that a contributor wants to improve on (that may be difficult to measure concretely)? What is the time period of a goal – is it a task to be completed within a week? Or is it an activity to complete over a longer period of time, perhaps over the course of several months?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, but we can give a few guidelines on the types of goals we see as best suited to capture on Engage. First, let’s look at a few different goal types:
Target driven goals:
One example of this is to reach a certain monthly target – something that is particularly applicable to sales employees. A goal may be: “Meet target of $xx xxx.xx by end November”. It goes without saying that updating and tracking progress on these goals is easy and objective – simply update the goal progress each time a sale is made.
This could be a task or assignment that the employee must complete within a couple of months. For example, a quarterly report: “Deliver the cash flow report to the Finance Director, including all relevant invoicing details and expenses, by December 20th. Also provide an up-to-date draft of the report on November 20th.”
These are objectives that are routine for an employee – actions that they must perform daily (or weekly) on an ongoing basis. Even though these goals are routine (and may even be done automatically, without much thought), they still take up an employee’s time and energy, and how they perform on them will count in their overall performance review rating. For example: “Update the company website daily with news and any relevant updates in relation to company information (eg, changes in contact details, etc)”.
These goals are generally focused more on long term (several months, or up to a year), and are likely to be more difficult to measure. An example may be “improve programming skills from good to excellent, under the guidance of a senior programmer”.
Personal growth goals:
Such goals may be set within the context of a mentor/mentee relationship and are also likely to be difficult to measure. For example “become a better manager and leader of other people at work”.
So there are several different types, or categories, of goals – which ones are supposed to go on Engage?
Answer – Each type of goal can be captured on Engage, and you may choose to use the app in the way that best suits you. Having said this, we advise against using Engage as a ‘task manager’ – for example: “Call client X on Friday to follow up”. Our vision of Engage was to create an application for tracking performance management through goal-setting and providing a framework for capturing feedback, not an application for task and time management.
The team at Calibre Apps uses Engage to manage personal growth and development goals, as well as delivery goals. You may ask: “but how do you update progress on a goal like the personal growth goal example?”.
Simply remember that just because you can’t measure a goal concretely, it doesn’t mean that progress cannot be tracked. Write a note (ie, provide feedback) when a relevant event occurs that serves as evidence that the person is developing – for example, a contributor in the manager’s team reports that they acted like a good, calm mediator when a minor conflict situation arose. For these goals, there are also no rules about when and how often to update the goal progress – it can be done at the contributor and manager’s discretion.
To sum up, our guidelines for goals to capture on Engage are -
- Personal growth goals
- Development goals
- Delivery goals