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How to Optimize your Goals Strategy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Here's how to adapt your goals strategy in light of the COVID-10 pandemic to maximize employee success.

The importance of committing to goals and the impact that goals have an organization's success is well-established. In recent years, many organizations have adopted the practice of goal agility to ensure that the goals set 6 months ago are revisited and tweaked to match the constantly evolving business landscape;  this is a best practice that has only become more critical given the current events. As your organization navigates the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend fine-tuning your approach to goals to ensure that employee goals are still relevant and realistic.  In many ways, it's more important  than ever to ensure that goals are realistic and current so that employees know what is expected of them and can perform effectively.

Why Goals Matter More than Ever

1. Goals provide clarity on what's most important now.

Your organization's priorities have likely shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees need to know how to shift their efforts to better support the organization's current needs and where to spend their time and focus. 

2. Goals provide focus. 

As employees are switching to remote work and juggling multiple responsibilities at home, the ability to focus solely on work for 8-9 hours a day is a luxury that many simply don’t have right now. Effective, clearly defined goals can help employees maximize the time that they do have and perform effectively in spite of the abnormal circumstances. 

3. Goals provide a sense of security and connection. 

Focusing on goals helps employees and teams feel connected to “the greater good” even when they are physically dispersed and can help create a sense of normalcy in an unpredictable time.  Additionally, goal alignment helps employees see how their work connects to the success of the broader team and organization in a time where employees might otherwise feel isolated. 


How to Evolve your Goals Strategy for COVID-19

1. Ensure that managers are working with their employees to help set realistic goals. 

Given the multiple responsibilities that employees are juggling now (e.g. caring for children, homeschooling, and focusing on the health and safety of themselves and their families), they need greater flexibility and support from their managers. Coach your managers to ask employees about their day to day reality during this pandemic and help employees identify what is realistic for them to achieve right now given the crisis. 

The reality is, employee goals are likely going to look different from goals were first designed several weeks or months ago. Honest conversations about what is achievable between managers and employees can help employees be more productive and feel more stable in this time of uncertainty. 

2. Aim for each employee to have at least one goal.

Make sure every employee has something to focus on and knows what is expected of them. 

3. Continue the conversation.

Encourage managers to be in frequent conversation with their employees, as both the employee's situation and the organization's needs may change quickly as the crisis evolves. Take a look at our 1:1 templates for ideas on how managers can maximize the time they have with their direct reports and provide effective coaching. 

We're here to help! Contact your Customer Success Manager for assistance implementing Goals or with any questions.