Managers are responsible for communicating organizational goals with employees and helping them understand these broader goals and how their goals are related. They also encourage employees to participate in the goal setting process, providing input about how their efforts can contribute to departmental and organizational goals. Conversations with employees about goal setting can help managers discover opportunities to leverage and areas in which more support will be needed. Conversations with employees about goal setting can serve to lay the foundation for improved performance and progress.
While employees can prepare goals for managers to review, managers are responsible for finalizing goals. This involves the number, format and level of detail provided within each goal. They ultimately serve as co-creators of goals by providing employees with the direction their goals should take through confirming priorities and broader goals that need their support as well as providing detail to include in the actual goals. Managers’ input is critical in this process because they should understand employee strengths and ensure goals are set that can tap into those strengths while offsetting or improving weaknesses.
Goal setting can be challenging for employees in many ways. This can be particularly true when an organizational approach to goal setting changes or the organization experiences management or leadership changes. Managers are tasked with ensuring employees understand the organization’s strategic plan and the terminology and process for goal setting as well as how their unit will set goals and track progress.
Managers also provide the guidance to ensure progress toward achieving goals is consistent and employees remain engaged in the process and in their work. Achieving goals should not be overwhelming for employees nor should they be micromanaged throughout the process. Employees should be empowered to achieve goals and overcome challenges. When done correctly, managers can not only help employees achieve goals but also develop throughout the process—both of which can be beneficial for employees and the organization.
- Your role in the goal setting process may differ given a variety of factors. You may have multiple roles—be sure you understand them.
- During your first 30 days, seek clarity about the expectations for you in the goal setting process in your role as manager.
- Follow-up with your supervisor to ensure your participation meets or exceeds their expectations.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.