IT’S THE SECRET TO MANY OF THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES, WITH THE LIKES OF GOOGLE AND VIRGIN AUSTRALIA FAMOUS FOR IT – YET WHEN IT COMES TO TAPPING INTO THEIR EMPLOYEES’ PASSIONS TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY, THE MAJORITY OF BOSSES REMAIN OBLIVIOUS. THINK BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTÍS CRAIG LEVITT SHARES HOW EMBRACING STAFF GOALS HAS THE POWER TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS.
Our lives are typically divided into two areas – work and personal time – and there is often an unspoken rule not to mix the two. But what if getting to know your employees’ personal goals was actually the secret to unlocking their full potential within your business?
As the business development manager for Think Business Development, Craig Levitt works alongside employers and their staff through one-on-one coaching and group training programs that teach the power of goal setting, and according to him, this is very much the case.
“But what’s in it for me?” you say. Well, according to Craig, that is exactly the point.
“If you can tap into providing something for your staff to get them motivated, it’s more likely to benefit your business,” explains Craig. “As a business person, I can’t just say to someone, ‘I want you to be more passionate about my business’, and expect them to be; there needs to be something they get in return.
“It needs to be more of a matter of understanding of what they are passionate about, then aligning that to your business. It’s the same in getting staff to think up more ideas to benefit your business; it’s more interesting to them if they’re connected with it somehow, so find out what drives them and forge a link.”
Craig goes on to explain that where many businesses go wrong is they assume that because work is traditionally a financial transaction where employees are paid to provide services, money will always achieve the results. But while money can often buy the things people most desire, this doesn’t always ring true – and even when it does, it can be hard for employees to draw a line between the two. It is for this reason Craig encourages employers to go the extra mile and discuss with their employees not only what their personal goals are, but how they can help them achieve them, so when they’re working towards their work goals they feel like they’re accomplishing something towards their personal goals too.
If you can tap into providing something for your staff to get them motivated, it’s more likely to benefit your business.”
“The owner of one of the organisations I worked for earlier in the year actually came back to me and said that having taken this approach, they can see that personal goal setting was much more powerful in shaping the employees’ attitudes and behaviours post training, than the team goals were,” says Craig.
“If people have nothing to work towards, they feel stagnant,” he goes on to explain. “The reason why organisations like Google spend money on their employees is to create a better workplace, which creates a more productive environment and a place where people actually want to go to work and help the organisation – because they’re excited by it.”
Whether it’s offering extra in a staff member’s package to go towards the house they’re looking at buying, giving them time off to spend with their kids or work on their pet project, or simply rewarding them with vouchers they can put towards a hobby when they’ve done great work, by tying the incentive to their passion and showing them that you have listened, you make them feel valued, and they are likely to offer extra value to you in return.
So, how do you implement this goal-oriented system?
Craig suggests having the discussion as part of regular performance reviews, writing them down and revising them every six or 12 months.
“Coming up with actions or steps to take is critical because that builds momentum and that gives us something to measure success by,” advises Craig.
Even more effective is getting a third party like Craig to come in and do a group training session with both management and staff to get everyone in the team mindset.
“Society has moved from skills-based training to value-oriented training,” says Craig of the Think Business Development programs.
“We work on having three goals to work towards – one work-related, one finance-related and one personal goal – and linking them together. Because of the experience we have through Think Money in seeing how people’s lives change when they feel more in control of their money management we thought it was the perfect opportunity to marry those things together.
“Money gives you the freedom to make choices and do more things, so we’ve implemented a three-tier program to help managers and staff manage their money, reduce debt and create wealth, then we align that with their other goals by including components of personal goal setting and team goal setting, so the employer is getting the benefit of both.
“We also figure it’s a great combination to offer – goals and money management together – as an employee benefit for working for an employer.”
Proving you really do get back what you put in, Craig is helping make a difference to how people see their workplace, one business at a time.
GOAL SETTING TIPS
Work with someone else to determine your goals
Most people know more about what they don’t want than want they do want, and as we grow, we tend to limit what we think is possible based on our past experiences.
But often working with someone else helps overcome those blocks that you can’t see.
Engage techniques such as visualisation to ‘see’ what you want
There’s a difference between thinking what you want and seeing what you want, and humans are generally visual. When we think about something, we often get stuck on what’s going to stop us from moving forward, but when we visualise, it tends to overcome that issue and see what is possible.