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How To Help Your Employees Reach Their Goals


How To Help Your Employees Reach Their Goals

Here’s the thing: When your employees are successful, you’re successful too. That means that when you have an employee who is setting and reaching goals, this has a trickle-down effect. Then your business can reach goals as well! Or more accurately, your employees can help you reach goals.


It may sound cliché, but setting goals that are achievable and that bring results is more complicated than many realize. So often the goals are either not that lofty (pretty easy to reach), or else the opposite: so difficult that they are setting one up for failure before they even start. You can end all of that though, and help your employees reach success by adopting the four-step WOOP strategy:

  • Wish
  • Outcome
  • Obstacle
  • Plan


The “Wish” part is the goal your employee wants to achieve. While many have long advocated for the need to set a very specific goal, this may not be the best option. For example, in one study, the individuals who set a goal to lose weight within a range were more successful than those who set to lose to a specific value. In the workplace, the goal may be more successful if it is framed as “I wish to be doing more team leadership in the next two months,” versus, “I will be the team leader in 30 days.”


This is where you can help your employee see what the best possible outcome is for their goal – and what that looks like. Have them transport themselves to the future where they can see what it looks like to achieve the goal and what the results are in return.


Don’t forget to address obstacles on the way to the desired outcome! Many people fall off track en route to achieving their goal because they hit a hurdle or an obstacle that they weren’t expecting, and don’t know how to address the challenge and continue moving forward.

For example, if team leadership is the goal, a potential obstacle may be difficulty understanding the personality differences of individual team members. This can make it hard to help the team work cohesively and may first require some work to learn about strategic team building.



Speaking of the work, this is where the plan comes in. Success towards a goal comes from a “when-then,” plan. It is essentially a “when this obstacle arises, then I can do this to overcome it.” This ensures that your employee can stay on track to completing their goal and allows the obstacles to present themselves as a challenge and a learning opportunity, not as a road block inhibiting forward success.


Setting and achieving goals is challenging and intimidating, but can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you are a business owner looking for the best employees, or a job seeker looking for a business that helps you reach goals, consider the WOOP approach to make it happen. Working toward success is something that can be achieved with group effort and dedication, as well as a bit of planning!