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Objective Setting Effectively

Objective setting; It can prove a useful tool in the manager's armoury, helping to provide greater vision throughout the business. If done correctly, the establishing of goals and regular benchmarking provides managers and employees alike with a greater understanding of where they are, as well as where they need to be.

Equally though, the establishing of unrealistic objectives can prove demotivating. If set incorrectly, they can be equally as destructive as they are beneficial. Setting objectives is a balancing act in many ways and it takes a considerable amount of thought. If youre in the process of setting objectives or plan to do so, heres some things to consider...

Firstly, stop and take stock

Stop and examine every aspect of your business before you go about setting your objectives. The external environment too. Undertake a SWOT and PEST analysis, this helping to ensure that your objectives are shaped by sound research.

Having an idea of your businesses capabilities, as well as the current trading environment, will help in your objective creation.

Keep them SMART

The SMART acronym is something worth bearing in mind when you set your objectives, the respective letters standing for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Adhering to these five terms, you should be left with solid objectives, capable of acting as both a useful benchmarking and motivational tool.

Of course, the deeming of whats a realistic objective will vary throughout the business. Therefore its important to consider the next tip...

Consult your employees

Objectives should ideally be agreed through consultation with employees, rather than simply set by the Managers and Directors. If employees input isnt considered, this can lead them believing they work in dictatorial workplace...and as we see time and time again, dictatorships often collapse.

Let the workforce help shape your objectives. This should give them a greater sense of belonging and responsibility, thus leading to higher levels of motivation and job satisfaction.

Seek objective opinion

Consulting employees can go a long way to help you achieving this, their input ensuring your sheer enthusiasm doesnt get the better of you. They too though, may be a little overzealous, or perhaps equally cautious.

With this mind it may be wise to speak to some sort of business consultancy, their input can bring in a degree of impartiality.

Mark James
Crunch Accountancy

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