The Importance and Impact of Setting Goals

Goal setting is a common exercise in every organization, but rarely do we take into consideration the impact that exercise can have on employee engagement, workplace optimism, and individual performance.

The Science…

If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.

-Lawrence J. Peter

Most people’s brains are wired to find huge amounts of satisfaction in setting and achieving goals. On a neurological level, our brain rewards us with the release of dopamine, otherwise known as “The Molecule of Happiness”, when we take proactive steps towards accomplishing our goals! Not only does this promote a feeling of satisfaction, it also gives the body a little boost of energy.

The impact is obvious; when clear goals are set and achieved, employee morale and company culture skyrocket. However, when we neglect to set clear and obtainable goals and leave loose ends, we tend to see less productivity and engagement.

How Are Companies Dropping the Ball?

Too often, overly aggressive goals are set but not clearly communicated, or a plausible plan to achieve them hasn’t been put in place. Setting vague or unreasonable stretch goals can leave employees feeling lost and disgruntled, resulting in a lack of motivation and poor work quality.

3 Key Steps to Setting and Achieving Goals

  • Be transparent | It is important that the people who are most responsible for goal achievement understand why it is important. Be clear in what the objectives are, and more importantly, how they impact the greater vision. Creating a clear picture of the future gives people a sense of purpose and serves as motivation.
  • Create a plan to achieve your goals | The focus should not be solely on the destination, but on the path to getting there. Write a clear plan and identify key milestones celebrating each individual accomplishment.
  • Revisit goals oftenIt is not enough to give your employees a goal and wait for results. Progress should be monitored and regular feedback should be given! It is also important to understand the need to adjust the plan if necessary as developments arise.

Stay Tuned: In our next blog, we will be discussing the importance of managing performance and the secret to a highly effective performance management program.

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