Goals are a basic tool of managers, that, if used properly, serve the purpose of significantly enhancing the performance of subordinated employees and managers themselves. Some of the important stages in using goals are the initial stage of goal-setting and later evaluation of whether the goals have been achieved.
Goals are most often defined “for performance, based on the needs which trigger the whole project and its expected effects” (Klakegg 2004). Subsequently, goals are used to measure the performance, probably the most important part of the planning process as it lays the foundation for future plans and leads the organization to draw conclusions about the reachability of its plans. An organization is able to use previously set goals as benchmarks in comparison with which it can see what skills have to be learned by its members and what corrections need to be made in the organization’s policies.
Goals are of special importance in Management by Objectives and Project Management where they form the foundation for the business process.
Different management theories take different views of how goals should be picked, and how they need to be expressed and realized. Thus, in a contigency theory, management needs to act in accordance with the needs of the situation, thus one could say that this presupposes the establishment of the situational goals.
In contrast, under the systems approach, the business organization is a system, that is, “a collection of part unified to accomplish an overall goal” (McNamara 1999). In this view, a goal serves to unify an organization whose parts are integrated by a certain goals. Then goals are set as long-term benchmarks and objectives are worked out to suit those goals on a short-term basis.
Goals are admittedly merely an instrument that is used by management to achieve desired results. To maximize the output achieved, one needs to keep in mind that goals are to be set at an adequate level that can stimulate performance. The benchmarks that are set too low will not stimulate people motivated by these goals to show their best, and the goals that are set too high are likely to produce frustration and disappointment among employees, and will not ensure the best possible result.
Setting goals is definitely not enough to stimulate performance. Goals need to be efficiently communicated to every single employee, and ideally, endorsed by all stakeholders of the organization. All too often goals set by the orgnization fail to be achieved as they do not correlate with individual goals set by specific employees or divisions of the organization. In this case, it is unlikely that members will make their best effort to preserve the interests of the organization, and thus management needs to take into account whether the goals can be translated into reality, and whether there is sufficient motivation for employees in place to push them toward those goals.
Concerns of the organization are more routine issues to which it has to attend. A list of possible management concerns can include executive appraisal, planning pension plans, executive motivation, external communications, long range incentive plans, etc. Concerns have to be correlated with broader plans and management issues. They represent a portion of the managerial work that needs to be performed on an ongoing, contingency basis and constitutes the adjustment of long-term goals to the needs of the current situation.
Adressing concerns on a daily basis forms the link betweent the management’s goals and their realization in employees’ everyday life. It is up to the management to make the strategi plans of the organization a vivid part of every member’s life.
The essence of the goals also has a direct effect on their reachability. A goal is most speedily and effectively realized if employees are able to grasp the connection between the realization of the goals and thier personal advancement. Progress of the organization does not have to be a self-sufficient target and needs to be perceptably correlated with the interest of all stakeholders.
Thus, goals and concerns are one of tools avaialble to the orgnization in order to enhance its performance, and can serve to maximise the output of the organization.
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