As we entered into a new year here at Kuvio, our Kuvio team decided to encourage each member of the team to set goals for 2021, both as a whole, and as individuals. Now, when we say setting goals, we don’t mean that everyone on the team was told to strive towards bringing in a certain amount of revenue or a certain number of clients. We wanted to push the individuals in the company to really think about unique personal and professional goals that align with their personalities and work style. By developing a process in which the employee felt comfortable and supported in their discussion of potential goals, we are allowing the ownership of these goals to remain with the individual. We are ecstatic about the progress made with this project and hope that in sharing our process with you, we will be able to inspire others to do the same.
To begin the process, the team was asked a series of questions that would encourage critical thinking and creativity. Instead of just saying “What are your goals for this year?” we broke down these questions even further. Every individual was encouraged to brainstorm a team-oriented goal, a professional goal, and a developmental goal. The team-oriented goal would be focused more on ways the employee could work to further their team’s goals in their new directorship. The professional goal would be centered around what the individual wants to accomplish, and the developmental goal would place emphasis on how each employee hopes to grow in their current role.
After providing about a week for employees to think about these goals, one-on-one meetings were scheduled to discuss these goals. These discussions were meant to be light discussions in which the goal-setter could maintain a relaxed, and creative mindset. As the team member spoke about the goals they envisioned, their culture-focused thought-partner in the meeting took notes, and translated these goals into wiSMART goals- goals that are specific to who the person and the company are, maintain what is important to and aligned with the intentions of both. These goals are also specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. As the partner was taking notes, they would assist the individual in wordsmithing the thoughts and ideas to create a clear vision. After the goals were established, they were recorded and sent to the individual. As the year progresses, the thought-partners will check in with each team member and revisit their goals together. They will see the progress that has been made, and ensure that everyone is maintaining the balance necessary to grow personally, professionally, as a member of the team and that the team is progressing towards its overarching goals.
One of the main takeaways from this process was the focus on the individual. Each conversation began by asking each person what it is that fills their cup. What hobby, interest, activity, etc., brings this person peace and positivity. The Kuvio process placed this focus at the core of these discussions, centering on the individual first: no one person can serve a company in a healthy way, unless they are present and whole. Everyone faces difficult times and challenges, especially in the past year, so it is important that we as colleagues are checking in and supporting each other.
Another purpose of conducting the process in this way is accountability. The goals end up being dynamic: personal and professional, meaningful and unique, creative and they allow for connection between the people who built them collaboratively-- the person who initiated the ideation and owns the process and the person who recorded and holds them accountable. Thus there is not a lot of stress or risk in the accountability process, but instead we structured it in a way that would encourage growth that is supported by the team.
When creating goals with your team, we recommend this type of collaborative, intimate process for a number of reasons. Every individual is encouraged to grow professionally, but not in a way that sacrifices their own personal goals or health. We believe the individual differences are what makes teams stronger. Thus, each team member should have the space and support to develop their goals, and means of achieving these goals, in a way that aligns with their work style and personality. This creates a support and a comfort within the team that fosters healthy and sustainable growth.
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