Goal Setting Skills Ensure Success

SO WHAT DOES GOAL SETTING OFFER? It closes the manager-employee gap. Often there are misunderstandings, miscommunication, or even no communication at all between upper management and lower level employees regarding company goals and plans. By setting reasonable goals with each employee, a supervisor can truly bridge this communication gap. After all, the employees actually perform the required work and such a lack of communication can leave employees feeling frustrated, not understanding their roles within the organization.

It assists the supervisor in employee reviews. Goal setting provides necessary foundation for employee performance appraisals. There can never be a really equitable appraisal review for any employee unless clearly defined goals have been mutually set several weeks (or months) prior to the review. By establishing both reasonable and achievable goals with an employee, the supervisor lays the foundation for meaningful reviews in the eventual performance measurement.

It provides a realistic assessment of manager expectations. The goal-setting process provides an organization with a "reality check" of a manager's attainment of both short-term and long-term objectives. This process can measure a manager's ability to be specific, detailed and thoroughly communicative to employees. Merely conveying a broad idea of goals to employees will not automatically insure that the goals will be met. It must be carefully explained and thoroughly understood.

It insures the goal's own achievement. Effective goal setting provides a platform for the continuous coaching process that necessarily follows it. By using a clear-cut and measurable goal as a starting point, the techniques of coaching are greatly facilitated. If a supervisor follows the well set goal in progress, he can quickly catch any errors that may endanger or stall the goal's completion. To put this idea in a different perspective, it is far easier for a supervisor to perform a good coaching job when both the employee and the supervisor know in advance what is expected in the way of performance.

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CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

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