Goal setting matters because organizational performance, revenue and sustainability rely on it. Goal setting impacts culture and contributes to the establishment of the norms that guide employee behavior. It also matters from a talent attraction standpoint. Managers are uniquely positioned to impact the success of organizations and the careers of employees. Those who use goal setting and other performance management techniques are better positioned to contribute to the organization’s financial position and long-term sustainability. Employees benefit from being provided with guidance that can impact their development and progression within the organization. Managers also benefit from using goal setting because they can transfer goal setting techniques to their own career development.
Aligning Individual Goals with Departmental and Organizational Goals
Managers are key to ensuring staff understand and implement practices that position organizations to effectively compete. They also serve as interpreters, champions and organizers of change who are tasked with understanding departmental operations and aligning resources to ensure individuals and teams are supported and empowered to complete their work. Their effectiveness depends in large part on their understanding of goal setting and the interrelatedness of organizational, departmental and individual and team goals. Managers must be able to conceptualize the connections and anticipate challenges and sources of progress. They need to communicate clearly and consistently and set the standards for employees by offering guidance, tools and recognition.
Connecting Individual Performance with Departmental and Organizational Performance
One of the easiest ways in which you can help employees assume ownership for goals involves ensuring that they actually understand how their actions contribute to larger team and organizational goals. Employees can lack commitment and enthusiasm when they do not understand these relationships. Consider an example involving an employee who has been helping his vice president by introducing a new product line to potential clients. While he has done this on a limited basis, he may be surprised when he is asked to join and become actively involved in the local chapter of the industry’s most recognized association. He may not recognize that he is being groomed for a new role as the organization’s product expert or that he could be an integral part of a pitch the organization is planning for new potential clients during the next quarter. As a manager, ensure that you share as much information as possible with employees to help them understand how their goals and actions relate to the organization’s plans and expectations.
- You are responsible for explaining goal setting to employees and ensuring they understand the process, their role and what support is available for realizing goals.
- Within your first week, review the organization’s strategic plan and all organizational and departmental/unit goals.
- Within your first 90 days, ensure all of your direct reports have updated goals.
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