Magazine article Industrial Management

Achieving Personal and Organizational Goals

Magazine article Industrial Management

Achieving Personal and Organizational Goals

Article excerpt

Executive Summary

Goals represent a way of keeping score. By helping employees define their personal goals, managers are putting them on the path toward achieving the organization's goals. People who see the connection between their personal goals and the larger goals of the organization will have a greater impact on the achievement of those goals than people who see no such correlation.

"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to put the other somewhat higher"

-Thomas Huxley

In the business environment there must be a blending of the goals of each individual and those of the organization. People have a desire to be successful and so do organizations. If there is a lack of success by either party-the individual or the organization-the place to start making improvements is in the clarity of the goals.

Whatever it was that you did to get you here isn't good enough to keep you where you are, let alone get you where you need to be. Kaizen is all about continuous improvement: the need to be constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to accomplish things through gradual, unending improvement.

Goals determine results. In fact, results are merely a reflection of the actual (though sometimes unstated) goals. Therefore, when you examine the results achieved by people or organizations, you gain insight into what their goals are. What people say is not as important as what they do.

Sharing goals

Ralph Waldo Emerson once described enthusiasm this way: "Every great and commanding movement is the triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it."

Managers need to help their people define their personal goals. They can then help them interpret the relationship between their personal goals and the organizations goals. This obviously assumes the organization has clearly defined and written goals. People who see a direct correlation between their personal goals and the contribution they can make to the accomplishment of the organization's goals have a vested interest in helping the organization reach its goals.

Implicit in this concept of interrelated goals is a relationship of trust and confidence. Trust and confidence are only developed after a period of time spent together. They require honest sharing and accountability Accountability means it is necessary to have written standards that directly relate personal performance to the goals of the organization. Individuals should see how achieving or exceeding these work standards will advance organizational goals. Individuals also need to know that the organization will reciprocate with compensation or other opportunity to help them reach their personal goals. When individual performance is linked directly to organizational results, motivation is intense and self-initiated.

If both parties agree on the paradigm outlined above and the individual does not perform, it is often caused by lack of ability or competence. Training will help develop abilities and skills. However, if training does not help, it is best to replace the individual with someone of higher competence. Keeping an individual on board who cannot perform inhibits the development of coworkers and the progress of the organization.

Using charts

Charts are a way for individuals to monitor their progress toward personal and organizational goals. …

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