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How Goal-Setting Can Keep Employees Engaged and Out of a Slump

With graduation approaching for most high school seniors, members of this class are itching to move on to the next phase of their lives. Often, this manifests itself as a lack of motivation, fondly known as “senioritis.” When seniors feel it, they may not be as committed to completing schoolwork – or may perhaps ignore it altogether – which can hurt their final GPA as a result.

Senioritis-style slumps can also frequent the workplace, often revealing themselves during second quarter. After enjoying the year-end holidays, many employees may not have a paid day off for months. The results can be lower-quality work combined with reduced morale and motivation.

Employee engagement is crucial to ensuring your workforce remains driven and inspired while allowing companies to retain the top talent they’ve already hired. Goal-setting can help those engagement efforts by establishing focus and boosting productivity.

But what happens when your personnel push goals to the background in favor of just getting the work done? Your workplace suffers, in more ways than one.  Here are a few tips to help your employees keep their performance and development front-of-mind for the entire year.

Procrastination station

According to the Association for Psychological Science, almost everyone has procrastinated at least once in their life, and one in five people are chronic procrastinators. Your workforce – even your top performers – are no different.

According to The New York Times, procrastination is a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks.

The result? Your employees telling themselves, “I’ll get to those goals later,” and soon enough, Dec. 31 approaches with your employees scrambling to achieve the goals they wrote way back in January.

With employees working nonstop, quarter two is a great time to revisit objectives and begin working toward accomplishing them. If you have self-service technology that allows employees to create goals, send them a reminder to view those goals and build a path to completion. This establishes responsibility and accountability for their development.

Combating procrastination with proactive behavior allows employees to focus on developing themselves while producing quality work for your organization.

Keep talkin’

Open lines of communication help improve both goal-setting and engagement efforts within your workforce while improving trust and understanding of their roles in the company’s mission.

By offering training and development opportunities to employees, a clear and consistent message of commitment to your employees exists. A learning management system is key to workforce development, as it gives employees anytime, anywhere access to enhance their skills and complete their goals.

Consider establishing monthly or quarterly goal visits, where leaders in your organization meet with employees to discuss their personal and professional objectives, and what they are doing now to reach them by the end of the year. This helps create accountability as participants work toward the company’s goals and their own goals, together.

Though engagement is important year-round, quarter two provides plenty of opportunities to show your employees that your company – and HR team – is invested in their growth and well-being.