Goal Setting and Cascading Goals Throughout the Organization


This time of year usually brings out those resolutions…both personal resolutions and company goals. Regardless of what the goal is, here are some tips to help with your goal setting:

Before you define goal…be sure it meets the SMART criteria:

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

  • Who: Who is involved?
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • When: Establish a time frame.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. Ask questions such as……How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable: Is the goal able to be reached? It should be a stretch to reach the goal, but not so much so that it’s out of reach.

Realistic: What it takes to do to achieve the goal should be within the availability of resources, knowledge and time

Timely: The goals should have a clearly defined time-frame including a target completion date.

Using the SMART criteria above, the Company should determine 3-5 goals that are tied to success measures of the company. Oftentimes they are financial, business development, process development or customer satisfaction measures.

Once the Company Goals are determined, they should be communicated throughout the Company and translated to departmental goals. Those departmental goals then become the framework that shape each employee’s individual goals. Hence the goals are cascaded as Company Goals down to Departmental Goals down to Individual Goals. These individual goals can play an important role in performance management, career development and employee rewards.

Some other helpful tips:

– Use a company-wide venue (all company meeting, webcast, e-mail, etc.) to share the goals. This will ensure that all employees hear the same consistent message.

– Communicate the company’s goals at the beginning of the fiscal year and encourage managers to development department goals that can be cascaded down to the employee level.

– Setting goals at the department and employee level ensures that the day-to-day work employee’s perform is tied to the overall success of the company.

– Connect the goals to the Performance Management Process, whereby you can assess an employee’s attainment vs. their goals on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.

– Check-in on the goals a few times throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be a formal process…just a quick conversation to review the goals to make sure they still make sense. As business and company conditions change, be sure to review the goals to make any adjustments accordingly.

Source by Nancy Saperstone

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