Sunday, 23 October 2011

Goal setting


Advantages Nad Disadvantages Of Off The Job Training
  1. Advantages  
    1. This type of training gets employees away from their work environment to a place where their frustrations and bustle of work are eliminated.   This more relaxed environment can help employees to absorb more information as they feel less under pressure to perform.
    2. Can be a source to supply the latest information, current trends, skills and techniques for example current employment legislation or other company law and regulations, current computer software or computerized technologies or improved/innovative administrative procedures.   These new skills can be brought back and utilized within the company.
    3. Experts in their field would cover these courses, and this would mean that training for staff members would be taught to a reasonable standard.
    4. As the courses are held externally, our company would not have added costs incurred as a result of extra equipment or additional space.
    5. Sending an employee on a course could help to make an employee feel more valued as they would feel as if they are receiving quality training.
    6. As many courses or seminars invite employees form other companies to attend, this would allow employees to network and perhaps drum-up business.
    Disadvantages
    1. Depending on the course, the overall cost could prove quite expensive for example; many courses may require an overnight stay at a hotel if the course is outside the area or the course itself may prove to be expensive due to the level of expertise or equipment need to deliver the course.
    2. As there is no real way to know the abilities both as a trainer and their subject knowledge of the people delivering the external training courses, there is no guarantee that sufficient skills of knowledge will be transfers or valuable.
    3. Many courses do not have a system of assessment or standardisation of learning, so there is no set yardstick that can be guarantee learning has been achieved to a specified standard.
    4. Sending employees to a training...
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  4. Practical Implications of Goal Setting Theory

Practical Implications of Goal Setting Theory

by Leigh Richards, Demand Media
Goal-setting theory provides insights into what it takes to achieve success.
Drs. Edwin Locke and Gary Latham are credited with the creation of goal-setting theory and its implications for the workplace. In 1990, they published "A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance," a book that continues to serve as the standard for describing the implications of setting goals that serve to motivate effectively. To be effective, they said, goals must have clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback and task complexity.

Clarity

Goals that lack clarity fail to provide adequate direction to employees or let them know what it is their managers would like them to achieve. Clarity means that the goals have been stated in such a way that both the employee and manager will know whether or not the goal has been achieved.

Challenge

To be effective in motivating performance, goals much be challenging. Consider a data entry clerk who types 100 wpm, but the goal for hourly performance represents a speed of about 70 wpm. That data entry clerk is unlikely to be challenged or motivated in the job. However, a goal of 110 wpm would represent a challenge that is not insurmountable but will require the employee to expend additional effort to achieve success.

Commitment

It is not enough for managers to give goals to employees. Employees must be committed to achieving those goals. A good way to accomplish this is to involve employees in the goal-setting process either by asking them to come up with goals independently, or through discussions about goals that would be most appropriate given individual, departmental and organizational objectives.

Feedback

"How am I doing?" It's a question that employees always have but don't always receive the answer to. Once armed with a goal, employees need feedback on how they are doing relative to accomplishing that goal. Feedback can be part of the job itself; for instance, a call center employee may be expected to answer calls within three rings and have access to reports on performance. Most often, though, feedback is provided by managers and supervisors who take the time to provide employees with information about how they're doing, along with both constructive and positive comments for the future.

Task Complexity

When tasks are highly complex, employees may become overwhelmed and lose confidence in their ability to achieve these goals. In these cases, managers should make sure they are providing employees with plenty of time and resources to achieve the goal, as well as time to learn and practice the task.
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E. Goal Setting Theory
Goal setting is a motivational technique that uses specific, challenging, and acceptable goals and provides feedback to enhance performance.
F. What Kinds of Goals Are Motivational?
Goals are most motivational when they are specific, challenging, and when organizational members are committed to them. In addition, feedback about progress toward goal attainment should also be provided. Goal Specificity. Specific goals specify an exact level of achievement for people to accomplish in a particular time frame.
Goal Challenge. Goals should be difficult but attainable.
Goal Commitment. Goals are not really goals unless people are committed to them and accept them.
Goal Feedback. Specific and challenging goals have the most beneficial effect when they are accompanied by ongoing feedback that enables the person to compare current performance with the goal.
G. Enhancing Goal Commitment
Some of the factors that might affect commitment to challenging and specific goals are participation, rewards and management support.
Participation. Research results are mixed, but participation can often increase commitment when a climate of mistrust exists between supervisor and employee. Also, participation can increase performance when competition or team spirit increase the difficulty of goals an employee is willing to attempt to reach.
Rewards. While there is little doubt that extrinsic rewards like money will increase commitment, there is also ample evidence that simply being challenged to do the job "right" can produce goal commitment. Goal setting has led to performance increases without the introduction of monetary incentives for goal accomplishment.
Supportiveness. There is considerable agreement that a coercive approach to goal setting on the part of supervisors will reduce goal commitment. For goal setting to work properly, supervisors must demonstrate a desire to assist employees in goal accomplishment and behave supportively if failure occurs, even adjusting the goal downward if it proves to be unrealistically high.
H. Goal Orientation
Individuals have been found to differ in their goal orientation. Learning goals are process-oriented goals that focus on leaning and enhance understanding of a task and the use of task strategies. Performance goals are outcome-oriented goals that focus attention on the achievement of specific performance outcomes. A learning goal orientation has been found to be related to greater effort, self-efficacy, goal-setting level, and performance.
I. Research Support for and Managerial Implications of Goal Setting Theory
Goal setting has led to increased performance on a wide variety of tasks. As well, the effects of goal setting appear to persist over a long enough time to have practical value. The effect of group goal setting on group performance is similar to the effect of individual goal setting. The effects of goals on performance are due to four mechanisms: direction, effort, persistence, and task-relevant strategies. The managerial implications of goal setting theory are straightforward: Set specific and challenging goals and provide ongoing feedback so that individuals can compare their performance with their goals. The performance impact of goal setting is strongest for simpler jobs rather than more complex jobs.
Management by Objectives
Management by objectives (MBO) involves setting specific measurable goals with each employee and then periodically discussing his/her progress toward these goals. The term MBO almost always refers to a comprehensive organization-wide goal setting and appraisal program that consist of six main steps:
1. Set the organization?s goals. Establish organization-wide plan for next year and set goals.
2. Set departmental goals. Here department heads and their superiors jointly set goals for their departments
3. Discuss and allocate department goals. Department heads discuss the department's goals with all subordinates in the department (often at a department-wide meeting) and ask them to develop their own individual goals; in other words, how can each employee contribute to the department's attaining its goals?
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4. Define expected results (set individual goals). Here, department heads and their subordinates set short-term performance targets.
5. Performance review and measure the results. Department heads compare actual performance for each employee with expected results.
6. Provide feedback. Department heads hold periodic performance review meetings with subordinates to discuss and evaluate progress in achieving expected results.
Sources:
Thomas H. Stone, Understanding Personnel Management, Dryden Press.
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You can download excellent powerpoint slides on HR Management and Performance Management HERE.

Goal setting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2010)

This article is written like a personal reflection or essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (June 2010)
Goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted (S.M.A.R.T ) objectives. Work on the theory of goal-setting suggests that it's an effective tool for making progress by ensuring that participants in a group with a common goal are clearly aware of what is expected from them if an objective is to be achieved[citation needed]. On a personal level, setting goals is a process that allows people to specify then work towards their own objectives — most commonly with financial or career-based goals[citation needed].Goal setting features as a major component of personal development literature
"Goals provide a sense of direction and purpose" (Goldstein, 1994, p. 96).[vague] "Goal setting capitalize on the human brain's amazing powers: Our brains are problem-solving, goal-achieving machines."

Contents

 [hide

[edit] Concept

t  Goals that are difficult to achieve and specific tend to increase performance more than goals that are not.[1] A goal can become more specific through quantification or enumeration (should be measurable), such as by demanding "increasing productivity by 50%"; or by defining certain tasks that need completing.
Setting goals affects outcomes in four ways:[2]
  1. Choice: goals narrow attention and direct efforts to goal-relevant activities, and away from perceived undesirable and goal-irrelevant actions.
  2. Effort: goals can lead to more effort; for example, if one typically produces 4 widgets an hour, and has the goal of producing 6, one may work more intensely than one would otherwise in order to reach the goal.
  3. Persistence: An communist becomes more prone to work through setbacks if pursuing a goal.
  4. Cognition: goals can lead an individual to develop to change their behavior.

[edit] Goal setting in business

In business, goal setting has the advantages of encouraging participants to put in substantial effort; and, because every member has defined expectations set upon him or her (high role perception), little room is left for inadequate effort going unnoticed.
Managers cannot be constantly able to drive motivation and keep track of an employee’s work on a continuous basis. Goals are therefore an important tool for managers since goals have the ability to function as a self-regulatory mechanism that acquires an employee a certain amount of guidance Shalley, 1995[3] and Locke and Latham (2002)[4] have distilled four mechanisms through which goal setting is able to affect individual performance:
  1. Goals focus attention towards goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities.
  2. Goals serve as an energizer; higher goals will induce greater effort while low goals induce lesser effort.
  3. Goals affect persistence; constraints with regard to resources will affect work pace.
  4. Goals activate cognitive knowledge and strategies which allows employees to cope with the situation at hand.

[edit] Goal–performance relationship

Locke et al. (1981) examined the behavioral effects of goal-setting, concluding that 90% of laboratory and field studies involving specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than did easy or no goals.[5]
While some managers[who?] would believe it is sufficient to urge employees to ‘do their best’, Locke and Latham have a clear contradicting view on this. The authors state that people who are told to ‘do their best’ will not do so. ‘Doing your best’ has no external referent which implies that it is useless in eliciting specific behavior. To elicit some specific form of behavior from others, it is important that this person has a clear view of what is expected from him/her. A goal is thereby of vital importance because it facilitates an individual in focusing their efforts in a specified direction. In other words; goals canalize behavior (Cummings & Worley p. 368)[vague]. However when goals are established at a management level and thereafter solely laid down, employee motivation with regard to achieving these goals is rather suppressed (Locke & Latham, 2002 p. 705)[vague]. In order to increase motivation the employees not only need to be allowed to participate in the goal setting process but the goals have to be challenging as well (Cummings & Worley p. 369)[vague].

[edit] Moderators

This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (Consider using more specific cleanup instructions.) Please help improve this section if you can. The talk page may contain suggestions. (June 2010)
Through an understanding of the effect of goal setting on individual performance organizations are able to use goal setting to benefit organizational performance. Locke and Latham have therefore indicated three moderators which indicate the success of goal setting:[6]
Goal commitment 
People will perform better when they are committed to achieve certain goals[citation needed]. Goal commitment is dependent of:
  1. The importance of the expected outcomes of goal attainment and;
  2. Self-efficacy – one's belief that they are able to achieve the goals;
  3. Commitment to others – promises or engagements to others can strongly improve commitment
Feedback 
Keep track of performance to allow employees to see how effective they have been in attaining the goals. Without proper feedback channels it is impossible to adapt or adjust to the required behavior.
Task complexity 
More difficult goals require more cognitive strategies and well-developed skills. The more difficult the tasks ahead, a smaller group of people will possess the necessary skills and strategies. From an organizational perspective it is thereby more difficult to successfully attain more difficult goals since resources become more scarce.
Employee motivation 
The more employees are motivated, the more they are stimulated and interested in accepting goals.
These success factors are not to be seen independently. For example the expected outcomes of goals are positively influenced when employees are involved in the goal setting process. Not only does participation increase commitment in attaining the goals that are set, participation influences self-efficacy as well. In addition to this feedback is necessary to monitor one's progress. When this is left aside, an employee might think (s)he is not making enough progress. This can reduce self-efficacy and thereby harm the performance outcomes in the long run.[7]
  • goal-commitment, the most influential moderator[citation needed], becomes especially important when dealing with difficult or complex goals. If people lack commitment to goals, they will lack motivation to reach them. In order to become committed to a goal, one must believe in its importance or significance.
  • attainability: individuals must also believe that they can attain — or at least partially reach — a defined goal. If they think no chance exists of reaching a goal, they may not even try.

[edit] Feedback

The enhancement of performance through goals requires feedback. Goal setting and feedback[9] go hand in hand. Without feedback, goal setting is not likely to be effective. Providing feedback on short-term objectives, helps to sustain motivation and commitment to a goal. Besides, feedback should be provided on the strategies followed to achieve the goals and the final outcomes achieved as well. Feedback on strategies to obtain goal is very important, especially for complex work because challenging goals encourage focus on outcomes to be achieved rather than on the performance strategies and thus, impairs performance. Giving a proper feedback is also very essential, and following hints might help for providing a good feedback:
  • Create a positive context for feedback
  • Use constructive and positive language
  • Focus on behaviours and strategies
  • Tailor feedback to the needs of the individual worker
  • Make feedback a two-way communication process
Goal-setting may have little effect if individuals cannot check where the state of their performance is in relation to their goal.[citation needed] Note the importance[citation needed] of people knowing where they stand in relation to achieving their goals, so they can determine the desirability of working harder or of changing their methods.
Advances in technology can make for giving feedback more effectively. Systems analysts have designed computer programs to track goals for numerous members of an organization. Such computer systems may maintain every employee’s goals, as well as their deadlines for achieving them. Separate methods may check the employee’s progress on a regular basis, and other systems may require perceived slackers to explain themselves, and/or account for how they intend to improve the perception.

[edit] Limitations

Goal-setting theory has its limitations. In an organization, a goal of a manager may not align with the goals of the organization as a whole. In such cases, the goals of an individual may come into direct conflict with the employing organization. Without aligning goals between the organization and the individual, performance may suffer. Moreover, for complex tasks, goal-setting may actual impair performance. In these situations, an individual may become preoccupied with meeting the goals, rather than performing tasks.
Some people[who?] feel that one possible drawback of goal setting is that implicit learning may be inhibited. This is because goal setting may encourage simple focus on an outcome without openness to exploration, understanding or growth.[citation needed]

Locke's Goal Setting Theory

By Renee O'Farrell, eHow Contributor

Edwin Locke's theory of goal setting has many practical applications, in and outside of the business environment. A professor at the University of Maryland, Locke's theory defines characteristics that encourage success. While the theory rings of psychology, its applications in the business world have been profound and enduring.

1.     The Influence of Ryan

o    Locke's goal-setting theory was created on the premise, originally set forth by professor Thomas A. Ryan, that "conscious goals affect action." As quoted in Locke's "Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation," Ryan argued that human behavior is affected by conscious purposes, plans, intentions, tasks and the like.

Basic Definition

o    Locke's theory operates on the premise that individuals create goals by making careful decisions to do so and are compelled toward those goals by virtue of the goal having been set. Basically, Locke's theory states that if an individual sets goals, he will be motivated to achieve those goals by virtue of having set them.
Several elements must exist in order for the goal-setting effect to take place. Goals must be clear, challenging and attainable, and there must be some method of receiving feedback. Locke finds that the goal itself is not the motivator, but rather the perceived difference between what was actually attained and what had been planned for.

Goal Difficulty and Performance

o    Locke, and professors Steve Motowidlo and Phil Bobko found that "higher expectancies lead to higher levels of performance," which is in accordance with Vroom's valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory. Somewhat contradictorily, they also showed that when expectations are low but goal level is high, performance would be high also.

Goal Mechanisms

o    Goals serve four primary functions:
1. By specifying a goal, one must direct focus toward that goal and away from activities unrelated to that goal.
2. The setting of a goal is a behavior-stimulating act. According to Locke, "high goals lead to greater effort than low goals."
3. Goals have a positive effect on persistence. However, there is an inverse relationship between time and intensity.
4. Goals subconsciously direct the person toward discovering better ways of doing things, be they calculations or physical acts.

Goal Moderators

o    Locke's theory states that, in order for a goal to be successful, the person must be committed to it wholly and possess self-efficacy. This self-efficacy must be boosted initially by the fact that the person was assigned the task and thus believed to be capable of its completion.
He also found that "for goals to be effective, people need summary feedback that reveals progress in relation to their goals. If they do not know how they are doing, it is difficult or impossible for them to adjust the level or direction of their effort or to adjust their performance strategies to match what the goal requires."
Task complexity also moderates the effects of goals because more complex goals require the review of more complex strategies than lower difficulty goals.
Lastly, more complex goals require proximal goals rather than a singular distal goal. Basically, the complex goals should be broken down into several smaller goals. The setting of proximal goals also promotes progress feedback.

Limitations

o    As noted by Locke, his goal-setting theory has several limitations:
1. Goal conflict. Sometimes an individual has several goals, some of which may be in conflict. When this occurs, performance will suffer.
2. Goals and risk. More difficult goals/deadlines can spur riskier behaviors and strategies.
3 Personality. Goal success is largely effected by self-efficacy. Also, personality plays a large role in goal determination and approach.
4. Goals and subconscious motivation. Subconscious motivators affect people regularly, but how these subconscious motivators affect goal performance has not been studied.
·  GOAL SETTING
·  GOAL SETTING
  • Involves establishing specific, measurable and
time targeted objectives
  • It is an effective tool for making progress by
ensuring that participants are clearly aware of
what is expected from them, if an objective is to
be achieved.
  • On a personal level, setting goals is a process
that allows people to specify then work towards
their own objectives - most commonly with
financial or career-based goals.
·  GOAL SETTING
  • It should be tangible, specific, realistic and have a
    time targeted for completion.
  • Goal setting also requires motivation &
commitments
  • Goals provide a sense of direction and purpose
·  GOAL SETTING Four mechanisms through which goal setting is able to affect individual performance: 1. Goals focus attention towards goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities. 2. Goals serve as an energizer; higher goals will induce greater effort while low goals induce lesser effort.
·  GOAL SETTING 3. Goals affect persistence; constraints with regard to resources will affect work pace. 4. Goals activate cognitive knowledge and strategies which allows employees to cope with the situation at hand.
·  GOAL SETTING Moderators which indicate the success of goal setting:
  • 1. Goal Commitment
  • People will perform better when they are committed to achieve certain goals. Goal commitment is dependent of :
The importance of the expected outcomes of goal attainment and;
. Self-efficacy; ones belief that (s) he is able to achieve the goals.
·  GOAL SETTING 2. Feedback Keep track of performance to allow employees to see how effective they have been in attaining the goals. Without proper feedback channels it is impossible to adapt or adjust to the required behavior. 3. Task complexity More difficult goals require more cognitive strategies and well developed skills. The more difficult the tasks ahead, a smaller group of people will possess the necessary skills and strategies. From an organizational perspective it is thereby more difficult to successfully attain more difficult goals since resources become more scarce.
·  GOAL SETTING 4. Employee Motivation The more employees are motivated, the more they are stimulated and interested in accepting goals. 5. Macro-economical characteristics The position of the economy in the conjucture puts pressure or simply relieves the organization. This means that some goals are easier set in specific macro-economical surroundings. Depression is for instance the least successful conjucturial phase for goal setting.
·  GOAL SETTING Guidelines to improve performance through goal setting: 1. Specific goals 2. Difficult, challenging goals 3. “Owned” and accepted goals 4. Objective, timely feedback about progress toward goals
·  GOAL SETTING Practical limitations in goal setting: 1. Difficult goals increases the level of risk managers and employees are willing to take 2. Inhibited subjects from helping others who were requesting assistance, which has implications for teamwork 3. Difficult goals may lead to stress, put perpetual ceiling on performance, cause the employees to ignore non-goal areas 4. Encourage short-range thinking, dishonesty or cheating.
·  The application of goal setting to system performance. Set overall objectives &action Develop the organization Set individual Objectives &action plans Conduct final appraisal Of result Conduct periodic appraisal & provide Feedback on progress; make adjustments
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