Goal setting is an important activity for ensuring the appropriate performance. While the top management is responsible for driving the goal setting process, the entire organization is responsible for carrying it out diligently. Goal setting ensures clarity of vision, alignment to the organization goals, and clarity of purpose and higher probability of achieving the goals.
Imagine the organization as a funnel with multiple tips at the end of it. The goals trickle down from the top of funnel and flow through the multiple openings at the end of it.
IMPACT - At the very top is the Impact that the organization wishes to create in the marketplace. This is what inspires and drives the organization. This is the purpose for which the organization exists (apart from the outcome of maximizing share-holder value in the case of for-profit organizations). This is usually a long-term (5-10 years) statement of what would happen if the organization was successful in doing certain things or what would the organization achieve.
For example: “Creating high performance professionals for the global industry through fast track transformations.” - TalentSprint.
VISION & MISSION - The Vision statement reflects the destination. The organization defines where it wants to go or what it wants to do (for at least the next 3-5 years). This is a guiding principle behind all endeavors of the organization and is normally sufficiently motivating for people to work towards it. The Mission statement further clarifies the Vision and adds a dimension of what context the latter would be achieved in.
For example: "To be a globally respected corporation that provides best-of-breed business solutions, leveraging technology, delivered by best-in-class people." – Vision, Infosys
"To achieve our objectives in an environment of fairness, honesty, and courtesy towards our clients, employees, vendors and society at large." – Mission, Infosys
ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS - Flowing from the Vision and Mission are the organization goals. Organizational goals help define the organization, give a direction, and are generally statements that outline the milestones or what the organization wishes to achieve in the next 1 year
Example: ““The State Bank of Indore has set certain corporate goals and objectives for its proper functioning. This includes the bank's achievements to retain the good work it has done over the years of being the premier bank of Madhya Pradesh. It also strives to create and maintain assets of quality in order to raise itself to international standards in terms of art technology. Another important objective of the SBICI is its earnest efforts in continuing as the representative of the State Bank of India. Finally, the SBICI aims at providing better and enhanced customer service through its outlet branches across the country.” – Corporate Objectives of State Bank of Indore
DEPARTMENTAL GOALS – The department goals flow from the organization goals. If all the departments / divisions achieve their goals, the organization would have automatically achieved its goals
Example: To achieve the right talent for the right role through innovative sourcing methodologies – Goal of a Talent Management cell
INDIVIDUAL GOALS – Each employee is set an individual goal, which is a break-down of departmental goals
Example – Achieve a sales target of Rs 15 lac in the first 6 months in the year 2010
The review process
While the goal setting process flows from the organization to the individual, the review process (Quality assurance)can happen in any direction and independent of each other. However, the organization cannot meet its goals if individuals do not meet theirs. The performance of employees against their goals is reviewed through a performance appraisal system and the result is a reward or award in accordance with what they have achieved.
The organization goals, on the other hand, are reviewed through a periodic assessment by the top management team, which then suggests course corrections and these are cascaded down to employees. When the organization meets or exceeds its goals, shareholders receive profit and employees receive increments and bonuses.
For organizations to perform towards their Vision and Mission, the process of goal setting must percolate down to all levels below. Each employee in the organization must have the clarity of the organization and their own goals, the tools and infrastructure to achieve them, the knowledge and skills to work on them, and the motivation to reach them.