Science of Goal Setting

Added: Mar 31, 2018 UTC
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Once the organizations are done with the performance management system, the next stage comes to the goal setting for the upcoming year. The goal setting has a science behind it and the employees should focus on the achievable targets or goals so that it keeps the employee performance up to the mark and they can grow with every goal achieved.

Goals should not be easy to achieve

The human brains are wired in a way that it just loves rewards, and hence we tend to set the easier goals so that we can keep on ticking the checkboxes and feel happy about achieving them. No doubt that it feels good to set such a goal that you achieve easily. Few people may say that they set such goals to feel positive about achieving those and can take their first steps to achieve the targets. It may also help the management to give their employees few easier goals to achieve to see if the employee performance is getting better or not.

The goal should be meaningful that can, in turn, improve the employee performance and achieve the organizational goals as well. The employees should be given time to think about what the goals are and how likely they are to achieve them. Also, they need to think the reason behind setting those goals for the coming year so that they know the importance of the same and hence work accordingly. Now, if the employees know why that goal matters, that motivation can bolster them towards achieving their goal.

The focus should be on the process

The performance management system has the feature of measuring the employee performance on the basis of the outcome of the goals according to which they get their ratings and increments. However, in order to get best out of the employees, the focus should be on the process of achieving those goals, not directly on the outcome. It is next to impossible to achieve the desired result if you are not concentrating well on the process of achieving it. The employees need to move inch by inch towards the goal so that they don’t make any mistake in the rush and don’t fall back to the beginning. If the reporting managers help the employees to make some daily choices that are regular and consistent to the set goals, they will eventually attain it no matter, how it looks nothing like what they have expected.

Goals should be positive

Describing the goals is a very important aspect and keeping it positive in nature is another factor that helps you to achieve it. For example, my goal is to increase employee retention this year, not decrease the employee attrition. Though the meaning of both the statements is same, yet the one with positive words looks more appealing and motivates me to reach that point and keep my retention rate high. This is basically just brain chemistry on how it perceives the things. Just be nice in words while setting your goals and you will find yourself in a positive energy to reach there. When you try to avoid something, it is going to trigger reserve systems; however, the positive goals will trigger approach and reward inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to fail

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Of course, we can’t achieve everything we set the goals for. No doubt, our performance management systems will reduce our ranking when you don’t reach the desired level, but we should keep our brain ready to accept the failure as well in a positive manner. Not achieving a goal for the first time or within the given time limit may be disappointing but accepting the fact and preparing your brain to achieve by taking few necessary steps and a little extra time can keep the employee motivation high and help them to reach their destination. 

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