difference between GOALS and OBJECTIVES
comprise broad statements of desired conditions or outcomes,
normally set by organizations or business units during strategic
planning (e.g.: "To have market share of 50% by 2020").
OBJECTIVES, on the other hand (narrower in scope), are statements
of specific results to be achieved by teams or individual
employees to accomplish a goal, and are measured quantitatively
or qualitatively (e.g.: "To achieve average sales of
$300 000 per month from 1 July 2015). A goal normally comprises
of two or more objectives.
setting of objectives affect performance in at least three
employees are given specific objectives, they tend to perform
better than when they are told to do their best, or when
they receive no guidance at all.
objectives reduce uncertainty about what is expected, and
focus behavior in the direction of the objectives rather
energize behavior, motivating people to put in extra effort,
to live up to the challenge of achieving them.
Objectives and Standards: A Participative, Collaborative Process
setting should be a face-to-face, participative and collaborative
process between employees and their direct line managers at
all levels in the organization. Collaboration will:
to the quality of the decisions being made.
an employee's motivation and commitment to achieve the agreed
the employee's believe that the objectives are achievable.
more realistic objectives as employees normally know best
what they are capable of achieving, and what resources will
agreement regarding objectives and performance standards is
the ideal (and preferable), but not always possible. In the
end, line managers will have the final say in this as long
as they are reasonable in their expectations.
objectives may also be in the form of directives from above,
and therefore not negotiable, but, at the very least, there
should be mutual understanding, acceptance and buy-in.
the collaborative process of developing performance standards
for a continuous (routine) objective or function, involve
all of those employees whose work will be evaluated according
to those standards. For the sake of fairness and consistency,
also consider collaborating with other units in your organization
or department if employees reporting to different line managers
perform the same tasks or functions.
Sources for Objectives
previous section it was discussed how corporate goals need
to be cascaded all the way down the organization to the point
where objectives for individual employees (or teams) are set.
This is an important "strategic" source for individual
objectives. But it is not as if we have to wait every year
for this cascading process to reach individuals - this might
are many other "operational" sources for objectives
that pressurize us continually - things that demand our attention
and action throughout the year, such as:
team/unit operational objectives
uncompleted performance measures
products and services
available performance data, e.g. sales statistics, production
reports, customer feedback
threats, opportunities and crises posing themselves continuously