goals, functions, indicators and types

“Goals describe aspired states in the future.”

 
Functions and purposes
 
Leadership goals intend to create as much agreement as possible on the things to be achieved in the future.
 
1.    Goals therefore have a communicatory function (the supervisor and the co-worker have the same pictures and ideas in mind about future results and behaviour) to define the expected outcomes as precisely as possible so that an organisation can be directed and controlled. Should these pictures and ideas differ from each other, the expectations can only be met by chance, even if the co-worker has the necessary skills and motivation.
 
2.    Goals can also have a contractual or delegating function. When I make an agreement on goals with my co-worker, I do not just communicate a certain goal, but also delegate responsibility. In this way, I generate commitment on the co-worker’s side. In combination with the responsibility, I should delegate the corresponding and necessary authorisation and allowances with regard to resources such as budgets, time, manpower, etc. to the co-worker. 
 
3.    If achievement of the goal is tied to the variable components of compensation, the goals also have a measurable function.
 
 
There are two general initiators for agreements on goals:
 
 
Basic orien­tation, description
 
Past:   Expectations were not met in the past  
Future: New expectations resulting from the future (outcomes for my department)
 Sources of perception / information:
 
 Results, behaviour, information (may be from third party and thus unconfirmed) 
 Sources of information: top management, own supervisor, clients, co-worker himself, myself
 Differences and particularities
 Behaviour and results were observed by myself: My task: To turn the negative description into a positive one (with the same degree of specification) I only have third party information and data: My task: observe / collect data and facts
 The pre-set goals are imprecise (what is the exact degree of customer orientation; highly abstract). My task: To specify the goals   General goal-setting gives me an orientation and direction (e. g. increase efficiency) My task: What does that mean exactly for my department? Specification
 
 

Typical initial situations and examples:

 
Past: Expectations were not met in the past Sources of perception / information: Results, behaviour, information (may be from third party and thus unconfirmed) 
 
1.1. e.g. the original agreement on goals was
      not precise enough, it has to be improved
 
Drafts and papers too short or too sophisticated. Goals were not reached.
1.2. Results that were taken for granted were
       not achieved.
Mistakes in job completion. The co-worker did not really know how important his contribution was.
 
1.3. In daily business you observed behaviour
       that does not meet your standards and
       expectations.
 
Unfriendly treatment of clients or colleagues. Co-worker is late.
1.4. The behaviour observed shows a lack of  
       competence or skills
E.g. facilitation skills, computer programs, handling conflicts, languages, functional skills, etc.
 
1.5. The behaviour observed can be
       interpreted as showing that the co-
       worker has a differing judgement of the
       importance and priority of the goals or  
       has a different way of doing this job.  
  
E.g. the co-worker valued the quality of work higher than the service quality or project A was more important in the eyes of the co-worker that project B
 
 
The challenging part in setting new goals here is to gain a common view of the initiators first, e. g. through a feedback dialogue, before you set new goals.
 
 
Future New expectations resulting from the future (outcomes for my department) Sources of information: Top management, own supervisor, clients, co-worker himself, myself
 
2.1. The parameters for goals are changing
New settings or agreements on the parameters (figures, data, facts). E.g. number of business cases, turnover, EBITDA
 
2.2. New strategic alignment of the
       organisation (e.g. cost reduction)
How can the strategic goals of an organisation be transferred into operative goals for my own department and each co-worker?
 
2.3. New tasks for the co-worker
New tasks lead to a completely new package of goal information: What will the co-worker be responsible for? How do I determine whether he is doing his job right (specific criteria for goal achievement)? Which resources are necessary: skills, time, means?
 
2.4. New projects for the co-worker
Tasks usually have no determined deadlines, but projects do (although projects might have a longer lifespan than tasks).
 
2.5. Planned skills development in own
      department
You want to improve the quality of the interpersonal relations, teamwork, flexibility and job rotation of your co-workers
 



Regardless of the situation there are 6 different types of goals
 
Type of goal
specifications
 
“Hard” goal Goal achievement recognizable by facts and figures (FF). Example: Your supervisor set the goal that you have to increase the number of business cases by 15 %. 
 
 
 The achievement indicator can be easily measured, but also may contain qualitative aspects. Often several persons worked on the achievement of the goal: Who then is accountable and responsible for the outcome?
 
Behavioural goal Clients’ complaints are increasing. You observed that the co-worker talked to the clients in an insolent and aggressive way. He does not say “please” and “thank you”. He gives very brief orders: “Sign here!”. He puts his feet on an open drawer, folds his arms behind his head and lies back during a meeting. 
 
 
 So-called “soft goals” related to communication, leadership and cooperation (CLC) are “volatile”, which means they can be neglected or judged differently by the co-worker. This is the greatest challenge for the specification: What exactly does friendly behaviour look like? How can I recognise it? 
 
Competence goal You want to give your co-worker an additional task. To do this, he needs knowledge of and practice using use of a certain program. Examples of other typical professional skills: project management, management and leadership, facilitation.
 
 
 The appropriate measures are therefore training courses, seminars, e-learning and so on. The degree of mastery of the different skills can be checked through tests, audits, etc. For how to set goals, see ‘behavioural goals’
 
Goals related to new jobs You want to agree on a new field of tasks and responsibilities with your co-worker
 
 This is complex because, as well as the goal-setting and agreement, you have to define the job description, the area of responsibility and the access to resources
 
 
Project goal Your co-worker has been working on a project, the aim of which is the installation of a new software. He has been behind schedule for quite a while. You consider defining milestones for him that also will be documented in the report in the Performance Review
 
 
 Sometimes, complex goals are related to new jobs. As the project has a planned end, it is essential to define milestones as orientation and for the measurement of the achievement of goals. New jobs or projects often create an additional and timely need for delegation talks.
 
Strategic goal The board has continuously pointed out that customer orientation is a strategic issue and essential for the company.
 
 
 How can I convert this strategic goal into operational goals for my department? What does customer orientation mean in my department exactly?
 
 
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