More About Effective Goals

Nancy Anderson
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There has been much printed, verbally communicated and conveyed regarding Goal Formulation and achievement! The key to effective goals, however, is the manager or leader of the organization. The manager must lead and the leader must manage the goal activity within the organization. The other imperative action is the measurement of the goal constantly throughout the time frame established for achievement of the goal!

The key is to get every member of the organization involved in establishing the goals and thereafter focusing on them. Goal setting and progress in achieving goals is a process and does not materialize in one day or a brief meeting! There are five essential steps to organizing, prioritizing and finally achieving organizational goals from a managers’ standpoint.

First, prioritize the goals! Seek input from within the organization as it relates to the degree of positive affect a goal will directly (measured) and indirectly (morale) affect! Prioritize your goals by urgent (to affect the bottom line) very important (to affect the long range viability of the organization) and important (having some affect, but not tantamount for positive results.) If a goal, after much deliberation, is prioritized as unneeded, toss it out!

Next clarify the organization goals! The goals must be easy to understand and measure, clearly communicated throughout the organization. Each goal must have distinct and measurable objectives. For example, stating, “we must improve sales” is not a properly stated goal. However stating “Sales must improve by 6% in the next 6 months and 8% in the following 6 months adding up to a 7% improvement for the year ending Jan. 31st”, is a clearly communicated goal that will be easy to measure!

The third step is one that is one that is paramount. The goals established must be in writing and distributed to everyone. The manager should personally hand out the organization goals and review each individual’s importance, one-on-one wherever possible. Synergy, everyone moving in sync and understanding why goals must be achieved and genuinely feeling their importance to the end result will make goals happen and produce results that exceed even the most aggressive goals!

Now, use predetermined periods to meet with the organization and inform them as to the progress being made. Simply e mailing or sending a memo will dissipate the urgency or importance of the goals and the progress being made! A face-to-face meeting personalizes the update and ideally gives the team members the opportunity to offer suggestions or thoughts if the goals and not being reached or celebrate the progress made if on track towards the final objective. At these meetings, the true leader recognizes the team and any outstanding contributions of persons within the organization!

Last but not least, reward success! Organizational bonuses should be centered and developed contingent on hitting and exceeding the team goals. Likewise, individual bonuses should depend on the department or individual exceeding the goals within their control that were achieved or exceeded. Incentives motivate and rewards raise morale! Conversely if goals are handily exceeded and there is no reward or recognition, future goals will not be taken seriously and can actually become meaningless. Recognition should always be face-to-face if possible, and if not possible with hand written, not impersonal “form letters!” As far as rewards are concerned, there is no better reward than money, as money is something that most, if not all people subordinate to the manager or leader can never get enough of!

An organization or business, without goals are like a football team without a playbook, team-members without assigned positions! Imagine the chaos that would take place if a football coach takes them to the field and exhorts, “OK, hit the field and let’s win this one!” The same thing may exist in your organization if you as a manager have not followed a goal setting plan such as the one reviewed in this piece!

by Randy L. Snyder

Randy Snyder is a seasoned retail professional with vast experience in all aspects of specialty retail. Snyder has held high positions in a variety of chains encompassing over 28 years in the Specialty retail arena. Also involved as a consultant in a franchise based in Panama. In addition, my Snyder has been involved in consulting, training, logistics and quality control for both national and international retail organizations. His has written training manuals as well as a college level module program and articles for sporting magazines. Some of his areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, customer service, buying, selling, merchandise presentation, store design, staffing, store security, vendor relations etc. He will be available by emailing him direct at and will respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.


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