South-Western - Management  
Team Goals: The Whys, the Dos and the Don'ts
Topic Managing Teams
Key Words Teams, goal setting
InfoTrac Reference A115043309
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Many times, goal setting for team members is not formally organized or done at all. Goals are necessary to focus your efforts and propel you in the right direction. They also give team members something to strive for. Goals are also important in the performance appraisal process because they help measure progress and enable self-evaluation of performance.

Goals, however, do not automatically improve performance. Some fundamental principles will help achieve the desired outcome.

  1. Goal setting requires management skill. It is important for a manager to spend time with each person to understand how his or her goals will be meaningful and relevant.
  2. A mix of long-term and short-term goals works best.
  3. You should set goals with your team. When team members participate in goals setting, there is a better chance of success.
  4. Be specific and consistent. Make sure everyone understands the goals by quantifying what you want to achieve. Set milestones along the way to allow everyone to see if they are on track.
  5. Keep score. Celebrate achievements, make timely adjustments and offer support.
  6. Avoid setting goals based on outcomes. This can lead to perceptions of failure when outcomes aren't reached for reasons beyond that person's control.
  7. Don't set goals too low, they should be a challenge.
  8. Don't overwhelm with too many goals, or goals that aren't prioritized.


Name 5 reasons why it is important for individual team members to have goals.


What can a manager do to insure that the goals help achieve the desired outcome?

Source "Team Goals: The Whys, the Dos and the Don'ts," Wenatchee Business Journal, Oct. 2003, p. C7.
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