Should You Let Your Employees Set Their Own Goals?
The more buy-in you get from your employees about their jobs, the easier it is for them to get their jobs done. So, why not allow them to create their own set of goals? Some companies will give their employees free range on goal setting.
Others will take a hybrid approach where their managers will give them the high-level goals and guidelines and will then let their employees come up with a plan. One really important aspect of letting employees set their goals is to make sure that they are in line with the overall goals of the company.
Employees may have ideas on what they want to do, but it doesn’t contribute well to what the company needs. This is where managers will need to overlook the process to make sure they are in sync. Employees also may not like the idea of creating their own goals because it makes them completely accountable.
At least when managers set goals for employees, they can blame it on the managers (at least internally) if the employees are not able to accomplish those goals. Some employees may try to set aggressive schedules with their goals just to impress the boss. They don’t give themselves enough time and set themselves up for failure.
Hopefully, the boss can see through this and make adjustments. If members of the team do not complete their tasks on time, this can look bad for the boss as well. A good boss will ensure that each member can complete the necessary tasks on time. It’s also possible that employees don’t have the necessary knowledge about what is involved in completing their tasks.
They may list tasks that require higher-level manager authority and getting that authority is not accounted for in the plan. The employees also may not be aware of any costs associated with the tasks on their list which could create overages on the budget. These situations will require the manager’s approval and he or she should discuss any issues regarding the goals.
If a manager has several employees within a team, he or she may want them to work together on the goal setting effort. This will ensure that each team member knows what the other members are responsible for and take into account such issues as tasks that may be dependent on other members of the team. The team dynamic is strong when everyone is informed.
Should You Outsource Your Business Goal Creation?
Businesses are outsourcing just about everything these days. So, why not outsource the creation of your business goals? It takes a lot of time to come up with a good set of goals, and you may not have that time to take away from your core business functions. It may be time to explore setting up your business goals via outsourcing.
One major obstacle when considering to let others determine your goals is the cost. This is a planning task and strategic planning experts usually come with a hefty price tag. This isn’t necessarily a reason to shy away from doing it. You just need to make sure what you get is worth the cost.
You’ll want to choose someone who is knowledgeable about your business and in your industry. Depending on the type of business you are in, having a generalist setting up your goals may not cut it. There are too many aspects that relate specifically to your business that he or she may miss. Another option is for you to determine your high-level goals and then let the outsourcer figure out the objectives to make those goals happen. This will include any research and time estimates for those objectives.
Sometimes, this can be more difficult for business owners to come up with on their own and having someone do it can help. Your goal setting initiative may include tasks for others to perform, like employees in your company. If so, make sure that the consultant you hire works closely with those employees. Otherwise, you may find them resisting the initiative, and you will be spending a good portion of your time micromanaging those employees.
The thing to keep in mind is that an outsider does not have your interests at heart. Because of this, you may want to get frequent updates to make sure they are capturing all the aspects of what you want to accomplish with your goals. Make deliverable’s for the outsource and discuss each goal or objective as they are created. It’s better to make changes early on than to wait until the end. Some goals will be dependent on others so you can make sure the dependencies are accounted for.
You must remember that ultimately you are responsible for accomplishing the goals. If you find that you either didn’t meet your objectives or you feel they are the wrong ones, you should not blame the outsource, especially if you signed off on the project when it was completed.
Check back soon for Issue 5 (final issue) of Setting & Achieving Business Goals as we continue to look at the importance of goal setting for business success.