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When Goal Setting goes Wrong?

Setting goals is absolutely essential for any business to truly grow and prosper. However, the process of goal setting is not without its obstacles and challenges. If you are a leader and have been setting goals for your employees to achieve, you would have experienced several situations where goals have either not been achieved or have been forgotten. This is largely because of several mistakes that were made during the process of setting goals.

Here are some tips that will help you understand where you can go wrong when setting goals and how to correct it. 

·         Vague or unclear goals: One of the main reasons why goal setting can go wrong is when the goals are vague or unclear. Often it is seen that clarity is tossed out when setting or defining goals, which in turn leads to difficulty in measuring performance. It is seen that if performance cannot be measured against achievement, a lack of motivation crops up, which leads to goals not being achieved at all.

·         Unrealistic goals: Often people tend to set goals that are either unrealistically high or low. In other words, some goals are unreachable while others are not of much consequence. In either of the cases, employees fail to achieve these goals. This is because, where it is high, it is impossible and therefore no one wants to attempt achieving it for fear of failure. And when it is really low, it is seen as a waste of time, making it not challenging enough for your employees to pursue.

·         Lack of clarity with regard to responsibilities: Goal setting is a precise activity, which involves laying down all details regarding the various responsibilities that will be distributed, in order to ensure that the goals are achieved. However, in most cases, such details regarding responsibilities are left out or not mentioned clearly, which makes monitoring and tracking of performance an uphill task. This leads to employees becoming lackadaisical about the entire process as well as the goals in particular, leading to their being shelved.

·         Lack of vision: Goal setting should ideally keep in mind the vision and purpose of the organization as a whole. In other words, goals should be in alignment with the vision and mission of the company. When this occurs, goals are achieved and where goals are set without keeping in mind these factors, they are often shelved for newer ones that match the company’s objectives and vision.

·         Effective communication: For goals to be achieved successfully by any team, it is important that they are communicated to all members of the team correctly and promptly. Communication should not end with simply informing the team members about the goals to be achieved but should include feedback, if any, as well as commitment from different members of the team who are responsible for achieving the goal. Performance should ideally be measured and communicated. Lack of performance, if any, should also be communicated, with actions being taken in a timely manner to ensure better achievement of goals. 

Goal setting is an exercise, which should be taken seriously and implemented correctly. It is often seen that too many goals are set, which make accomplishing all of them impossible. Therefore, it is important that you set only as many goals as you can achieve, by following some of the tips as mentioned above.

Comments Listing
Posted: 25/01/2014 10:38:22

There are two ways of setting goals: 1.Traditional goal setting 2.Management by objective (MBO)
In traditional goal setting the Top management set the goals and communicate it to all other levels at organization While in MBO the Managr and his/her subordinate participatively set goals.Both methods have pros and cons but gaols have certain characteristics.
Goals should be SMART.
Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Realistic.Time bounded.

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