With the New Year in full effect and everyone settled back into their work routines, realising they ate way too much of the cookies that were meant for Santa and returning from all the family celebrations, we start to look forward.
The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ahead of you, as perfect and unspoiled as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.
Working at Hi5 over the past few years has given me the opportunity to think about my role in the company and what I bring to the table. I once thought being a software developer was about pumping out code as quickly as possible — this is a lie! As a dev, you’re not paid to be a code-monkey, you’re paid to think and figure out problems.
One such problem being ownership and responsibility. How can we encourage more engagement and buy-in from employees within a company? With this in mind, we recently launched a new feature which allows employees (those without a Role already assigned to them) to create their own Role with 5 measurable, attainable Goals. Coding this feature was in itself a mission to accomplish, but not impossible. We broke it down into manageable mini-tasks, which allowed us to focus on specific scenarios whilst ensuring that this feature provides a seamless experience for the employee using the platform.
As an employee, new or old to the company, you can simply click on “Create Your Goals” (found on the Hi5 Dashboard) and set up your own Goals. You can choose from a list of Roles that are already within your company, or select the “Create custom role” option. Once complete, the Admin gets notified to edit the Role and can assign it to you and others.
But, how do I setup my own goals when I don’t know what my goals are?
What is a goal? Merriam-webster defines a goal as, “ the end toward which effort is directed”. Setting Goals in the workplace is an interesting balancing act. On the one hand, your workplace Goals must uphold the company mission/values. On the other hand, they must be your own. Setting your Goals is all about career growth! Whether you want to be a mid-level developer, cashier or general manager, you need to ask yourself, “What goals would be required to get me to this milestone?” If your Line Manager genuinely understands the power of goal alignment and setting and achieving goals, you have a great starting point for an ongoing conversation around your personal growth and professional development.
Setting up your own Role with Goals gives you a sense of ownership: the outcomes are what you (along with your Manager) set forth for yourself, and by accomplishing them you will become a more responsible person and employee. It allows you to take charge of who you want to be in the next year — your growth as a professional is bigger than productivity and proficiency at your desk!
- Career advancement often requires a broad scope of skills and experiences. Try adding seminars and other educational opportunities to your Goals list, because continued learning is critical to your ability to expand your responsibilities and career development.
- Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don’t do anything. If you make small Goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher Goals.
- Listen. Oftentimes it’s best to listen and pay attention to others, especially in the workplace, as this indicates that you value what they have to say. Use active listening, open-ended questions, positive body language and eliminate distractions that can get in the way of your ability to really take it in.
- Gain feedback from your team members on a regular basis to find out what you can improve upon. Obtaining your team’s perspective is a great way to see how your behaviour and practices impact those around you, and can provide immense insight when it comes to what works and what doesn’t.
- No one person knows everything, so ask for support/help if and when you really need it. Look for allies, both within your company and outside of it, and build a network of professionals who are like-minded. Talk to them, ask for advice and apply it in your situation to reach your Goals.
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