It’s common to hear a few groans when a manager starts a meeting by telling attendees that they’re going to establish goals. Goal-setting, as important as it is for meeting growth and profit projections, can be stressful to employees if not handled properly.
Some managers assume that by establishing a general goal they’ll have greater engagement among employees, as they don’t feel as pressured or stressed to meet the objective. However, precise goals are more measurable and, therefore attainable. A specific number of month-end statistics can tell workers exactly what they need to do to get there and even allow them to create a schedule to do so.
Of course, these objectives should also be realistic and timely. If employees are handed a task that is simply impossible – even if the manager is merely trying to inspire them – they will shrug it off and refrain from putting that extra bit of effort.
Inc. magazine contributor Nancy Mobley argues that connecting goals to a Performance Management Process, whereby managers can assess an employee’s attainment on a scheduled basis, will further enforce such objectives and help an organization achieve wider goals.
How precise are you when you set goals? Do you shoot for the bullseye or are OK with just hitting the target?