It's no secret the pandemic changed the working world as we know it. It has caused the number of remote workers to increase across the globe drastically. Although circumstances seem to be improving, it also appears that the increased level of remote work is here to stay.
Therefore, companies need to take the time to create long-term goals and plans to allow these teams to remain successful for the long haul.
For instance, goal setting is one of the top things that all remote team leaders need to focus on. This is because a 2015 study proved that goal setting is linked to autonomy, motivation, and self-confidence. Moreover, when these goals were written down, they were 33% more successful in terms of achieving them.
Goal Setting Methods
Before we delve into the benefits of goal setting, one popular method of goal setting is the OKR (Objective Key Results) Method. For those who are yet unfamiliar, this is a goal-setting framework that is commonly used for individuals, teams, and organizations. It makes it possible for people to define measurable goals and track their outcomes. Ultimately, this system allows organizations to continuously motivate their staff towards various organizational goals. In other words, you take the time to define the objective, figure out which metrics can be used to assess your progress towards the goal, then analyze your results.
Another popular method of goal setting is the SMART Goals method. This method offers a simple structure that shows how to create goals and how to make progress towards them. These goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. On the one hand, SMART Goals simply offers a framework for goal setting while the OKR makes a distinction between defining the objective and measuring the progress towards it by using Key Results. With that in mind, here is an overview of the importance of goal setting for remote teams.
1. Being Part of a Whole
One significant benefit of goal setting of remote teams is that it can allow your workers to better feel like a part of a group, rather than feeling like they are working as an individual. Setting goals means that you will need to send out group emails, organize online meetings, and complete other activities that will serve as a method of constantly reminding each member that they are a part of a bigger group. Over time, this will make it much easier to achieve objectives and goals of all kinds.
Moreover, setting goals for remote teams is a great way to hold everyone accountable. This is because working in groups can allow some workers to slip through the cracks. However, since everyone is working separately, this will enable you to divide the tasks up fairly and in a way in which everyone is being held accountable. In particular, you can create milestones that allow you to check-in with everyone to ensure that they are working towards the goal and staying on task.
3. Stay on Track
Another major benefit of setting goals is that it allows you to stay on track. As mentioned, team leaders can create schedules and set milestones that will enable you to check in with your employees and make sure they are staying on track throughout the process. Moreover, it can allow you to stop and address any issues that may be preventing you from moving forward. Rather than waiting until the project is supposed to be completed to uncover these issues, setting goals makes it easier to address them much faster.
4. Boost Performance
Additionally, one of the top reasons many employers have misgivings about allowing their workers to work remotely is that they fear it will result in a lower quality of work. However, experts assert that goal setting can actually boost the performance of employees. In particular, goal setting can help provide motivation for employees to go above and beyond. This not only results in better quality work for the company, but it also can help employees get raises and promotions much faster.
By setting goals, you can easily achieve a level of transparency that ensures that everyone understands where your company is headed and how their unique skills and talents factor into the equation. In other words, this transparency is essential when holding them accountable, but it is also important in terms of allowing them to feel like a valued member of your remote work team.
6. Strengthening Relationships
When working towards a goal, employees often have to lean on each other to achieve their goals in a timely fashion. Moreover, achieving goals also brings us together. Sharing a mutual sense of accomplishment will make your employees feel more empowered individually and as a collective. Over time, your team will become stronger and more cohesive when working towards organizational goals.
7. Strengths and Weaknesses
When working remotely, you will be able to honestly assess the level of work that every employee is capable of. In time, this will make it possible for you to learn their strengths and weaknesses, which will make it easier to supervise and assign tasks. Either way, by following the OKR method, unknown strengths and weaknesses can emerge. In those cases, you will be able to get a better idea of who is best for your team and who may need to be terminated.
Lastly, setting goals can help your employees better prioritize. Some employees have all the drive in the world but simply lack direction. Setting goals will enable them to better recognize which tasks are most important and why. Therefore, rather than floating around aimlessly, they will be forced to set timelines that will allow them to submit the requested tasks in a timely fashion. This may make them more effective in the workplace and in their lives overall.
Overall, goal setting is essential to remote teams for an array of reasons. As a leader, setting goals is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone is optimizing their time, staying on task, and working to their full potential. No matter if you choose to set daily, weekly, or monthly goals, doing so can be one of the best ways to boost productivity and create a more cohesive, effective remote team.
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