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  • Writer's pictureElvira Tapler

Benefits of Goal Setting in Organizations

As we transitioned into 2023, employment and personal development spaces are buzzing with the term “goal-setting”. Reflecting on the successes of the year past, practicing gratitude for our efforts, and devising a trajectory for the year (or decade!) ahead has become a very expected experience for many of us.

The value of goal setting can’t be underestimated. It is linked to increased motivation, self-esteem, confidence, and autonomy. When we set goals, we are biologically programming our brains to change or create new behaviors. Neuroplasticity implies that our brain can modify and adapt its structure in response to external stimuli. Therefore, goal setting reshapes our brain and allows us to succeed in reaching our goals.

According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, when we are motivated to reach our goals our perception of obstacles along the way is reduced. The act of setting a goal releases a powerful neurotransmitter dopamine which allows us to feel pleasure, drive, and satisfaction. Dopamine spikes when we set a goal and when we get close to achieving a goal. However, if dopamine “bookends” the goal achieving experience, the challenge is its lack in the middle phase, where we would need to take consistent and focused actions. The solution to this is in creating a structure and reinforcing discipline to achieve goals without mere reliance on willpower.

In the world of performance management and career development, goal setting is just as critical. The first step is to clearly define and communicate your company’s overall strategic goals. Those “lighthouse” goals will give direction to every department and all levels of employees on how to best utilize their time and resources to support the organization’s business goals. Next, we can enhance the employee goal setting experience when we give them the necessary tools and resources to set and achieve their goals. One of the goal-setting techniques widely used by organizations is developing SMART goals. It is a methodical and effective way of to make sure the goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-specific (Doran, Miller, & Cunningham, 1981).

The ultimate goal is for each team member to have a clear understanding of:

  • how their day-to-day work supports the organization’s strategy and overarching goals,

  • how to grow their technical expertise and career,

  • how to develop performance goals specific to their function,

  • where to seek assistance and coaching if they need support in developing their goals or identifying a sequence of steps to reach their goals.

In conclusion, organizations that offer the structure and context for their employees to reach their professional and personal goals are ultimately employers of choice. Creating a culture of cohesion, collaboration, inclusion, engagement and empowerment strengthens the company’s employment brand, employee value proposition, boosts revenues and profitability, and allows for the business to make a long-term positive impact on the marketplace.

If your organization is looking to establish or revitalize its existing performance management or career development programs, Integra HR LLC is here to help! Our consultants provide comprehensive boutique HR solutions uniquely tailored to your organizational needs and financial capabilities. Please check out Our Services page for more information.


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