Why All Leaders Should Meet with Their teams in January to Review Annual Goals

We’re going to make a bold statement echoed by a new article from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM): Annual reviews are dead. Or, at least, they will be radically changed over the next few years. Why? Because how we learn, how we work, and how we consume information is now incremental. One big conversation at the end of the end just doesn’t match with our new normal. Instead, companies are moving to an era of more immediate feedback with formal quarterly reviews. But all of this starts with your January review of your goals.

What Should You Cover in a January Review?

The days of the less formal review are here. What’s taking its place are less-formal frequent check-ins to go over and revise goals in real-time. Managers must, in effect, become coaches to their employees, and they lay the groundwork for the entire year in January with the first discussion with their employees.

Your goal of the January meetup is to develop attainable goals collaboratively with your employee. There must be three areas of focus when developing the overarching set of goals:

  • These goals must be aligned with the company’s mission somehow. The employee should understand that mission and embrace it.
  • They must also be aligned with the departmental numbers that you’re trying to generate. Just like a team dashboard, you should break the big numbers down into smaller increments to keep the employee motivated. There should also be plenty of rewards along the way.
  • Finally, they must include the employee’s own career goals. Are they seeking ways to move up the ladder in your organization? If so, you’ll want to give employees the training they need to reach these milestones.

Having the right goals can affect:

  • Employee motivation
  • Production
  • Worker retention

Setting goals together with your employee increases the alignment of everyone on the team. It also builds camaraderie between you and the employee.

Ultimately, this January process sets everyone up for success throughout the year. By February, everyone should be united in pursuit of a single goal (or a set of goals)—whatever that may be. Think how much more productive your organization would be when everyone is rowing in the same direction. That will help you understand the powerful impact this January meeting can have.

It’s important to have regular check-ins after the New Year goal-setting process. Why? Because your goals, like your markets, are not static. They’re alive. Meeting regularly with your workforce helps your team ebb and flow or flex with whatever is changing throughout the year.

This process will help your workforce avoid burnout and keep them engaged longer? Why? First, because you took the time to listen to your worker by collaborating toward their success. Do you realize how many managers fail to take this step? You ultimately build loyalty in the employee just by asking what’s important to them. Where do they want their career to go in the future? Setting goals together in January sets the stage for a great year by introducing the idea that you are in this together—and together you will succeed.

PrideStaff Thousand Oaks works closely with top talent and top employers to bring everyone together in mutually beneficial arrangements. Talk to us about how we can help you meet your 2022 hiring goals.