4 Reasons why all organizations should invest in annual goal setting exercise

2012 was a disastrous year at People Combine – Financially we did not grow; Initiatives and projects were delayed; employee morale was low and despite all this every body in the top management seemed to be burnt out. However this did not make sense – Just a few months back we had raised our second round of institutional funding and had recruited talented folks from some of the marquee companies including TATAs, Microsoft, Basix, Deloitte etc.

A cause analysis made us realize that People Combine like all growing companies needed to urgently transform itself. While there were multiple steps that we took to transform ourselves (some of which I will talk in my future posts), One of the key investment that we made was to spend significant time and effort into an organization wide Goal Setting and Action Planning exercise. The investment has paid off handsomely.

In case any organization does not have an annual goal setting exercise here are 4 reasons, from our practical experience at People Combine, that they should consider investing on it :

o  Alignment: One of the key benefits that the company wide exercise does is to bring in alignment across the organization. In the absence of alignment everyone might be chasing different and sometime conflicting targets. This misalignment was exactly what was plaguing people combine in 2012 when everyone was burnt out but hardly anything was achieved.

o  Sense of purpose: A company wide goal setting exercise which articulates the organization’s goal and then translates that into business unit, team and individual goals brings in a sense of purpose at every layer in the organization. And nothing motivates employees better than the sense of purpose. Listen to Dan Ariely talk about the power of sense of purpose in this ted talk

o  Tangible outcomes: What gets measured and tracked, gets done !“. A SMART goal setting exercise delivers measurable time-bound goals and action plan at every layer of the organization which when regularly tracked will deliver tangible outcomes. With such measurable time-bound goals employee performance management becomes relatively easy.

o  Productivity Enhancement: A set of well thought of stretch goals when made a part of the goal setting exercise can push the productivity envelope significantly. At People Combine we effectively used stretch goals to deliver outcomes which we never thought were possible.

In my next post will share some details about the annual goal setting and action planning process at People Combine. Meanwhile if you have any additional benefits which the Goal setting exercise delivers, please share.