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2 min read

The Dos and Don'ts of Setting Development Goals

An important part of the coaching puzzle is to set clear goals. It motivates and ensures that your employees work towards a slam dunk satisfaction of your company’s KPIs. However, the path towards success is rarely perfectly paved, and there are many pitfalls along the way… But don’t be frightened or deterred – stick to these dos and don'ts to get you to the end.



Gain an In-Depth Understanding of “Where Do You See Yourself in a Year?”

If you’d like to set achievable and motivating goals, it’s important that you’re aware of how your employee sees his or her future within the organization. Does Helena want to climb the company ladder? Make sure to extract her potential and set sales goals that align with her personal and professional goals. Guide her down the path of success – it’ll benefit you, your organization and the employee.

Long-Term Goals to Inspire

In essence, to set goals is to set clear and inspirational guidelines in order to guide particular actions. It’s important to organize your organization so your sales associates and managers tread down the same path hand-in-hand and towards the same bucket of gold at the end of the retail rainbow.

And Short-Term Goals to Motivate

Even though long term goals are a great for employee and organizational inspiration, you need to break them down into short-term goals. This process brings the abstract long-term goals down to substantial and achievable short-term objectives. If you skip the step of short-term goals, chances are your employees will feel like they aren’t making any progress even though they are. 

No, You (Probably) Won’t Become the CEO Within a Year

When setting goals together with your employees, it’s important that they are achievable in regards to the sales representative’s skills and within the soon-to-be-set timeframe. If Sales Associate Helena wants to become the CEO of your company within 5 years and accelerate her sales performance with 190%, it’s your job to figuratively pull her feet down to the ground. A part of being a good coach is to be tentative, yet realistic.

Don’t Generalize – Be Specific!

In the creation of team-oriented and individually oriented goals, it’s absolutely essential that they are specific – it’s a major player in the kickoff towards employee success. Imagine the following:

During one of your many performance review meetings, your employee Michael expresses that he would like to accelerate his sales performance. Should you:

A: Set “performance improvement” as a goal


B: Set “an annual increase of 20% in sales performance over the upcoming 3 years” as a goal

The answer is B. With the second goal, Michael has specific, measurable and time-specific goals to stimulate particular actions. Iron out the uncertainties! 

Measure, Measure and Measure Once Again

If you want to keep your employees running towards the giant pot of gold, it’s important that you can keep track of their progress by continuously tracking their performances. Think about it: isn’t it hard to assess success if you don’t have a method or a tool to keep track of performance improvements?

We’ve guided you through the dos and the don’ts of setting professional development goals. It’s a tricky road to master, but on the flip-side: it’s hardly impossible. 

Learn more about how Goalplan can help your  staff track their sales development goals.

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