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How to set tough and challenging goals for employees?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Here's a general method I would use to set tough and challenging goals for employees:

    1. Make a list of all the things you need to accomplish. Make sure you cover all the big things, even if they are poorly defined (increase sales, reduce waste). You don't have to cover all the minor things.

    2. Prioritize. Which tasks are most important. You might do this first for the organization overall, and then on a per-employee basis.

    3. For the top 2-3 tasks per employee, how do you measure accomplishment. This can be hard, but, if you can't measure it, then setting a goal could be futile.

    4. What level has been accomplished over the recent past?

    5. Set the goals an appropriate amount above past accomplishments. If someone was working 50 hour weeks and getting more done than everyone around them, a good goal might be the same accomplishment in the past, but with less overtime. If someone else doesn't seem to have good focus, and seems to accomplish less than their peers, a good goal might be to bring their level up to their peers - even if that means a big increase.

    There you go, tough, challenging, but meaningful goals.

    Finally, don't forget innovation. How could we do our job differently, to be dramatically better, not just improve in small steps? This isn't exactly goal setting - but - it can pay off even more than goal setting, if you can produce some breakthroughs.

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