4 Reasons Why Freelancer’s Goal Setting Process Doesn’t Work

Is your freelancer’s goal setting process not working?  Setting goals is one of the most essential duties of any business leader. When you set the right goals for your freelancers or employees, it encourages them to be more productive.

It also ensures that the business is always moving in the right direction.

Your freelancer's goal setting process

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners find that their freelancers are constantly falling short of their goals. Furthermore, this makes their overall plan for the business disrupted.

It might be tempting to blame your freelancers for slacking off but that is rarely the problem. Usually, the problem is with you and the way that you set goals. So, that’s where you should start looking for a solution.

These are the most common reasons why your freelancer’s goal setting process isn’t working out.

Goals Don’t Line Up With Company Objectives

Every goal you set for your freelancers must line up with your overall objectives for the company. If they don’t, your team will wonder what the point of that goal is in the first place.

If something doesn’t contribute to organizational growth, it feels arbitrary and that’s a big productivity killer

However, when people can clearly see how their role and the goals that you set them fit into the bigger picture, you create a better sense of team morale and people will be more motivated.

Depending on your business, the goals may vary from business to business. With Inspire To Thrive my freelancer’s goals are to complete work in a timely manner.

If I had salespeople it would be based on the number of sales brought into the business.

You Aren’t Involving Your Freelancer’s Goal Setting Process

Obviously, you have a clear idea in mind about the overall direction of the business but when you are setting individual goals, you should always defer to your employees.

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners think they know best and they set goals without consulting their team.

Freelancer's Goal Setting Process is a team effort

The thing is, your freelancers know their job better than you do and they understand the specific challenges they face, so ask them what they think their goals should be.

There Is No Incentive To Complete Goals

This is a big one and it’s a common mistake. If you don’t give employees an incentive to go above and beyond and make them feel appreciated, they’re far less likely to reach the goals that you set them.

You can rectify this by setting up a freelancer incentive program (check out Mtievents.com for more information).

When your freelancers have a clear incentive like a company event or a bonus, they are far more likely to meet their goals.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that their salary is incentive enough because it usually isn’t.

The Goals Are Not Attainable

Some business owners assume that the harder you push your team, the more work gets done.

So, when they are setting goals, they decide to set targets that are way too ambitious, in the hope that it will encourage their employees to work harder.

The thing is, it doesn’t work that way and if you set people goals that are not attainable, they will be disheartened and overwhelmed. It’s far more effective if you set small, attainable goals on a regular basis.

Freelancer's Goal Setting Process

Before you jump to conclusions and start blaming your freelancers for the lack of productivity, you should rethink your goal setting process and consider whether you are making any of these mistakes.

Hence, make sure the freelancer’s goal setting process includes goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic and
  • Timely.

These measurements will help you and your team to evaluate the goal process along the way.

Your Turn on Your Freelancer’s Goal Setting Process for Your Business

Have you asked your freelancers or employees what their goals should be for your business? Do you give out bonuses when they go above and beyond their goals?

I’d love to know more in the comments below.


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  • very informative post Lisa. Most freelancers set unattainable goals. as a result, they fail. everything must be practical and acievable. Thankyou for sharing.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you George. That’s an excellent point. If the goals are too high and unattainable it does make it hard for anyone to continue on. Appreciate the feedback, and have a great day and weekend ahead.

  • Learned the hard way Lisa about the attainable goals thing, for both freelancing – when I wrote freelance-wise – and for my blogging business in general. We sometimes reach so far that we forget human beings can only do so much. Setting ridiculous goals for teams sets teams up to fail. Instead, be realistic, take your time and grow the team morale and confidence by hitting genuine goals, again and again. Doing this positions you to succeed wildly over the long haul as your freelancers will build a type of success momentum by reaching their goals.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, Yes, that reminds me of the turtle and the hare. Best to take the time and do it right over and over. Thanks for your input on this one Ryan. If we try to hard with impossible goals we will not feel good about it when we don’t meet them! Have a great rest of the week there!

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