Tag: Strategic Management
Keys to Effective Employee Goal Setting
There are several keys to effective employee goal setting. The following elements will help ensure you have a successful goal setting program:
Encourage Participation and Collaboration
- Align Employee Goals With Organizational Goals
- Set SMART Goals
- Ensure Availability of Resources
- Provide Motivation
- Create a Plan and Monitor Progress
- Recognize and Reward
About the Keys to Effective Employee Goal Setting
Encourage Participation and Collaboration
The first step to effective goals setting is to get the employee involved. Employees respond much better to goal setting if they have participated in the process. Therefore, make it a collaborative effort between the employee and his or her direct supervisor or manager.
Having employees actively involved in identifying and creating his or her own goals increases “buy-in” and ownership of their objectives along with an increased chance of successful achievement.
There is a big difference between imposing goals on employees and encouraging them to create their own goals. People naturally do not like to be told what to do. They would rather have a choice and be able to make that choice. Therefore, if you involve them in the decision making process, they will feel they are choosing the goal, and not being told what to do.
Additionally, active participation in the goals setting process allows them to better understand how their individual goals fit with the objectives of the organization. Explaining the organizations goals and asking how they think they can contribute to the accomplishment of those goals helps them understand what their role is in the bigger picture. It also makes them feel good about contributing to something bigger than themselves.
Align employee goals with organizational goals
Connecting the strategic goals of an organization to each of the employee’s performance goals is critical to the success of an organization.
In an effectively aligned organization, everyone is working towards the same goal. Each individual knows exactly how their job tasks contribute to the success of the overall organization. With everyone working together toward the same objectives, the company can efficiently execute their strategy.
To achieve goal alignment in an organization, the strategic goals and objectives must first be clearly communicated across the entire company. Everyone needs to understand how their personal goals fit with the objectives of the organization. This allows everyone to understand what is important and what needs to be done.
The strategic goals of an organization are tied to the organization’s mission and vision statements. These goals determine the desired results of an organization and how those results will be achieved. After the organizational goals and objectives are set, goals are then broken down across the organizational hierarchy eventually reaching individual employees.
Each employee’s goals should be tied to the company’s overall growth strategy in order to be effective. When employees understand how their individual role and responsibilities contribute to organizational growth, they are often more focused and motivated to achieve goals that result in success for both the business and themselves. On the other hand, employees who do not understand the role they play in company success are more likely to become disengaged. Consistently communicating strategic business goals can help to keep employees engaged.
Set SMART Goals
Effective performance goals helps employee understand what the measurable successful achievement is for their goal and how it will play into the organization as a whole. Creating SMART is a best practice for many organizations.
SMART is an acronym used to effectively set goals. It is a simple tool to help create an actionable plan that gets results. A SMART goal should be;
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
Specific – The goal should be detailed and state the exact level of performance expected.
Measurable – The goal should contain a measurable indicator to assess the amount of progress and to definitely determine if the goal has been achieved.
Achievable – The goal should challenge and stretch a person’s abilities, but realistically be able to be attained.
Relevant – The goal should be important and tied to the success of the organization.
Time-bound – The goal should specify when the result(s) will be achieved.
Goal can sometimes seem too ambitious, irrelevant, or merely unattainable. Having an irrelevant or unattainable goal can lead to frustration and result in a lack of motivation. However, if a SMART goal is created, it will help lead to its successful achievement by ensuring it is relevant and attainable.
Ensure Availability of Resources
Another area of frustration for employees trying to accomplish a goal is a lack of resources. If people do not have the necessary resources to achieve their goal, they become frustrated and demotivated. To avoid this an assessment of necessary resources should be done early on in the process.
Resources include tools, money, people, knowledge, and skills. The acquisition of any of these necessary resources should be include as part of the plan for achieving the goal. Often these resources are required early on in the process, and the lack of them could stall the goal before it even gets momentum. Even more problematic is when the resources are needed at the end of the process. Having spent time and energy completing a significant portion only to learn the goal cannot be accomplish is even more frustrating.
Highly-motivated individuals have a willingness to get the job done efficiently and effectively. This willingness results in benefits for the company including higher productivity, increased revenue, and cost savings.
An employee motivation can be increased by setting well-defined, challenging, but achievable goals. By successfully achieving specific goals and objectives, employees develop a sense of accomplishment and pride. This feeling encourages them to keep looking forward to new accomplishments, and thus in turn increasing their performance levels.
However, it is important to keep in mind, well written goals alone do not increase motivation. An organization must have a positive environment. The organization’s culture and working atmosphere must be positive in order to raise motivation and performance levels.
Track and Monitor Progress
Once a goal is set, a plan must be created that outlines how it will be meet. Since the goals are SMART, they are measurable and time-bound. This will allow you to easily create a plan to track and monitor the progress to achieving the goals.
The first step would be to identify key milestones and break the goal down into tasks. After which, a timeline should be created noting the key milestones.
It is important to track the progress on the goals throughout the year. This ensures that people are on target to achieve their goals. Therefore, a monitoring system should be put in place to ensure the goals are on track to be accomplished in the time required. This allows for measurements at various intervals so that issues can be dealt with before they threaten goal achievement.
Recognize and Reward Performance
Everyone likes to be recognized and rewarded for a job they have done well. Hence, in order for a goal system to be effective, a recognition and reward system must be in place.
People appreciate when others recognize when they have done something well.
When you recognize a person’s good work, you not only make them feel good, you reinforce the behaviors you most want to see repeated. Your recognition also reinforces that person’s understanding of how you would like to see him or her perform in the workplace. However, you can only get by with praise and recognition for a limited time. At some point, some kind of reward has to be given.
Goal achievement should be tied to a reward such as increased compensation. Thus, when an employee achieves his or her SMART goal at the end of the year, they should receive a raise computable to the level of achievement. Essentially, the reward gives incentives to achieve the goal and often times to “go the extra mile.”
These are the Keys to Effective Employee Goal Setting. Therefore, review your goal setting process and goal management system to ensure these elements are part of your program.
A mission statement is a brief written description of a company’s core purpose and focus.
It is usually just a short sentence or paragraph used to explain the company’s reason for being in existence.
Purpose of a Mission statement
The basic purpose of a mission statement is to inform both the company’s employees and the public why the company exists. However, these statements also have three underlying functions:
- Ensure that everyone within the organization is on the same page and heading in the same direction.
- Create a reference point for strategic management and business planning decisions
- Inform potential customers what the company focuses on
Although it articulates the company’s purpose to both the organization and the public, it is more important to communicate the mission to employees rather than to potential customers. This is because everything the organization does (at all levels) should revolve around its mission.
Understanding the mission helps employees to remain focused on the tasks at hand and move towards achievement of company’s goals. The mission also serves as a guide for the management team in business planning and evaluating strategic decisions. It is essential that the goals and objectives set by the leadership team line up with the organization’s mission.
Crafting a Mission Statement
All companies should have a mission statement. Your mission statement should be a clear and succinct representation of your organization’s purpose for existence. It should represent the broadest perspective of your company’s mission. You should simply and clearly articulate the most important things potential customers and employees should know about the organization.
Typically, it answers the questions;
- “What do you do?”
- “How do you do it?”
- “Why do you do it?”
You want it to be fairly short so everyone involved in the organization is able to express the general principles of the mission.
Examples of Company’s Mission Statements
To be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
To discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.
The Dow Chemical Company
To constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology.
Ford Motor Company
We are a global family with a proud heritage passionately committed to providing personal mobility for people around the world.
We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.
Levi Strauss & Co
People love our clothes and trust our company. We will market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing in the world. We will clothe the world.
To Bring Inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Aligning Organizational Goals to Employee Goals
Connecting the strategic goals of an organization to each of the employee’s performance goals is critical to the success of an organization. In an effectively aligned organization, everyone is working towards the same goal. Each individual knows exactly how their job tasks contribute to the success of the overall organization.
Cascading Objectives Down to Employees
To support its mission and be successful, an organization needs to set clear goals and objectives. These goals and objectives need to cascade down from the top level of the organization to the lower levels and ultimately to each employee. The ultimate goal is to make sure everything done by each individual is helping to move the company towards its long term objectives.
Process of Organizational Goals Setting
Organizational goals setting can be broadly viewed as a three step process.
- Step 1 – Set Organizational Goals
- Step 2 – Set Departmental Goals
- Step 3 – Set Employee Goals
Step 1 – Set Organizational Goals
Goals and objectives are first set for the overall organization. They are defined by the organization’s strategic plan.
A strategic plan is a broadly-defined plan aimed at creating a desired future. An organization’s strategic plan should answer three key questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where are we going?
- How will we get there?
Goals and Objective
An organization’s strategic goals and objectives are derived from their strategic plan. The organization’s goals and objectives answers the question; how will we get there?
Annually, organizations create strategic goals for themselves that target key objectives that they will strive to achieve over the course of the upcoming year. These goals are tied to the company’s mission and vision statements. These goals help management and employees know what is important and what direction the organization is headed.
Step 2 – Set Departmental Goals
After the organizational goals and objectives are set, goals are then are broken down across the organizational hierarchy. These goals cascade down several levels depending on the size of the organization.
Step 3 – Set Employee Goals
Most organizations create goals for each individual employee. Employee goals describe the employee’s top priorities for the upcoming year. Typically, these goals describe important job responsibilities and what key performance outcomes the employees should be attempting to achieve. They are often linked to the company’s key performance indicators (KPI).
These individual goals are designed to help the organization as a whole meet their strategic goals. It is easier to reach the organization’s goals if all the employees’ goals are linked and in sync with what the organization wants to achieve.
The Importance of Aligning Organizational Goals to Employee Goals
Goal alignment is critical for an organization’s success. It ensures that each person within your organization can see the direction for the company and know how their job fits in with the big picture.
To achieve goal alignment in an organization, the strategic goals and objectives must first clearly communicate across the entire company. With everyone working together toward the same objectives, the company can efficiently execute their strategy.
Organizational goals are strategic objectives that an organizations’ leadership team establishes to outline expected future outcomes toward which present efforts are directed. These goals not only drive the organization as a whole, but also guide employees’ efforts towards achieving the company’s vision.
Two Types of Organizational Goals
There are two main types of organizational goals:
- Official Goals
- Operative Goals
Official goals are the formally stated goals of an organization and are described in its public statements such as the corporate charter, mission statements, and annual reports. The purpose of official goals is to help build the organization’s public image and reputation.
Operative goals are the concrete steps an organization plans to take to achieve its vision and purpose. They are the outcomes the organization actually seeks to attain through its operating activities. These goals are derived from a strategic planning. When most people refer to “organizational goals” they are referring to operative goals.
Organizational Goals and Strategic Plans
Organizational goals are the result of strategic planning. Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its direction, developing a strategy, and documenting a plan to pursue that strategy. These goals are defined and detailed in that strategic plan.
Setting Operational Goals
Organizational goals are created in an attempt to achieve a desired future state of success. The goal setting process begins by assessing the organization’s vision and mission. Therefore, it is essential that an organization have a clear mission and vision before it begins to determine its goals.
The next step is the goal setting process is assessing internal factors such as financial resources, physical resources, and human capital as well as external factors such as competitors, product demand, and the economy.
After the assessments are complete, organizations should create a set of cascading goals, beginning with company goals. Department and/or unit goals should then be created to support company goals. Finally, individual employee goals should be created to support the department/unit goals. These multiple levels of goals should be aligned and communicated so that an individual employee understand how their actions contribute to company’s overall success.
Benefits of Goals
- Guidelines for action
- Directs and channels employee efforts
- Justifies a company’s activities
- Identifies development opportunities
- Defines performance standards
- Allocates resources
- Defines standards of performance
- Provides constraints and parameters
- Provides incentives and a source of motivation
Key Organizational Goals
There are several key areas in which most organizations establish goals:
- Market share
- Management performance
- Employees performance
- Social responsibility
Strategic planning is an activity undertaken by organizational leaders to determine their vision for the future as well as identify key goals and objectives for the organization. The ultimate purpose is to develop a specific plan that would guide the organization towards accomplishing its vision and mission.
Strategic planning is a step-by-step exercise that ultimately determines the desired results of an organization and how those results will be achieved. The process includes assessing and adjusting the organization’s direction, setting priorities, allocating resources, strengthening operations, and setting goals. The strategic planning process results in a strategic plan. The plan documents the proposed steps to take to achieve the stated organizational objectives. The plan is then monitored and modified through strategic management activities.
Strategic Planning Process
Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next few years and how it’s going to get there. The process begins by assessing the organization’s vision as well as elements of both the external and internal environments. A high level strategy is then formulated. After which, a strategic plan is then created to outline the steps needed to achieve the organization’s objectives. The plan establishes the sequence for the goals so that the organization is enabled to reach its stated vision. Finally, strategic management activities are employed to monitor, evaluate, and adjust the plan as needed.
A Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is a document derived from the activities of the strategic planning process. The plan communicates with the entire organization both the decisions made about the organization’s goals and the ways in which the organization will achieve those goals. It is derived from the analysis of the organizations internal and external environment, and results in the formulation and implementation of strategic objectives designed to achieve the organization’s vision and mission.
The strategic plan is intended to guide the organization’s leaders in their decision making as circumstances change. Since many elements in the future are unknown, the plan and the organization must be flexible. Therefore, a strategic plan should not be viewed as a fixed roadmap, but rather a malleable document that needs to be revisited and revised on a regular basis.
The strategic management process helps ensure that the organization’s employees, processes, and resources support the vision established in the strategic plan. It also helps organizations effectively align their ongoing actions with their strategic plan. Additionally, it enables the strategic plan to evolve and grow as circumstances change.
Strategic Management Defined
Strategic management is the comprehensive collection of activities that organizations conduct to systematically coordinate and align resources and actions with their mission. It involves the implementation, administration, monitoring and adjustment of the organization’s strategy.
Strategic management is a continuous process that centers on the analysis, decisions, and actions an organization performs in order to create and sustain competitive advantages. It deals primarily with making and implementing decisions about the future direction of an organization and creating a strategic plan to achieve their goals. It incorporates various functional areas of an organization to ensure these areas are synchronized to efficiently achieve the common objectives.
Strategic Management and Performance
Strategic management plays a significant part in the performance of an organization and its members. Fundamentally, it is about managing resources and employees in a manner that maximizes the ability to achieve organizational objectives. Its purpose is to mobilize the resources and energies of the organization to achieve the future that the leaders have envisioned. The more effectively the strategic elements are aligned and in-sync, the better the performance of the individuals and the organizations as a whole.
Strategic Management Process
The strategic management process involves delineating, implementing, and evaluating the organization’s strategy so that the organization will be able to best achieve their performance goals and attain a competitive advantage. This continuous process begins by assessing the business and industries in which the organization is involved as well as its competitors. After which, the organization establishes objectives to meet all the present and future goals, and then formulates the best course of action for accomplishing those objectives. The implementation stage that follows includes designing the organization’s structure, allocating resources, and managing people. Finally, the organization measures and evaluates the results in order to assess the overall strategy.
The Strategic Management Phases
There are four main phases or stages of strategic planning and management.
Assessment – Understanding the current internal and external environments as well as the company’s vision, mission, values, and strategic objectives.
Formulation – Developing and documenting a high level strategy and a basic organization level strategic plan.
Implementation – Breaking down the high level plan into more operational steps and action items and managing resources, people and change.
Evaluation – Capturing and measuring results as well as monitoring performance, resources, and the market.
About the Stages of the Strategic Management
The first step strategic management process is to determine the current state of business by assessing the internal and external environments of an organization. The leadership team typically conducts a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to assess the external and internal environments. This systematic analysis of the factors associated with external environment and the internal environment provides the basis for the strategic plan.
- Analyzing strategic goals includes organization’s vision, mission, values, and strategic objectives.
- Analyzing internal environments includes resources, personnel core competencies, company activities, etc…
- Analyzing internal environments includes economy, business market, competitors, etc…
In this stage, the leadership team make strategic decisions about the future direction of the organization. They will first develop a high level strategy, and then they will develop a basic organization level strategic plan by formulating new organizational objectives. They will also determine strategies and specific actions for reaching those objectives.
This is the execution of the overall planning. This stage starts with breaking down the high level plan into more operational steps and action items. To bring the intended strategies to reality, the leadership teams will also:
- Set annual objectives
- Revise policies to meet the objectives
- Allocate resources
- Redesign the organizational structure
- Manage people
- Manage change
Capturing and measuring results is an essential activity in this phase. Leaders have to compare actual results with anticipated results to see if adjustments need to be made.
The second part of the evaluation stage is to re-evaluate strategies on a regular basis. Due to constantly changing external and internal conditions organizations must continuously monitor and review both environments. If circumstances arise that affect the company, leaders must take corrective actions to ensure objectives can still be achieved.