HAVE YOUR EMPLOYEES REACHING FOR THEIR OBJECTIVES without goal cascading
Employees’ objectives should ultimately contribute to the organisation’s performance. However, how can you align their personal objectives with your organisation’s strategic goals?
HR and managers must openly communicate the organisation’s strategy in order to align this with individual’s objectives; how are individuals going to move the business closer to its goal? Objectives are traditionally set using ‘goal cascading’: the process of communicating and assigning goals through the organisational hierarchy.
Goal cascading begins with upper management, such as directors, who define strategic performance goals in relation to the organisation’s overarching goals. These goals are then cascaded to managers, who set personal objectives for their skillsets against directors’. These goals continue to be cascaded down to executive-level, and then to assistant-level, until every employee’s individual objectives are set.
However, goal cascading brings with it a number of flaws
1. Lack of control
Employees are unable to take control of their personal development, which can be highly demotivating – they may struggle to comprehend why they should achieve targets if it will not directly develop them. When employees are given the opportunities to agree on their own goals with their manager, they are more driven to complete them and succeed.
2. Top heavy
As upper management determines the goals of those more junior in the organisation, they are less likely to understand what is required within these roles. This means that objectives may be set for more junior staff that appears entirely irrelevant to the everyday functions of their role.
3. Rigid goal setting
Whilst an end-of-year review was sufficient in previous years, modern workers require more agile working – which includes regular informal meetings to address – and readdress – goals set for over the year. Goal cascading relies on a strict timetable starting from the top, and organising this is an administrative burden. Allowing employees access to their own developmental records online saves time and allows for better flexibility.
ALIGN OBJECTIVES UP, NOT DOWN
When employees can see how their objectives contribute towards the overarching goals of an organisation, they are better engaged and motivated. Managers should allow employees ownership of their personal development whilst providing coaching and support to keep employees on track with their progression and goals.
By making the most of modern online performance management systems, employees will be able to log their progress over time whilst providing managers with access to their records. This means that managers can track any accomplishments, give praise when due, and encourage employees to align their goals with the overarching company objectives – whilst allowing complete transparency for both parties.