How to Boost Productivity through Meaningful Goal-setting and Recognition

Date: September 8, 2021
Goal setting

During our recent webinar, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Rebecca Clements, Senior Vice President of People and Culture at Headquartered in Seattle, is a global team dedicated to helping businesses revolutionize the way they work through OKR software that enables you to spend less time managing goals and more time achieving them. Over the course of our conversation, Rebecca discussed some of the ideas, tools and techniques that you can use to implement meaningful goal-setting strategies and employee rewards and recognition programs.

Perhaps most importantly however, she discussed the benefits that your business can enjoy as a result of implementing these strategies and the value they can add to an organization from day one.

Why goals matter

rewards and recognition

Whether it’s personal or professional, we know that setting goals is important. But when it comes to the workplace, they become a vital tool within employee rewards and recognition by recognizing and rewarding your best performers based on your goals. This creates a virtuous cycle that in turn encourages them to scale new heights and achieve even greater success.

During the webinar Rebecca summed up the idea very succinctly. “In the absence of goals and objectives people stay very busy,” she said. “But they may not be doing the right things.”

“Everyone wants their work to matter, they want to make a difference,” she added. “They want to make a difference to the greater good and they want to know that what they’re doing is important and has purpose and meaning. One way to achieve that is to create that line of sight so that people know that what they’re doing matters, how that impacts what their team is doing and how that contributes to the company’s goals and objectives.” 

Put simply, if you help your people to see the bigger picture then they’re more likely to be engaged and productive and much less likely to lose interest in their work or seek out a new position. 

Rebecca says that digital platforms that track employee milestones, goals and rewards are a vital tool to ensure your goal-setting is transparent and constantly up to date. The key is regularity and repetition. That’s because as humans we naturally forget information that’s shared with us. In fact, according to German Psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus who laid out the theory of the Forgetting Curve, we forget 75% of the important information shared with us after just six days. That’s why tools that put goals front and center, alongside regular company check ins, play a vital role in meaningful recognition. 

How goal-setting boosts employee productivity 

employee recognition

“There’s one consistent theme that we’ve heard over and over again,” said Rebecca. “And that is when employees aren’t aligned to their company mission, work and productivity suffers.”

It’s a simple statement, but one that highlights the impact that goal-setting can have on your employees’ productivity. It’s not just anecdotal evidence either. Ally recently conducted a survey of more than 4,500 working adults in the UK and the US, and the data overwhelmingly supports the role that recognition plays in boosting employee productivity. 

In total 88% of employees who said they believed in their company’s mission also felt inspired by what they do, and a further 72% said that this belief inspired them to take risks. In contrast less than half (42%) of employees who didn’t know their company’s mission could say the same thing. 

The findings present a stark contrast. They show that building a culture around goal-setting doesn’t just impact whether your employees feel connected to your company, but actually influences the innovation and entrepreneurialism that will ultimately contribute to your bottom line. 

That word “culture” is very important. We all know how important company culture is, but Ally’s research found that employees rated their company culture higher when there was also a standardized goal-setting framework in place. 

“All of this ties back to productivity,” Rebecca said. “Because in environments where there is clarity around goals and a high degree of trust and empowerment, then you’re far more likely to have high performing employees.” 

What you can do to implement goal-setting today

Employee rewards

You’ve read the statistics, you understand the theory. But what can you do to implement goal-setting frameworks into your organization? 

The number one thing according to Rebecca is to adopt a goal-setting framework. “It can be any framework, there are a lot out there, but make sure you put something in place.” 

Secondly you have to operationalize it. There’s no point adopting a framework or installing goal-setting within your organization if it doesn’t become part of peoples’ day-to-day rhythms. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Rebecca says to consider adopting a tool or platform to help you incorporate goal management into your business. “Spreadsheets can get the job done,” she said, “but a tool or a platform can help bring greater transparency and make it easier to manage both goals and progress.” 

That’s where Bucketlist can help. Bucketlist employee rewards and recognition software is customizable to your business so you can coordinate awards around your goals and automate them too. You can read more information about the employee recognition programs here and be sure to check out our webinar recording for more information on how you can boost productivity through meaningful goal-setting and recognition. 

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