The problem is that so many of the improvements you’re making are, well, kind of intangible. And without those goals being visibly kicked, it can be hard to prove your worth.
So what do you do?
Giving your goals visibility
The surest way to prove you’re making a difference (for the better) is to set the right goals in the first place.
After all, promotions don’t go to those who merely carry out their day-to-day duties (even if they do an exceptional job of it); they go to the ones who innovate, take initiative, and impact the bottom line.
A good exercise is to think about the tasks and processes you do in your workday and write down what intangible goals they might contribute to.
For example, intangible goals might be things like:
- Improving stakeholder goodwill
- Boosting employee engagement/satisfaction
- Growing the company’s online presence
- Increasing overall productivity/performance
- Creating a positive company culture
- Maintaining secure information systems
- Fostering creativity and innovation
And so on. These are all important goals – but without some way to measure, it would be hard to objectively prove you’re doing any of them!
Which brings us to the next step: rewrite those goals into tangible goals that can have visible results.
Five questions to ask when setting goals…
Try asking the following questions when you set your new goals and plan out how to spend your work time:
1. Are you being results-oriented?
Are you busy being busy? Or are you busy making stuff happen?
Being results-oriented is a mindset. It’s focusing on the end result (aka, making stuff happen!) rather than on the task or process.
Now, of course tasks and processes are important. But the idea here is to always keep the end result in view, since being too task-oriented can lead you to get caught up in “busy work” rather than work that makes a difference long term.
2. Do your goals align with the company mission?
As we’ve said before, your company mission is really important. If your goals aren’t in line with it and ultimately doing something to further it, you’re quite simply off the mark.
Make sure you’re well on board with the business values and mission – and set your goals in the way that best aligns with them.
3. Have you measured at baseline?
Imagine that you initiate training for staff in how to spot scam emails. And you can see that it’s made a difference.
Now what’s better: Telling your boss that scam incidents have decreased; or telling your boss that scam incidents have decreased by 78%?
Measuring results is crucial; but don’t forget to take a baseline measurement at the start of any project or goal path. That way you can really give an accurate and detailed report on measurable results.
4. Are your goals SMART?
Speaking of measurable results, you’ve no doubt heard of SMART goal setting. Yeah, it’s a well-worn acronym, but one that’s worth repeating here.
Because goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound are exactly the kind of goals that will allow you to drive home what a difference you’re making (and get noticed by the boss).
Let’s do an example. Say your intangible goal is to grow the business’s online presence. Now to make that SMART: how about doubling the business’s Facebook followers within six months. Much better!
5. Have you recorded and shared your goals?
Knowing what your goals are is great. But also consider formally writing them down and sharing them. Why?
Firstly, research shows that the simple act of writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them.
Meanwhile, sharing them with your boss or team is a way to get others on board with your goals so that they understand your intentions and themselves act to support what you’re doing. In turn, success is more likely.
Lastly, sharing your goals helps to keep you accountable to them. If you’ve stated your intention to do something, you have the incentive to deliver.
Now go forth… and get that pay rise 😉
Are you ready to go rethink your daily tasks and turn them into tangible goals with visible results? Good luck – and we hope this post has given you some useful tips and things to think about.