Today’s workforce can include up to five generations: traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, millennials (aka generation Y), and generation Z. It comes as no surprise that those generations may have different work styles and be motivated by different things. From pension-driven baby boomers to job-hopping millennials, the workforce demands that employers have some basic understanding of what motivates people to succeed. The bigger challenge, though, is striking a balance that fits all employees when it comes to goals.
Each employee is unique, whether they fit within the basic stereotypes of their generation or not. But as an employer, you can’t create a different goal-setting process and different evaluation to fit each person. Consistency matters, which means finding some middle ground as you develop standard processes.
When it comes to goals, don’t overlook the value of incremental goals for your team. Sure, big goals are important — like reducing errors by 5% in a year or increasing revenue by 10% — but don’t limit yourself and your team to only big goals that are measured once a year. Incremental goals keep people going. Think about the number of games and apps that people play or use for tracking purposes and how those apps use incremental goals and rewards to keep people motivated. Congratulations, you walked to Canada on your fitness app! You submitted five restaurant reviews, and you’ve leveled up as a star reviewer!
There are many human resource studies that show employees respond the same way in their jobs. What are the little goals you can create within your business? It takes some time to develop those incremental goals and achievements, but it’s also a great opportunity to have some fun. For an IT company driven by service tickets, it might be incremental goals for the number of closed tickets in a given period. You can include reward programs tied to core values, customer service, or other key factors of your business and really create a fun atmosphere for employees to embrace small wins. You might even have incremental goals tied to community service or volunteer hours for employees, which also provides an opportunity to build camaraderie among employees.
Is your company using incremental goals in a unique way? Have you seen it have a positive impact on your team? We would love to hear about your success with incremental goals.