An organization without goal is like a ship without rudder. Goals give a direction to an organization’s activities. It makes a business to be performance centric and prevents it from deviating from its path of success. Achieving goals gives a sense of satisfaction to the employees and stakeholders and motivates them to perform better in future. Thus, setting goals and devising ways to achieve them is critical for any business. Business strategy consulting firms are equipped to set realistic goals for their client organizations and formulate powerful ways of achieving them.
Defining and Setting Goals
A goal is a statement that defines the desired outcome of all organizational activities. It is a future accomplishment towards which business is targeted. A goal serves as a constant source of motivation for the employees and invokes commitment. Setting goals is an important activity and must be given as much importance as the goal itself. Oftentimes, organizations rely on SMART criteria for defining and setting their goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals.
It is very important for the goals to be specific and focused. The goal should exactly define the expected outcome of the concerned activities. It prevents any ambiguities and helps the employees to focus on the targeted outcome.
Another criterion that the definition of a goal must satisfy is that it should be measurable. You will know if you have attained a goal or not when you can measure it against performance. It is imperative that you should be able to apply performance metrics to the goals. HR and OD consultants devise tools and strategies to measure performance against the desired goals.
A goal should be challenging but not impossible to attain. If it is too difficult, employees will lose motivation, whereas very easy goal may not test the capabilities of employees. The goal should be sufficiently difficult to challenge employees’ potential yet easy enough to achieve with sincere efforts. Goals that are impossible to attain must be either discarded or altered.
Goals must keep on evolving with time and must be in alignment with the business activities. There is no point chasing irrelevant goals as it will only lead to loss of time and energy. Relevant goals add value to the organization’s development. Business Strategy of an organization provides a frame of reference to check relevance of organizational goals.
A goal can either be short term or long term. However, it is imperative that it should be bound with a deadline. Even a long term goal needs to be aligned against a certain point of time in future.
Thus, the importance of defining and setting goals cannot be undermined. The SMART criterion is a useful frame work to define strategy linked and actionable organizational goals.