Guest blog by Sean Conrad.
Goal management is about more than just annually assigning goals and reviewing employee performance. It’s about getting every employee to use and develop their talents, skills and experience to help your organization meet its overarching goals.
An effective goal management program can improve organizational effective in the following ways:
- A systemic, organization-wide program can drive alignment across divisions, departments and geographies to circumvent silos and get the entire organization pulling in the same direction.
- Encourages and engages employees by showing them how their work matters and by helping them use their unique skills and talents. See “Employee Engagement: What, Why and How” to see examples of how employees are motivated by understanding the meaning of their work.
- Drives continuous improvement through ongoing goal management and feedback to make sure group and individual performance is measured and feedback is given on clearly understood standards.
- Increases productivity by helping managers and employees at all levels identify and focus efforts on what matters most to the organization, eliminating wasteful effort and shifting focus as priorities change.
- Supports change efforts by identifying, describing and focusing on what needs to change and helping employees understand what is expected of them and why.
Here are some hints to help you roll out a goal management program that will improve organizational effectiveness:
- Start with strategy. Identify strategic organizational goals and translate them into supporting goals for divisions and departments that can then be cascaded to the individual level.
- Communicate. You can never over-communicate with employees regarding organizational goals and progress. Not only does this help employees align their work, but it also makes them feel an important part of the organization — a strong motivator.
- Hold managers accountable to link departmental and individual goals. Managers are key to aligning goals throughout the organization. Make sure they know how to set their own and help employees set and manage SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant to organizational priorities, and Timely — having a specific target for achievement).
- Share goals across the organization. To help cut through barriers between different parts of the organization, encourage leaders to share their goals across interdependent departments and even with key suppliers.
- Use goals as a guide for performance management. Managers should monitor the progress of their subordinates and help them head off potential issues that could derail progress as well as provide frequent feedback and coaching on employee performance.
- Institutionalize the goal process. When implemented well, the goal setting and monitoring cycle will become an expected part of the organizational culture and have an ongoing positive impact on individual as well as organizational effectiveness.
Goal management requires regular continuous dialogue between managers and employees to ensure individual and organizational performance stay on track. These performance discussions allow everyone to adjust their goals as needed to keep pace with evolving business and market requirements.
Sean Conrad writes about talent management trends and best practices for Halogen Software’s Exploring Talent Management blog, as well as for leading industry blogs. You can read more of his posts here.