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Why Is Goal Setting Important in Organizations?

by Jill Leviticus

Goal setting is an important process that can benefit any type of business. It involves much more than picking a number or objective at random and then frantically trying to meet the goal. When it’s done correctly, the goal-setting process provides the framework you need to plan your business strategy and anticipate potential problems that can affect success.

Why? How? When?

Goal setting helps you define the process you’ll need to meet the goal. For example, if you decide you would like to increase sales by 20 percent by the end of the year, you must determine how you will attempt to do so. You might spend more money on marketing, research new sales prospects or attend more industry conferences to identify leads. Defining the process also allows you to identify potential challenges and devise solutions to handle challenges before they can become problems.

Can We Afford It?

Goal setting helps you decide how to allocate company resources in support of the goal. In addition to hiring or terminating employees, you might need to budget for increased office space and equipment or obtain financing. Reviewing the costs associated with attaining the goal can help you estimate potential profits and determine whether your company can handle the financial burden associated with reaching the goal. Communicating goals with your management team can help you ensure everyone understands the company’s priorities and is committed to supporting and facilitating company objectives.

Employee Benefits

When you set goals, employees understand what tasks and outcomes you consider most important. After you determine departmental goals, it’s important to also devise goals for each employee or team that support the departmental goal. Interim and long-term goals allow employees to understand what goals they must personally meet, which can make it easier to structure their time and workload. Setting goals also can challenge and motivate employees to meet or exceed expectations, especially when you associate rewards with attaining goals.

Quantifying Results

Goals provide a way for you to measure the success of your efforts. Measurement shouldn’t only occur when you’ve reached or failed to reach a goal, but also must happen over the course of the project. The Mind Tools website suggests including specific dates, amounts and other information in goals that will allow you to accurately determine success. Evaluating intermediate goals and setting benchmark goals can help you decide if the primary goal is still attainable or if modifications must be made to your plan. Although reaching large goals is impressive, it’s just as important to measure the success of small goals and to praise employees when they reach any goal.

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