Good Goals Gone Bad

August 4, 2014

 Good-Goals-Gone-Bad

When something is off, just slightly, it can be hard to detect at first, but it doesn’t take long before “slightly” turns bad. Goals gone badly can misalign an entire department, sending a ripple effect throughout the organization. Goals are at the core of what drives any organization forward, keeping them fresh and up to date is essential to organizational success. Here are the four steps that every organization can use to ensure that their employees are working toward the same, fresh vision.

Hit Refresh on Your Goals

If every employee always met each of his or her objectives, if every project deadline were always met, and if every outside force always worked in your favor, each goal would remain rock solid. We all know that this is not what business looks like in reality. Roadblocks pop up and expectations are not always met. While big picture goals will rarely change, the steps, or micro goals that get you there will.

When you constantly hit refresh on your goals, you are ensuring that all parties are maintaining that forward momentum that drives success. Each actionable component of a goal are going to see shifts, those shifts must be tracked and realigned to meet organizational goals. Refreshing and communicating goals will also have an energizing affect on workers.

“Clear organizational goals can drive employee efforts throughout the organization. But if employees do not know what the organization's goals are, those goals lose the ability they have to energize employees towards their achievement. Communicating organizational goals to employees is essential for achieving those desired outcomes.” - US Office of Personnel Management 

Track Progress in Real-Time

There is no denying that traditional performance management processes allow for a significant lapse between the issue or the success and their identification and address. Progress must be tracked in real-time in order for leaders to take any kind of effective action.

Some performance management experts estimate that some employees may work at less than 50% of their capacity. Just imagine what that can cost an organization that doesn’t work at tracking and improving that average. 

“In all cases, it is important to provide on-going communication and training to make sure employees know what is expected of them in their role, and what constitutes acceptable and exceptional performance. Nothing de-motivates a person more than not knowing what is expected.” - Startup Professional, Martin Zwilling

Thoughtfully Allocate and Prioritize Resources

The educated allocation of talent, and prioritization of objectives is vital in keeping goals aligned and fresh. What do we mean by “educated”? Simply throwing more resources at a project that is behind, won’t always fix the problem, or you will see another issue pop up in the area from which the resources were pulled. Smart allocation and prioritization is a balancing act, one that demands pro-action. 

True organizational transparency will allow leaders to identify risks and gaps in resources, prioritize those issues, and proactively delegate or repair. This type of risk management requires a clearly defined roadmap –Where are we? Where are we headed? How are we going to get there?

Revise Reviews and Feedback

Traditional performance reviews just aren’t cutting it, and neither is the all too common lack of effective and continuous feedback. These processes need to be revised and improved upon in just about every company that we have worked with. Keeping productivity, motivation and goal alignment moving forward isn’t just a once a year initiative. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t be seeing a worldwide employee engagement rate of just 13%

Once-a-year reviews suffer from short-term memory loss: Managers remember more recent events and forget things that happened longer ago. If you are serious about feedback and helping people improve, do it all the time.” - Performance Management Specialist, Jeffrey Pfeffer

Goals can only drive success if they are constantly communicated, tracked and refreshed. Stale goals will only lead to wasted resources and frustrated employees. This is a daily task for leadership, and it can be hard to stay on top of without the appropriate tools and support.

Would you like to learn what those tools and support look like? Take ClearCompany’s innovative and user-friendly talent alignment platform for a spin today!

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Photo Credit: ZoomTeam via bigstock

Goal Alignment, Goals, Setting Goals, Goal-Setting

Sara Pollock
Sara Pollock
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As the head of the Marketing department, Sara drives revenue by increasing demand for ClearCompany's Talent Management Software. Sara drives the strategic direction of all inbound & outbound activities; managing lead generation efforts, messaging and branding tactics, and agency & vendor relationships.

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