Let Goals Be Your Guide

Goal Ahead traffic sign

Have you ever tried to drive somewhere with no idea how you were going to get there?

No maps. No GPS. No Siri to guide you turn by turn as you arrive smoothly and safely to your destination. No copilot who knows the way. The only knowledge guiding you is your ability to drive a car and read the signs along the way.

Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Sure, you may get there. But, how long will it take you? How much gas will you waste driving in circles? How many times will you have to swallow your pride and ask for directions, and then try to decipher those directions as you pull away?

Exhausting. Frustrating. Time consuming. Costly. These are the words that immediately come to mind during this journey … save for those that aren’t fit to print.

Imagine that you went through all of this and found your way. You’re relieved and excited, but it quickly fades away because you have no idea what to do now that you’ve arrived. Nobody told you. You just knew you had to get there. Now what?

Employees in organizations often feel like they are on a similar journey. They know they need to get somewhere. They have the most basic knowledge on how to do it. But they have nothing guiding them. They find themselves working in circles and, often times, they are too proud to ask questions out of fear – assuming they should probably already know the answers. Asking for directions would shine a light on shortcomings.

When employees don’t have a clear cut path on where they are going and what they are working toward, chances are they’re not giving their absolute best at all times. It’s natural. That’s why we need to set goals for our employees and invest the time to make sure they know the way and what it takes to get there.

In addition, employees need to know the overall destination for the company as a whole. Based on a recent study by Chris Zook of Bain & Company, only 40 percent of the workforce knew about their organization’s goals, strategies and tactics. What’s the percentage in your organization? If your employees don’t know the goals of the organization, and how their individual goals line up to support that overall journey, how can you expect them to do their absolute best to get you there?

Equipping employees with that knowledge not only gives them something to shoot for, and beyond, but it engages them. An engaged employee is one that performs better. In turn, so does your company. According to the Gallup organization’s annual survey, companies with engaged employees grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. Conversely, a disengaged employee can cost your organization more than $2,500.

Do the math.

Make 2015 the year that you get your entire organization on the same page and working toward a common goal – success! It may seem like a daunting task, but we can help you get there – without having to make a U-turn.

For more information about goal setting and performance management, download Getting Started with Performance Management.