Goals － whether purely financial, growth-related, contributory or otherwise － are the cornerstone of any business. However, the reality is that they often don’t appeal to workers, decreasing current employees’ contribution to activities and worker retention and recruitment. Wondering why employees don’t care about your goals? Here’s the likely answer and how to go about fixing it.
What Matters to Employees
Right now in our current climate, it’s a job-seeker’s market. There is an excess of jobs to go around (high-paying ones with decent benefits, at that), something that allows people a kind of flexibility that we haven’t really seen before.
They no longer have to take the first opportunities that fall in their laps but can hold out for something better that meets their preferences, personal goals, and career ambitions and fits into the overall arc of their lives. People are finally in a position where they can be choosy, deciding to work for companies that challenge them and encourage them to develop their talents.
And that’s a great thing because these are the factors that really matter to employees, that make them happy with the course of their professional careers, and ensure they’ll put in the energy and effort that will make your business thrive. After all, as explained in a recent Gallup article about what people want from their jobs, “When people have the opportunity to do work they are naturally gifted at and trained to do, they enjoy their work, find it stimulating, and want to do more of it.”
Not quite seeing the level of contribution or engagement you’d like to see from your workforce? Then this is very likely where your problem lies. Perhaps your employees aren’t finding their tasks challenging or stimulating enough, in which case, a few changes to your daily operations and company goals might be in order.
Creating a Better Worker Experience
Making alterations within any corporate environment or business venture is anxiety-provoking. Big, sudden shifts can spell disaster, even if they’re positive in the long run, creating instability and uncertainty.
However, the reality is that you don’t need to make massive changes to your mission statement, business structure, or the like to get your employees to care about your goals. Even small changes add up quickly and can completely flip how your employees feel about your company, their place within it, and their assigned tasks. You just need to prioritize actions that’ll create a better worker experience. And that’s actually significantly simpler than you may expect － it just requires you to treat your employees well.
The reasoning is pretty common sense: people like working where they’re safe, appreciated, and respected. They want to feel like who they are as individuals is embraced, that their contributions mean something, and that they have a chance to move forward rather than stay stagnant. All of this requires a positive and thriving work culture.
Of course, these words are very subjective. What specifically works for some employees, makes them feel seen and supported － won’t work for others, and this will vary between companies as well. There is no one exact way to build a better environment conducive to happy, helpful workers. It requires a more personalized approach, and that’s something your business will have to play by ear.
Although, if you want a little guidance, we recommend checking out Inc.com’s breakdown of the points involved in a CELEBRATED culture. While it doesn’t tell you any concrete actions you need to take, it does give you the gist of what a better work environment looks like and can assist you with hitting all the right notes required for a happy, contributing worker.
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Transforming How People Relate to Goals
By curating a better work environment and culture － one where employees are not only treated fairly and respected as individuals, but also supplied the opportunity for personal development, belonging, and mentorship － you’ll begin to see how people relate to goals also changes. By further welcoming them into the fold of the company, your goals become their goals, too, which can hugely alter the quality of their work and their loyalty.
Yet, you don’t want to stop there. Truly transforming how your workers see your targets and hopes for the future requires you to also change the circumstances or context around them, including how you’re communicating these goals to the business’s employees and the process by which you’re developing new ones.
That might sound hard, but at its core, transparency is the key. Be open and communicative about your primary mission, how employee contributions are affecting progress towards that, and share how they can help the company reach its full potential. That alone can do wonders for getting your venture on the road to success.
Just be sure not to slack off on gathering employee input as well. Remember: employees must feel empowered to enact meaningful change, and that can only come on the back of being heard. So, lend an ear! Open up the conversation and simply let your team talk.
They’re closer to the action than you are; they’re present to see all the problems and solutions that you don’t. Any commentary and feedback from them is remarkably valuable. Note down what they say and address comments by creating tasks. This will address any reported issues with the urgency it deserves, guarantee your employees finally feel like they have a voice, and ultimately, get you that much closer to extreme goal alignment and gain employee goal commitment.
Everyone wants employees that are empowered, driven, and good at contributing. The problem is, this can’t happen unless employees care about your goals, and many often don’t due to a lacking work culture or the company not supplying them with meaningful, stimulating work. But if you fix these issues － change things to make sure employees are heard, respected, and given an opportunity to shine － you’ll give workers all the motivation they need to both care about your goals and provide the contributions needed to meet them.