Change Implementation Techniques for Creating a Sense of Urgency

Technique 2.67 More on Goal-setting

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. Goal-setting is about performance, ie a process of reaching agreement on what should be achieved by performing a task. There is a positive connection between goal-setting and performance. Furthermore this is linked with

- goal difficulty, ie stretch goals enhance performance as people respond to challenges

- goal-setting methods, ie the more participatory the goal-setting, the better the performance

- goal specificity, ie specific measurable goals are more motivating than general or vague goals

- feedback on performance results, ie goal-setting with feedback results in increased performance

- expectation of evaluation, ie this will increase performance

. One example of goal-setting is management-by-objectives

. Process of goal setting involves answering the following questions

- what is the purpose of the goal-setting exercise?

- when/where will the goal-setting session take place?

- what is expected from the employee?

- what will happen during the session?

- what will be the optimum outcome?

. There are 2 foci areas in goal-setting

- those that focus on an outcome, such as a task completed or result achieved

- those that focus on how the outcome is achieved, ie behaviours

. Goal-setting should achieve the acronym SMARTER

S - a specific objective explains the task that must be performed or specifies a result that must be produced

M - a measurable objective makes explicit the standard used to evaluate performance on either how the task should be done (required behaviour) or the level of achievement (required results)

A - an achievable objective is one that is within reach of the staff. Setting excessively high standards of achievement can invite failure or be used to stress that business as usual is not an option

R - relevant objective means that the staff understand it and it sits within the context of organisational goals

T - time-limit objective means that achievement of the task or result has a finish date

E - extending objective involves motivating by stretching or challenging the staff to achieve the task or result; the task or result must be achievable

R - required objective means that there is a requirement to meet complete the task

. Once the contracting phrase has been completed, the final stage involves follow-up, ie checking the progress, and follow-through, ie evaluating the end result

. One of the key factors in the success of goal setting is the relationship between managers and staff. If the relationship is positive, performance is good. To help foster this relationship, management needs to

- clarify job understanding

- develop performance goals, ie key result areas and performance goals

- supply required resources

. Some helpful questions include

Broad goals

- describe how your job adds value to the organisation?

- how does your job help achieve organisational plans?

- what are the broad goals that you need to achieve your current plan?

- what is the relative importance of each of these broad goals?

Performance goals

- what are the key result areas in which you need to deliver results?

- what are the performance goals on which you have agreed with your manager for the current planning period?

Required resources

- what special resources do you need to achieve your goals?

- what support do you need from others to achieve your goals?

(source: Harry Onsman, 2004d)

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