Goal Setting

Goal Setting
Goal setting is a key to achieving success in any endeavor. It is very complex to know where one is going if one does not know where to go. Everyone needs goals to be enthused, grow or increase performance especially with strong goals. Setting goals for example helps employees know where they need to go and how they should go about getting there. It also helps employees manage themselves. Employees should set goals that are smart: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Goals represent expectations and if employees have higher expectations then employees will have improved performance as long as employees achieve their goals. Most of the time, what employees need is motivation, meaning, and purpose in their jobs and if employees set worthwhile goals, they will find life but work more specifically more fulfilling and exciting. Once there is an aim, there is purpose and fulfilling that purpose increases performance as there is realization of achieving success.
reward VS. recognition
While businesses are looking to get more from their employees, employees are also looking to get more from them. Through employee reward and recognition programs, employers can motivate employees to change work habits and key behaviors to increase the business? profit. Employee reward system refers to programs set up by companies to reward performance and motivate employees on group or individual levels. They tend to be separate from employee salary but are some form of monetary rewards. Previously reward systems were considered the domain of large companies and businesses, but now even small businesses are offering them to lure top employees in a competitive job market or to simply increase employee job performance.
Although often combined with employee recognition programs, reward programs have a slightly different purpose. Recognition programs do not tend to be monetary in nature even if they cost the company. Recognition according to Sue Glasscock and Kimberly Gram in Productivity Today elicits a psychological benefit whereas reward elicits a financial benefit. The difference is important as many small businesses and companies can use recognition programs to motivate employees while keeping costs low.
merit VS. performance rewards
Financial rewards given on regular bases include bonuses, gain-sharing, and so on and are tied to an employee?s accomplishments and are distanced from salary. The reward does not emphasize competency but rather excellence or achievement. They are separate from merit pay increases because they are usually an increase due to inflation with some additional percentages for competent employees. They are not particularly motivating, because the distinction between a good and an average employee is very minimal. And most of all in a small business, team work is a crucial part of an employee?s job, but merit rewards only take into account the performance of an individual not a group.
designing A reward program
In order to increase productivity, a company should identity goals to be reached, and identity performance and behaviors that can contribute to the reward system. It is very important to have specific guidelines as too often employers reward behaviors or achievements that fail to further company goals or sabotage them. The employer should be specific in their guidelines for example if they want quantity or quality then that should be clarified. Likely, performance measures of a reward program should be linked to an overall business strategy such as improved customer satisfaction, improved customer service, or reduced losses.
types OF reward programs
There are three types of reward programs. One program is known as variable pay in which a portion of an employees pay is considered at risk. It can be tied to employee performance, company or business unit performance. Goals should be within reach and employees should stretch to reach them. Bonuses are a part of this program that have been used by American companies for a long time and used mostly in sales to reward employee accomplishments. Bonuses are considered to be short-term motivators. They do not reward performance above and beyond the reach of the employees or the department. Profit sharing another program is a strategy that creates a pool of monies to be given to employees and based on the company?s profit. This is usually a percentage of the employee?s salary and given to the employee at the end of a company year or business term. It basically rewards employees for their contribution to the company?s profit. A third option, stock options gives employees the right to buy a specified number of a company?s share at a fixed price for a specified time. These serve as long term motivators. Stock options and profit sharing can be used to reward group achievements as well.
recognition programs
For many small companies recognition programs are the best options due to lack of monetary flexibilities and it satisfies recognition seeking hard workers despite the fact that monetary rewards can be more welcoming. Recognition programs can include banquets or breakfasts, employ of the year or month recognition, an annual report or yearbook featuring employee accomplishments. Other types of informal recognitions include arriving late and leaving early, long lunch breaks and working at home.
importance OF setting goals
Goal setting is tremendously important as it can guide and direct behavior. For example, if an employee sets a goal that he/she wants the Best Employee of the Year Award then he/she will have increased commitment to improving their performance and role in the company by taking on greater challenges and responsibilities so as to grasp the attention of his/her boss and hopefully receive the nomination. Similarly goals can also be set by employees to provide challenges and standards of assessing their performance. An employee can provide a challenge for himself/herself by setting difficult to obtain goals. A sales director can aim to double the average monthly membership sales of the sport club. In this manner, the employee creates a challenge for himself/herself and also sets a standard to access his/her performance. For example, if he/she is unable to obtain his/her membership sales goal then he/she can realize that his/her performance is limited and he/she should work to improve their performance or on the other hand, if he/she reaches his/her goal, then he/she would probably feel motivated to take on more challenging tasks and increase his/her self-satisfaction, performance and level of success. Setting goals in the work environment more specifically can help employees justify their tasks and utilize their resources. By setting goals, a non-committed employee can by aiming to take more interest in their work justify his/her tasks or better utilize his/her resources by researching their field and creating positive motivation in their job. Setting goals can also help the founder of a company for example define the basis for the organization?s design. The organization can live up to achieving the goals of the founder through its services or commodities and function to accomplish those goals.
impact OF goals ON performance
Goals have an impact on performance. When goals are specific and clear, performance will be higher. When goals are easy and boring, performance will be lower and the same applies to vague goals. On the other hand, even difficult and challenging goals and goals set anticipatively can result in higher performance.
impact OF goals ON employer and organization
Goal setting can affect employee performance in many positive ways if the goals are both relevant to the company and realistic and achievable by the employee. Employers must clearly give employees a clear direction when it comes to goal setting so that the objectives of top management are being met. In the same time, if employers guide employees in setting goals that really matter to the company, the employee is more empowered knowing her or his job is in fact important to the organization?s success. The results of such empowerment on employee performance are often an increased motivation to handle the job and an increased sense of loyalty to the company. Although pay raises and/or promotions are goal setting incentives that should be awarded when warranted, increased motivation and increased loyalty can also result from the positive attitude employers give employees in the goal setting and goal achievement processes. This is demonstrated in employees achieving higher than expected sales quotas, especially when they feel they can trust their employer to be fair and appreciative of their work efforts. We must recognize that a goal is a clear written description of a specific action to be completed by a set date. Goal setting done in writing is extremely important as then the goal becomes a decisive plan for achievement rather than just a notion. Progress on goal achievement should be reviewed at regular intervals, especially in long-term goal setting situations to keep both the employee and the employer on track and up to date.
Also, accurate communication is crucial in goal setting to ensure the goal is interpreted and understood to mean the same thing to both the employer and the employee. Successful goal setting between the employer and the employee always leads to successful goal achievement. Workers guided in achieving reasonable goals with reasonable incentives for their achievements are likely to stay with the organization longer and tend to refer similarly talented and motivated workers to the company. At the same time, goal setting can even affect poor performers in a positive way when managers coach these employees to help them to achieve set objectives.

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