Thursday, March 5, 2009

Setting Goals

Only a quick post tonight because I'm busy doing what I'm about to blog about, setting goals for my team and for myself.

It is an odd to set goals for your team and to watch other set goals for their teams.  I believe in setting SMART goals.  For those that don't know SMART goals are

  • S pecific

  • M easurable

  • A ttainable

  • R elevant

  • T imely

This simple thing is actually quite important because I am a strong believer in you have to do what you say you are going to do. Setting goals is just that, you should be sure that they are clear and that you can achieve them.  Other people just do not seem to get that and it amazes me.

Now to be fair to others, this is the first time my current company is really having everyone do goals.  This is a huge change than in years prior where nobody really had goals and everyone just went around to do their job without having any clue about how their performance would be measured.  Now, I do not believe you should go overboard with goal setting.  I have seen it go too much the other way, especially when I was at Microsoft.   But in general, I think it is important for employees to know what is expected to them and how they can demonstrate it.

But as I look over the goals of others, so many of them are extremely vague or completely unobtainable by that employee.  I have seen goals like, "Make people better".  What does that mean and how do you achieve that?  I see several people with revenue goals for the company but these people have no real way to affect that number.  I know it is important that the company meets their financial targets but why should an employee have a goal which they have no way to influence?

My goals are by no means perfect, but they generally follow the SMART guidelines.  How about you, have you ever had to set goals or had goals set for you that were completely unrealistic?

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