Setting goals can really make your team focus and pull together if it’s done wisely. Having a few clear strategic goals that will put your business on the path to real growth and motivate and inspire your team is all well and good, but when it comes to goals, are you making mistakes?
Business owners tend to be driven and enthusiastic people, which can often lead to getting carried away and setting too many goals, setting goals that aren’t realistic, or setting goals without giving any real direction to their team. This can have some undesirable effects for the team and for the business.
Here’s what can happen when you set too many goals.
Your team might sacrifice one goal for another
When your team is faced with multiple goals and overwhelm is starting to set in, they may choose to focus on the goals that are easier to achieve, or more desirable for them to work on, not necessarily the goals that are going to be the most valuable for the business.
It can cause undesirable behaviour
Goals can inspire employees to perform better, but when there is so much that you want them to achieve that they start to think it’s insurmountable, they might turn to less desirable methods to achieve goals like cutting corners or competing with colleagues in an unhealthy way, which is terrible for morale and bad for business.
Too many goals can be demotivating
Having to constantly be in the pursuit of numerous, and sometimes conflicting goals can be very demotivating. It brings teams face to face with the potential for, and expectation of, failure, and this can make them think ‘I can’t achieve all of this, so why should I bother in the first place?’
Setting too many goals can make things too rigid
When you have a raft of goals you don’t want to deviate from, this reduces the opportunity for innovation and for new ideas to come in. Growth comes from being flexible, adaptable, and open to change, so you have to allow for some wiggle room when it comes to your goals. When there’s the opportunity for your team to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the business, they’ll feel more engaged and involved, and they’ll want to grow with the business.
Focus on what’s important and don’t hold on too tight
To keep your team on board and your business moving in the right direction, don’t just focus on setting loads of goals. Focus on the most important things you want to achieve and go from there. Remember not to hold on too tight to rigid goals either. Your business could change in six months, a year, or two years from now, and your goals might no longer be relevant or achievable, possibly because of things that have happened that were beyond your control. Be flexible.
Make the work the reward for your team
Instead of telling your team, I want us to achieve ‘x, y, and z,’ create a working environment where people want to achieve things because they’re happy and they enjoy what they’re doing. This will lead to more business growth than setting goals ever could.
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