The beginning of the year is a season of performance appraisals. All employees are required to self-evaluate goals reached during the past year, discuss goals and skills and competencies development with the managers. Finally, managers have to set goals for the new year. The managers are advised to set goals, which are SMART. However, there is a minor issue with smart goals. The goals do not have to be challenging enough. They do not have to be challenging for the employees; they do not have to be challenging for the business. Honestly, most of the top business ideas were not born as an objective included in the goal setting sheet. No one has “bring two fantastic ideas, which will change the way we do business by December 31st, 2013” in his or her goals given by the manager.


SMART GoalsLeadership IQ published its study about SMART Goals Setting, which covered a significant number of participants (more than 4 000 participants included in the survey) from almost 400 organizations. They wanted to find out how helpful goals and objectives are for employees. The key finding of the study is that just 15% of employees strongly agree that their goals will help them achieve great things.

The SMART goals are usually comfortable. They do not push employees out from their comfort zones. The goals just prolong the trend. Were you expected to deliver a 5% increase in sales volumes? Ok, I expect you to deliver additional 5% this year. Most employees do not feel motivated or excited by such an objective. They just require the higher delivery than last year. That is the end of the story.

The study has findings about goals, which helped employees to achieve extraordinary things:

  • I can vividly picture how great I will feel when I achieve my goals.
  • I will have to learn new skills to achieve my goals.
  • My goals are necessary for my company.
  • I actively participated in creating my goals.
  • My goals will push me out of my comfort zone.

The challenging and exciting goals are not prolonging the trend. They inspire employees to step out of their comfort zones. They have to go through the entire cycle of accepting the change. They have to feel that they can fail. They have to imagine how the result will help the organization and its clients and customers.

The SMART goal setting methodology does not help to set ambitious objectives for employees. The managers do not use their creativity. They just expect employees to do the same things for another 12 months. They do not expect them to change the organization. The challenging goals change the organization positively for customers and employees.

There are extremely interesting outcomes in the study for the goals, which will help us achieve big things:

  • Vivid description which allows to people to feel how great achievement it will be
  • The goal has to be bigger than me

The employees like if goals encourage them. They want to stimulate their courage and imagination. The managers should support employees to imagine the better organization, which provides superb services to customers and clients.

Each HR Manager should think about the goal setting procedure in the organization. Human Resources should provide a different point of view to managers. Most managers can set SMART goals to employees, but they do not stimulate creativity of employees. They should imagine themselves receiving the similar copy of goals like last year. Just volumes and cost savings to be achieved are higher.





HR below the line

Goals, Goals, Goals!

Setting the right goals and objectives is the true art of the leadership. Human Resources trains managers and leaders how to set the targets for departments and employees. It manages the process so that all targets are aligned with the vision of the organization and follow the same approved principles.

However, Human Resources forgets to set the objectives for Human Resources Department. Just as the inspiration, you can find Goals and Objectives examples for the HR Business Partner, Recruitment and Staffing, Compensation and Benefits, Training and Development, Succession Planning, Leadership Development, HR Social Media, Employee Retention and HRIS.

The goals and objectives should be taken as examples. They are not the real targets to be used as they are provided. They just inspire. They help building the modern Human Resources Management Function in the company. Do not follow them blindly.

About Creative HRM

Human Resources Management is an essential business function in organizations that gain the sustainable competitive advantage. The development of Human Resources Management Practices and Procedures is an important way to reach targets and growth. HRM always start with the introduction of basic HR Management Policies, and it develops into the Leadership Development, sophisticated Compensation and Benefits, Organization Design, Performance Management and Career and Succession Planning.

creative HRM is a personal informational project focused on the description of latest trends in Human Resources Management. HR is a quickly developing business function, and new HR trends or procedures occur often. However, the implementation of new trends is difficult, and we should learn from mistakes and successes of others. Connect and stay connected.

(c) 2012-16 creative HRM

Become a friend of creative HRM on Facebook, Twitter and Google. You can also visit my HR Tutorial.

Success Measuring Statistics

TOPlist