Setting goals is a useful exercise at almost any level of business. Your organization likely has goals for its own growth. In your sales department, you might have goals to achieve a certain dollar figure or number of sales.


Individual employees should also be involved in goal setting. Having goals can motivate your team members and encourage them to work harder, especially in remote work scenarios. People are more productive when they have goals to work toward, which helps them grow in their careers. It could benefit your business too.

Of course, it’s important for people to have realistic and achievable goals to strive for. That’s where a human resources information system, or HRIS, comes into play. Here’s how an HRIS could assist you and your team with goal setting.

Use the HRIS to Track How Employees Spend Time to Start Goal Setting

An HRIS is a tool your HR team can use to track different information for your team. Many people use one to keep track of payroll and benefits administration. It is also helpful for keeping track of hours or even expense reports.

You may also use an HRIS to keep track of projects for your team. Your team can record their tasks and the hours they’re spending on those tasks as well. This is helpful if you have team members working in remote locations, allowing you to keep tabs on their schedule, hours, and productivity.

With this information, you could examine which tasks take them the longest. This could help you and the employee identify where they’re struggling. Maybe one task is taking up so much of their time that they can’t get to other important items on their to-do lists. They might not have the right skills or training for the time-intensive task, which means it takes longer.

With these numbers in hand, you can identify successes and areas of challenge.

Crunch the Numbers to Set Realistic Goals

Once you have the data from an HRIS, you can use this information to crunch the numbers. How many projects would it be reasonable for an employee to complete? Are there ways to decreases hours on one task, while increasing hours on another?

The numbers allow you to set realistic goals for every employee. If an employee only finished two projects last year, it may not be reasonable to expect them to be able to finish 20 this year. Creating such a high goal, even with proper supports, could be setting them up to fail.

Realistic goals encourage employees to strive, which means these goals are not easily achieved. With hard work and motivation, though, they can still be achieved.

Ask the Employee for Their Feedback

Once you have the numbers in hand, you can discuss them with the employee. Ask them to explain the hours they’ve spent on some tasks, especially when their time usage is different from that of other employees.

The point of this exercise is to help you identify areas where they’re struggling and where they need support. If an employee is struggling to meet their productivity goals, then you may be able to provide them with more training or other supports to help them become more productive.

In this way, goal setting can also be focused on skills and development, not just productivity. Ask the employee if there are skills they’d like to master that will help make their job easier. Then assist them in creating a plan to build those skills through the year.

Monitor, Track, and Adjust Goals

With an HRIS, you can move from goal setting to goal tracking. Keep an eye on your employees’ progress toward their goals.

You can also review their progress and adjust their goals as needed. Maybe the stretch goal you set wasn’t really a stretch goal, or maybe you’ve discovered a new set of skills that will help your team members excel.

In short, the powerful data-driven insights provided by an HRIS could help you and your employees create a better goal setting process.