Set Your Workplace Goals High

Many managers are apprehensive in their approach to goal setting. On the one hand, they know that goals should address the most important challenges facing their organizations. On the other hand, they know that those challenges will be, by definition, difficult and risky. As a result, these managers are tempted to set the performance bar low. After all, difficult goals may generate grumbling in the ranks. And if team members fail to rise to the challenge, the managers will look bad.

Reducing expectations and making goals less challenging may solve these problems, but that is not what’s best for the organization, or for you and your team. The best course is to make goals achievable but challenging. Then, communicate frankly with your team. Explain why these challenging goals were selected and why achieving them is so important, both for the organization and for them as individuals. Seek buy-in. Be very clear about what successful achievement will look like, and how performance against those goals will be measured. Also, depending on employee skills, consider whatever coaching or training will be needed to make the employee capable of meeting his or her goals. Finally, be a cheer leader, and encourage your team.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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