Episode 261: Setting Goals and Engagement for Remote Teams

Happy New Year! Since this is the first podcast of 2021, I wanted to focus on setting goals – for your team and for yourself as an individual. 2020 threw most of us for a loop, and the new year is an opportunity to get back on track with career development and performance management. How do we move past the circumstances of 2020 that changed what our teams and workplaces look like? How can we better support our remote teams and their goals? 

Episode 261: Setting Goals and Engagement for Remote Teams with Kristin Richter (@KristinRichter)

I spoke to Kristin Richter, Vice President of Marketing for Engagedly. Engagedly is performance management software that redefines performance appraisals by simplifying and incorporating elements of employee engagement into the performance review process.

Kristin joined Engagedly in July of 2020 — in the middle of a pandemic. I asked what that was like for her. She was working remotely in another role in the tech industry and “this opportunity took me by surprise. It was terrifying, like a lot of other people I was navigating through working from home, and felt I had lost some purpose and drive. I knew the company was amazing and the people even more so. The team – who I have still not met in person – was so warm and welcoming I knew I made the right decision.” 

“There was an immediate expectation around a market pulse check and to identify how we were to differentiate ourselves from other platforms in the market around employee engagement.”

Switching gears, how do you set goals for yourself in the near term and for the future? “Every goal or objective I set for myself and my team is inspired by or aligned to our company objective and is paired with measurable key results,” said Kristin. “That gives me the opportunity to make data-backed decisions about near and future goals. It’s typically a solid mix of realistic and achievable goals and stretch goals for the marketing team.” 

With your background in tech, this is your first experience with an HRIS company. “It is completely different from any other tech company that I’ve worked for. We’re creating this incredible product to improve employee engagement, but we’re also doing that internally within the company.”

Slowing Down in Order to Speed Up

On getting back on track after getting derailed by 2020, Kristin says that we have to slow down, listen, learn, recollect ourselves, and then hit the ground running. 

“Be gentle with yourself. We could all use a little compassion and we’re better at giving it to others than we are to ourselves.” @KristinRichter #Engagedly #Workology #HR #WorkologyPodcast Click To Tweet

I asked Kristin what she has learned about setting team goals and handling performance appraisals for a dispersed workforce. “First things first: You’re going to get it wrong, and that’s OK. You’re going to get some things right too. The process is more important than the results,” said Kristin. “The foundational elements we have set around team goals are focused on the ‘we’ not the ‘I’ – it’s about failing as a team. We do this together and that creates a bonded team.”

On keeping a dispersed workforce engaged, Kristin said that “we use our own platform, so as it relates to employee engagement we have a tool to set goals, track them, and create new connectivity even as we all work remotely. We’re able to start every virtual team meeting with where we are with our team goals. Because we have goal tracking sequences in place, each team member knows how they are contributing to our collective success.”

What about tying goals to career development? Kristin said, “we’re all connected – from individual contributors all the way up to our CEO – through these goals. Each has specific results that tie into the work we’re doing, team leaders are talking to their teams about how they are tracking towards the goals consistently week over week. We’re able to identify individuals who are prepared to take on more responsibility and more opportunities. These things perhaps didn’t get as much emphasis when we were working in an office.” 

It’s about that time of year when we start chastising ourselves for not making progress on our new year’s resolutions. But none of us have ever worked through a global pandemic and we have to consider the impact of that on our team members as well as on our own career development goals. I appreciate Kristin’s perspective on setting goals and engagement for a remote workforce. 

Thank you for joining the Workology Podcast sponsored by Workology. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. 

Connect with Kristin Richter.



– Kristin Richter on LinkedIn

– Engagedly Twitter

– Employee Recognition and Rewards During COVID19

– Tips To Manage Stress Of Your Remote Team

– Ep 251: How to Make Work Human When We’re Leading Remote Teams

– Episode Transcript


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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