A Goal answers the questions – why, what, where and how an organization ideally has to be in the near and far future. A generic phrase to express what an organization should be in next 5 years is ‘A dramatic increase in stock values’. A more focused phrase to achieve it is ‘Identifying the organization’s goals and aligning them with the individual’s goals’.
Setting organization goals:
The business world is certainly uncertain and too many variables should be taken into account while setting the goals for an organization. The thumb rule to be followed before plunging into the goal setting process is to realize the inner strengths and weakness of the organization like human capital, finance available, competitive advantage built, etc. It is equally essential to determine the opportunities and threats to the organization which includes competitors, legal issues affecting the human capital, etc. These strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats are to be given appropriate weightage while setting the organization’s goals.
This organizational goal setting process is to be followed by defining the department goals and drip down to individuals’ goals that eventually contribute to achieve the organization’s goals. There also exists a shared accountability between the departments and between the employees in many cases which brings in shared goals.
Setting individuals’ goals:
Individual employee goals are set holistically by the manager and employee together. These employee goals should be aligned to the organization’s goals and also add value to the employee.
An individual’s goal goes by the SMART principle. For a goal to be efficient and achievable, it has to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
- Specific – state exactly what you want to accomplish
- Measurable – an indicator to evaluate the extent to which the goal is met
- Attainable – define the action to achieve the goal
- Relevant – define the KRA and how is it aligned to the organization’s goals
- Time-bound – define the target date of completion
A goal becomes highly effective, with the most essential element – ‘Feedback’ in addition to the SMART principle(SMARTF). A goal set and not reviewed on a regular basis is equal to the goal not identified. To achieve the full essence of a goal, it has to be measured at regular intervals and a feedback of how much is done and how much to be done is essential. This makes the goal more reachable.
Benefits of aligning goals:
Communicating and aligning the organization’s goals with that of the individual’s provides monetary and non-monetary benefits that includes higher productivity, accelerated goal achievement process, decline in the attrition rate, improved employee morale, higher employee engagement levels and efficient performance appraisals.
A disciplined approach aids in reaching goals. The disciplined approach here involves the goal setting process at all levels of management, aligning, measuring and tracking them. The pivot that makes the goal alignment process efficient is the ‘feedback loop’ that identifies and focuses to work on the variations. With this automated process and dynamic dashboards in place hitting the goal is made easy with the help of goal alignment.