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Why It's So Important to Set Organization Goals and Execute (and it might not be why you think)

Updated: Mar 17

Many organizations struggle with effective goal setting. Some don't know what goals to set, some don't know how to measure progress, and some simply fail to plan or execute on their goals.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

CEO missing target

I once worked with a service company whose CEO was consistent about gathering staff to establish quarterly and annual goals. However, in their case, a 'goal' was simply something they felt they wanted to accomplish; very pie in the sky. Little thought was involved and no analysis was done to determine if the goal was viable, beneficial, or achievable. The process of determining if the goal could be met involved simply going around the table and asking stakeholders what they thought top of their head; zero measurement, zero data, zero analysis. No planning took place thereafter to break down the goal into tasks or projects and proper measurements of progress and success were either wrong or not considered at all.

Not surprisingly, the company under this CEO met no goal ever set and in most cases didn’t even make any progress towards it. To make matters worse, the CEO would often lower the goal at the end and then celebrate 'meeting the goal'. This was done in full view of the entire company. One can only assume was done to avoid the impact to the organization of a perceived failure.

Unfortunately for this company, staff quickly began ignoring any goal set and there was no motivation to challenge oneself. Management failed to understand the tremendous opportunity that was being missed.

Engagement = Productivity

Team working together to achieve a goal

When employees have no goals to strive for, they can become demotivated and disengaged. Without clear goals, employees may feel unimportant, uninspired, and unproductive. This can lead to a decrease in job satisfaction, productivity, and morale.

Employees need more than a paycheck and the occasional fake pat on the back. They need a sense of purpose and direction to feel motivated and engaged in their work. Setting and working towards goals provides a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of progress. Without goals, employees may feel like they are just going through the motions and not making any real impact. This can lead to feelings of apathy, a lack of motivation, and ultimately a decline in productivity.

Having goals also helps employees to focus and prioritize their work. Without goals, employees may feel overwhelmed or unsure of what they should be working on. This can lead to procrastination and a lack of productivity.

Moreover, goals can also help to create a sense of ownership and accountability among employees. When employees are working towards a specific goal, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and feel accountable for the outcome. Without goals, employees may feel less invested in their work and less motivated to take initiative.

Don't Fear Big Challenges

Keep your employees motivated with engaging and challenging goals. You will be surprised what a an effective team can achieve. Don't be afraid when a goal isn't met and don't avoid discussing the failure. Without failures, one can not appreciate success. Use the failure and be analytical: what part of the process went wrong and how can we avoid it in the next attempt.

Set your goals high and let your motivated, effective, and properly-led team surprise you.

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