The other day I crumpled up a piece of paper and threw a perfect hookshot from across the room with my eyes closed. Swish!
I jumped up, exclaimed “YEAH”, and then looked around to see who had witnessed my legendary feat of office athleticism. Nobody cared except the team in the next pod who clearly missed my shot, but were wondering why I was standing there with my fist in the air.
If throwing out garbage with style makes us feel great, imagine doing something of consequence like closing a big sales deal or completing a new marketing campaign. The flavor of success is sweeter when shared. That’s why we were inspired to create our newest feature: Goals & Accomplishments.
Studies show that employees are highly motivated by feeling accomplished. Teresa Amabile’s book, The Progress Principle proves its tagline: “using small wins to ignite joy, engagement, and creativity at work,” through the rigorous analysis of over 12,000 daily diary entries from employees at 7 different companies.
In her interview by Daniel Pink, Amabile says that “of all the events that have the power to excite people and engage them in their work, the single most important is making progress – even if that progress is a small win. That’s the progress principle. And, because people are more creatively productive when they are excited and engaged, small wins are a very big deal for organizations.”
A recent Harvard Business School study showed that the act of simply reflecting on our activities and keeping a “done list” has the power to significantly boost performance and learning. One team’s performance went up 23% compared to the control group, simply by “thinking about what they had done each week”. One of the study authors, Professor Francesca Gino, stated that we have a bias for completion. Employees who checked items as complete were 30% more productive and experienced greater enjoyment in their work.
Why do we immediately turn around after making the shot and say, “you saw that, right?” Being witnessed adds fuel to our game and keeps us going in whatever we set out to do. The same is true for teams at work. When our managers notice and appreciate our sweet moves, we are even more inspired to do our best.
Setting goals with a witness also increases the satisfaction of completing them. It creates deeper accountability like calling your shot before you take it. And the positive feelings derived from reflecting on accomplishments creates high morale for the entire cadre.
The Goals & Accomplishments feature allows employees to list goals every week and check off their accomplishments with a satisfying checkmark in their next 15Five.
Step 1) Identify and Share Weekly Goals:
Every employee answers this question at the top of their 15Five:
“What do you intend to accomplish between now and your next report?”Employees type in goals for the upcoming week and submit their reports. Managers can comment to keep everyone aligned with high-level priorities.
Step 2) Show Your Progress:
During the next reporting period, goals set in Step 1 are listed at the top of each employee’s 15Five. Employees mark completed goals with a check. Missed goals are marked with an X.
Both employees and the managers who review their report can comment on each item, mark for follow-up, mention others and have conversations around goals – just the same as any other question in 15Five.
Managers can clearly see every employee’s top priorities and how they’re performing against them. They can easily identify bottlenecks in performance everywhere on the team, and use this information to inform 1-on-1 meetings.
Step 3) Share Additional Accomplishments:
Employees can also share additional accomplishments that were not contemplated when they added goals in their previous 15Five. Just click on “Add more accomplishments completed from this last week”.
Managers and employees can now lift their glasses and toast to wins both big and small. They all add up to everyone excelling at their game, creating winning companies where swishes are the norm and where we still get pumped every time someone makes an excellent shot.
Want to turn on Goals & Accomplishments? Account admins can enable the feature under “Company Settings”.
Image Credit (cropped): Cliff