Using Personal Goals to Connect With Your Employees in the New Year

For business leaders and performance managers, the start of a new year is always a time to reflect on management strategies and resolve to take the necessary steps to improve them. One of the key questions that many supervisors are asking themselves is, “How do I get my team members to be more engaged in 2021?” While there are many factors that affect employee engagement, the personal relationships that you create with your direct reports is one of the most important elements. According to research conducted by SHRM, 74% of employees say that their relationship with their immediate supervisor is one of the top five factors influencing their engagement at work. This New Year, all managers ought to ask themselves: When was the last time I took a moment to ask my team members what their goals are?

It is no secret that transparency creates more trust among team members, and taking a genuine interest in their personal and professional goals is a great place to start. Having frequent discussions with each of your team members about their personal goals gives you as a manager the opportunity to get to know each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, which will give you a better idea of how to leverage their skills to best meet team objectives. Understanding what motivates your team members will allow you to best foster an environment that appeals to individuals’ motivations which will ultimately lead to increased productivity and profitability. Additionally, understanding your employees’ goals can also help you understand how your company can play a role in their respective futures, and on the other hand, how each individual will play a role in your company’s future.

As a manager or team leader, it is important that you also act as a performance coach. Mark Bloom, President of NetWorth Realty (which is consistently ranked by Glassdoor as being among the “Best Places to Work”), says: “A true leader is in the trenches with their team, fighting for the same goals together.” In order for your team members to be truly engaged and dedicated to your team’s goals at work, it is important for you as a leader to show that you see and care
about each individual’s goals as well. When you take a genuine interest in your employees beyond their direct productivity and presence in the office, you are able to build lasting relationships and a more loyal team.

If you are new to leadership or have a large team that can be difficult to keep up with, creating these personal connections with each of your team members can be a daunting task. Orchestra allows you to kickstart this process by providing a space in which your individual team members can openly record and discuss their personal goals and ambitions. While this does not replace the need for one-on-one meetings, it provides you as manager with a starting point for learning more about individual employees. After all, the most powerful way to build a relationship and establish mutual trust is by listening.

Orchestra fosters transparency within teams as it allows individual’s to share their personal goals with their manager(s) and/or other members of the team. As a team leader, you can lead by example by sharing your own goals and ambitions (both personal and professional) which will encourage your team members to see you not just as a manager, but also as a holistic person and leader that they can trust.

This New Year, it is time to find new ways to put your employees first. By encouraging your team members to set ambitious goals at work and in their personal lives, you will be able to promote greater engagement, transparency, and productivity. If you are unable to identify the personal and professional goals of each of your team members, it is time to start investing more in creating lasting personal relationship with your direct reports.