7 Effective Employee Goal Setting Strategies
employee-goal-setting-productive team

Goals without a timeline may as well be just a dream.

A common expression most organizations would have come across, goals can make or break an organization’s success.

Defined as something an individual or group is trying to achieve, goals are often established with a set timeline within which they must be fulfilled. According to the vision of the goal-setter, goal strategies may be short-term or long-term in nature.

You must be wondering why an organization focuses critically upon goals. Well, when everyone works towards a shared vision, success is inevitable. Goals outline and clarify the direction toward productivity and optimum employee performance.

To plan your journey towards unstoppable efficiency, comprehensive goal-setting frameworks have been introduced. Such frameworks help you plan your actions, adhere to timelines, and involve team members.

Strategies To Keep in Mind For Goal-Setting


1 – Breakdown your organizational goals

Bridge the organization’s overall objectives to see how they match and contribute to organizational success at individual and team levels.

2 – Ask Important Questions

Recognize the information that will shape your employee’s goals. Your employees must consider the following:

  1. What are my primary duties? 
  2. How do those tasks contribute to the overall performance of the organization? 
  3. Are there any goals from last year that I need to bring forward? 
  4. What resources am I going to require to succeed?
  5. What motivates me to work harder?

3 – Long-term targets and short-term goals

Breaking down year-end goals into monthly or quarterly results makes setting and achieving targets less challenging and allows flexibility to adapt as circumstances change.

4 – Collaborate

When employees work on projects, they often work in teams. Collaborating and setting goals together will help ensure that the targets represent the reality of one’s responsibilities. Transparency and accountability are also strengthened in this way.

5 – Select an appropriate framework

Without a schedule, a due deadline, a target is nothing more than a wish. So it’s necessary to select the goal-setting framework that would work best for your organization, including popular choices like O.K.R. or S.M.A.R.T. Further, several systems can assist workers in developing clear and structured goals.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting Worksheet

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym coined by George T Toran in 1981. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives. It is a commonly used framework that countless companies use when setting targets.

The S.M.A.R.T. framework’s primary purpose is to ensure that you can clearly focus on and articulate your mission, monitor its progress seamlessly, and align it with organizational objectives.


when defining targets, it is vital to leave no room for doubt! When setting goals, the ‘specific’ dimension’s primary purpose is to comprehensively address the five W’s – who, what, where, when, and finally, why.

Not only will this help to explain the priorities, but it will also help to clarify who does what, where, and most importantly, why. Each team member will have a firm grasp of their assigned roles and responsibilities.


What is the point of setting targets that cannot be quantified or tracked?

Goals are helpful only if they are quantifiable. Not only will this inspire and involve workers, but it will also provide the company with a better understanding of their end goal.


Be realistic. When setting goals, they should not be unattainable, even though they are difficult. Set targets following the organization’s available resources, time, and staff.

Rather than concentrating only on a single long-term objective, the company could also break the goals down into manageable targets to keep workers interested in achieving a challenging yet feasible target without overwhelming them.


If your objectives do not align with your organization’s purpose and core values, it’s time to rethink your strategy! Goals must be defined according to the organization’s culture to prevent misunderstandings and match the company’s and employees’ desired outcomes.


Set reasonable and attainable deadlines for achieving the objectives. This dimension of S.M.A.R.T. provides team members with a common purpose, which keeps them engaged and cohesive.


How Can S.M.A.R.T. Goals Help Your Business?

Utilizing S.M.A.R.T. Goals can significantly impact employee growth, performance, and coordination in various ways. Evaluate the following SMART Goal benefits to determine if S.M.A.R.T. Goals are appropriate for your organization:

Set Flexible Targets

It is easy to track and alter S.M.A.R.T. goals. Unlike generic objectives that both leaders and subordinates can easily ignore, S.M.A.R.T. aims to facilitate easy monitoring of time and other resources.

Save Money

The ability to regularly track your goal’s progress in real-time can help recognize and correct any missed targets. Resolving the underlying causes of financial losses helps not just fix them but also from not being repeated.

Enhance Employee Morale

With a S.M.A.R.T. framework, you can breakdown long-term objectives into smaller, more achievable goals. Although the progress at the end of the year remains the same, fulfilling them one day at a time will feel more manageable.

Fill the Gaps

Often, organizations come across situations wherein they find gaps in their strategies. Regardless of these gaps being logistical, technological, psychological, or other, starting over with a S.M.A.R.T. framework can help.

Build a Collaborative Environment

The framework can be used as an initiative to encourage teams to design concise and convincing project vision statements. Employees can be on track with plans and requirements based on their time constraints.

It’s important to remember that each team member serves as an ambassador for the organization’s endeavor. With the S.M.A.R.T. framework, organizations can encourage workers to share their perspectives regarding the goals and contribute something valuable to the table.


O.K.R. Goal Setting Worksheet

Short for ‘Objectives and Key Results,’ O.K.R. is a form of goal setting that allows you to identify an overall objective and determine the main metrics and actions necessary to achieve it.

It’s main objective is to reduce the target type and embed an aspirational mentality amongst workers. O.K.R. is advantageous if you want to challenge and grow your employees.

How can O.K.R Goals Help Your Business?

O.K.R goals express measurable milestones, when achieved, advances the objective. O.K.R goals help the businesses with a solid framework of fundamentals, like sound judgment, strong leadership, and creative workplace culture.

The main focus of O.K.R goals is to channelize the employees’ efforts on the same important issues/challenges/opportunities throughout the organization.

These goals are used for both individual and group goal-setting to help the employees prioritize work in a fast-paced environment.

O.K.R. tools are used to prioritize initiatives and define the desired outcomes from these goals.

O.K.R goals boost efficacy and engagement by keeping the managers informed as to which team members are engaged. Such information is easily accessible through a weekly check-in process, and that gives the managers visibility into who is achieving their O.K.R goals.

These goals help the managers build high-performing teams by empowering and engaging them so that they will be better at their work.

Some of the key benefits of using O.K.R goals are

  • Give clear direction to every team and individual
  • Track regular progress towards goals
  • Be effective in setting clear and specific goals
  • Boost individual and team engagement and empowerment through goal-setting process
  • Achieve measurement, transparency, and accountability
  • Increase productivity through focus on goals
  • Improve resource allocation and management

How is O.K.R. Different from S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. aims to set goals that are attainable and achievable, whereas O.K.R. functions on a philosophy that focuses more on setting ambitious or aspirational goals.

The creator of O.K.R., Andy Grove, put 70% as the benchmark for achieving goals, suggesting that reaching 70% of the set goals is as good as fulfilling them. S.M.A.R.T. goals are also often designed and reviewed annually.

O.K.R., on the other hand, enables a more regular analysis and adjustment of targets.

If you are unsure about the framework for setting goals to follow, perform a comprehensive organizational and team study. Regardless of the company’s size, goal setting is essential, so ensure you utilize a goal setting worksheet to stay on the right track of success.

S.M.A.R.T Goals vs. O.K.R Goals – Which one is better for your business?

Both SMART goals and OKR goals provide a method for creating precise goals that are time-bound and realistic.

Both the criteria can be used to align corporate and team goals for businesses, nonprofits, and individuals.

Though the SMART goal criteria is easy to remember and works great for personal goal-setting, this criteria simply describes a goal in isolation.

On the other hand, O.K.R goals provide an extra level of organizational context and turns goal-setting into an organization-wide exercise.

OKR and SMART goals have distinct uses and each of the methods are used in different situations.

O.K.R goals are used in the following situations

  • When an organization is setting long-term goals and objectives
  • When the goals being set has the possibility of change
  • To create an extra level of organizational context
  • To set multimetric goals

S.M.A.R.T goals are used in the following situations

  • When organizations don’t have a clear destination
  • To provide top-down direction for repeated behaviors and processes
  • To set and track discrete goals for an individual or within a team


Goal planning empowers employees to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the requirements of your team and your organization.

Both SMART and OKR goals though look almost the same, their differences are what helps your organization to set long-term goals and objectives.

Now that we know everything about SMART and OKR goals, you can choose any one of these which will suit your organization the best.

Still Not Using ‘PagarBook’ for Employee Management?
Prashant Kumar

Prashant Kumar

Associate Growth Manager

Prashant is Associate Growth Manager in PagarBook and manages all the organic web presence for brand.

1 Comment

  1. Sajan

    Great. Does Pagarbook help manage Employee goals too?


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