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Setting Effective Goals

Goals are statements describing what organizations, departments, or individuals wish to accomplish. When goals are well developed, they answer the what, why, who, where, when and how questions.

Why Set Goals?

By setting specific targets/desired outcomes,individuals and organizations are able

  • to define priorities
  • to establish direction
  • to identify expected results
  • to enhance teamwork
  • to improve individual performance
  • to clarify expectations

All roles are affected by internal changes in organizational structure and the way work is organized as well as by external changes driven by innovation, technology, and a changing workforce. There are always new things to be done and more effective and efficient ways to accomplish work. Goals can focus on continuous learning and improvement as it applies to the role.

Value of Goal Setting

Research on goal setting tells us the following:

  • People and organizations who set goals do better than those who do not
  • People who set specific goals do better than those who set vague goals
  • Difficult goals, if accepted, result in better performance
  • Success in goal attainment is related to deliberate and conscious goal-setting
  • High expectations of success are associated with high attainment and performance

Characteristics of Well-Set Goals

  • S pecific
  • M eaningful and Measurable
  • A greed to and Attainable
  • R eality-based
  • T ime-bound

Please note: If you need assistance in the goal setting process, please contact the Division of Human Resources. We would be happy to assist you in this process.

Last modified: April 4, 2008
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