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Targets: friend or foe?

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Emma Gregory

Mention the word “targets”  in a work capacity  and it’ll strike the fear in to many of us. Conjuring up images of micro managing bosses, feeling like a failure if you don’t perform as expected and a general anxiety around the working day, having unrealistic targets set by a company can certainly de-motivate the best worker out there.

Before starting Urbanberry Recruitment, Caroline and I had been in target driven environments most of our working lives. Recruitment in particular is  often driven by reaching set financial goals decided by your employer and whether you’ve worked your hardest to get there, or, you’ve had a lucky month, the way you’ve achieved your target is irrelevant. In sales, the phrase, “you’re only as good as your last month!” is often bounced around the office, taking away any shred of joy the person who has just exceeded their target for that month is experiencing, replacing it with a panic as to how they will sustain their success.

Now that we have our own company and are no longer bound by a generic financial target, we’ve found that our own personal achievements have been a far superior motivator than anything written on a whiteboard in the office. Of course, there are very few people who aren’t motivated by the chance to earn additional money but it’s both the employee and the employers responsibility to make sure any targets are designed to get the best out of everyone.

EMPLOYERS

Celebrate successes: No matter how big or small, don’t reward all employee’s for the same thing. Nurture your staff and notice when they do something above and beyond, or even if it’s something that you know they have been struggling with and have overcome. Praise equals success.

Reward for effort: I had a fabulous boss once who, when I had a difficult couple of months in a sales job, told me: “I can see the work you are doing behind the scenes. The activity is there, the rest will follow”. And I still remember those words some 10 years later. Some days, weeks or months ARE harder than others in any job so respect those employees that are doing all they can.

Regularly review your expectations: Think about current business climate, staffing levels time of year, personal circumstances. It may be necessary (and fair) to alter reduce targets to reflect the above.

Don’t make them all about finances: Yes, money is a big motivator for a lot of people. But so are other incentives such as yearly subscriptions, gym memberships, meals out and days off to enjoy.

EMPLOYEE’S

Write it down: We often review and write down what we want to achieve from our next 3 months. This can be anything from securing a new client to filling that tricky role or FINALLY getting to grips with the accounting process in a small business! Keep it somewhere you can refer to it and visualise it.

Focus on short term dreams: – What do you want to do in the next year? Both Caroline and I love visiting new places and every  year, each try and go somewhere we have never been.  It’s a fantastic motivator and an end reward for all our hard work- just make sure you don’t fall in to the trap of spending all your time staring at holiday websites!!

Nothing comes easy! Do remember that success just “falls” in to the laps of very few people. Working hard is key to achieving any goal,  be it personal or professional. So don’t waste your days complaining about how easy others have it, take away your own distractions and focus on the task in hand.

Compare YOURSELF to YOURSELF: All too often, especially in sales, it seems natural to compare yourself to the biggest biller in the office and feel demotivated when you don’t get anywhere near. Telling yourself you will never bring in the same kind of results that they do will only drag you down. Look at your own workload and be realistic about what you personally can achieve. Make your own goals manageable based on your own situation, not anyone elses.

Goals and targets can be a great way to push us towards something we want. Be it work related or personal, aiming for something realistic has a huge influence on what we can achieve. So go get ‘em!!

If you’re looking for a new job in the corporate travel sector and would like a chat about your preferences please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. And if you’re a client looking to work with a Travel Recruitment company who care about what they do, please consider giving us a try! emma@urbanberry.co.uk and caroline@urbanberry.co.uk

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay