Management Tip of the Day: Make goals ambitious, attainable

Fri Apr 1, 2011 10:31am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Goal-setting is important as a mechanism for providing ongoing and year-end feedback, and there are ways to establish goals that are both attainable and ambitious, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Helping employees set and attain goals is a critical part of every boss' job. Failure to meet goals can cause problems for the individual, you as the manager, and for the organization.

But goals that are too easy don't serve anyone. Here are three ways to make sure the goals you set with your people are both attainable and ambitious.

1. Connect to the big picture. Everyone wants to see how their work contributes to larger corporate objectives. Make this explicit in every goal.

2. Incorporate personal interests. If possible, sculpt the employee's responsibilities so that he can do things that he enjoys, making it more likely he'll succeed. If he has an interest in teaching, give him a role in training others.

3. Set stretch targets. Employees tend to rise to the standard set for them. The more you expect, the more they will achieve."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "Making Sure Your Employees Succeed" by Amy Gallo.

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