Goal Setting Matters to Canadian Workers

Survey Uncovers Generational and Gender Differences Around Setting and Discussing Goals

Toronto, ON — Having a goal is the first step to achieving it, or so the saying goes. Staffing firm Accountemps recently surveyed Canadian workers, and 88 per cent said goal setting is important to their on-the-job performance. And while more than two in five professionals (34 per cent) discuss goal progress with their manager at least monthly, 14 per cent never broach the topic.

View an infographic of the survey findings: https://www.roberthalf.ca/en/blog/corporate-culture/value-of-goal-setting

Generational Differences

Younger employees place more emphasis on work-related performance goals, the research found. More than half (54 per cent) of millennials surveyed thought goal setting was very important, compared to 40 per cent of baby boomers.
 

Workers were asked, “How important is goal setting to your work performance? Their responses*:

 

Total

 

18-34

 

35-54

55+

 

Very important

47%

54%

43%

40%

Somewhat important

41%

35%

44%

44%

Not very important

13%

11%

13%

16%

 

101%

100%

100%

100%

* Some responses do not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

Preferences by Gender

Slightly more men (37 per cent) than women (32 per cent) discuss performance goals with their manager at least monthly. Additionally, 19 per cent of female workers never bring up the subject compared to just 9 per cent of their male counterparts.

Workers were also asked, “How often do you discuss progress toward meeting work-related goals with your manager?” Their responses:**

 

Total

Male

 

Female

Weekly

11%

11%

12%

Monthly

23%

26%

20%

Quarterly

13%

15%

12%

Semi-annually

20%

19%

22%

Annually

19%

21%

16%

Never

14%

9%

19%

 

100%

101%

101%

** Some responses do not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

“Setting goals at work encourages professionals to regularly reflect on their growth, evolve their objectives and establish a defined roadmap for career advancement,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Professional development can’t occur in isolation. Schedule time with your manager, who can help identify new challenges and opportunities that align with your goals, and provide access to the resources you need to reach them.”

Accountemps offers five tips for setting — and achieving — professional goals:

  1. Retreat and refocus. Goal setting is not something you can accomplish during a coffee break or in a busy office. Remove yourself from distractions to really think about your current job and desired career path.
  2. Get detailed. Identify a small number of goals to tackle at once. As you settle on objectives, make sure they are specific, quantifiable, realistic and timely. Always set a deadline to keep yourself on track.
  3. Go long, then short. Start with the destination and then work backward. First determine your long-term goals, then establish a series of smaller tasks to help you reach them.
  4. Enlist your manager’s help. Employers want their employees to achieve professional success and job satisfaction. Partner with your boss to set goals that align with department and company objectives, and discuss career paths and next steps during your regular meetings.
  5. Put them in writing. Record your goals somewhere so you can review them regularly and hold yourself accountable. This will help you stay on track and ensure the work you’re doing is aligned with your objectives.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 350 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at roberthalf.ca/en/work-with-us/our-services/accountemps. Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]