Employees Without Goals are Overhead

Author: Ron Hiller l  Published Date: 7/2014


Six-Sigma Isn’t Employee Engagement

Employee engagement according to industry pundits is the current magic elixir to improve an organization's competitiveness. Continuous quality improvement, process re-engineering and six- sigma are designed to reduce costs, and improve the quality and quantity of output, but they don't inherently drive employee engagement. A well oiled process requires engaged employees. All processes are optimized only when employees are fully engaged. Nothing drives employee engagement like setting and managing goals and recognizing the achievement of goals.


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Same O Same O

Let’s be honest, most jobs many of which are customer facing can be downright boring, and emotionally draining. If we start with the premise that we have hired a good employee who wants to do a good job and be recognized for his or her efforts; then it is the calling of every manager/leader to devise a goal and recognition system that brings those qualities forth. Each day countless employees in all lines of business arrive at work to face yet another shift of repetitious tasks – tasks that are essential yet often mindless and hollow. Motivating and incentivizing employees to approach uninteresting tasks with continuous enthusiasm is both challenging and necessary. If done correctly the results can be nothing short of miraculous.

Turning a Job into an Obsession

Employee engagement is like salsa. It can range from bland to mild to hot and over time if conditions aren’t right it can become rancid.   Full engagement or ‘hot’ occurs when a person is motivated to push themselves to the limit to achieve a goal.  A marathon runner comes to mind. A leader who is able to tap into an employee’s latent potential to tackle recurring and monotonous tasks with enthusiasm is worth their weight in gold.

HR’s Opportunity

Just as employee’s want and need recognition, manager/leaders share a similar need but on a different level. HR has a huge opportunity to foster a culture of goal setting and recognition. They can implement a manager appreciation program recognizing best practices and identify those leaders who have done an outstanding job at motivating and inspiring employees to become fully engaged. Employee engagement surveys are an excellent vehicle for uncovering best practices in this area.

I Don’t Have Time to Track Goals

If a manager lacks the bandwidth or the ability to manage a goal program with its attendant updates, spread sheets, or scorecards then they should consider a goal management system. An online system allows employees to manage and update their metrics, next steps, achievements and more. They become the architects of their achievements and the lead problem solvers who break down barriers that get in their way.


Can you imagine a race without a finish line, a game without a scoreboard, a course without a grade? Hard working honest people need, want and crave goals. Goals give us purpose and achievement gives us a sense of pride and worth. An employee in a job without goals is overhead! An employee in a job with goals is an appreciating asset! By the way, involve your team in designing their goal and recognition program. You will be amazed at their ideas and involvement.



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