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Principles of Management

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Goal Setting: A Managers Role vs. the Employee’s Role

“How do you get your employees to perform better?”

“Are your employees focused, motivated, organized and driven?”

“What goals have been established for your employees?”

These are a few of the many questions I asked to multiple managers within the company that I work for. Being a relatively new employee, working there for a little over a year, I wanted to ask these questions. Not to see how different managers felt about specific employees, but to get an overall view of how their jobs as managers directly affected each and everyone’s job performance.

Management is a science of how an individual works with a group of people, oversees their performance, and tries to effectively and efficiently get them to exceed the goals set forth by the company. It is a science that has guidelines and rules to follow, but varies from one employee to the next.

There are four basic pillars to success when it comes to managing your employees: plan, organize, direct, and monitor . These pillars can be incorporated into many different aspects of management, but no other aspect is more important than that of goal setting.

Management starts with planning, and good planning starts with the formation of goals. Without a proper plan in place the achievement of goals will never come and if

they do they won’t be repeatable. An effective manager will figure out what the goal is and then figure out the best possible way to achieve the goal. I asked our sales manager late last week (Hodsdon, Len Personal Interview, May 10, 2005), “Would you agree that planning is the first step in forming goals?” He answered:

“I would have to agree. Planning is a very important part of goal setting, if not the most important. If you don’t have a good plan of attack and knowledge of company direction, you won’t succeed in setting forth either obtainable or stretch goals for your employees.”

Once you have a plan the next step is to organize everything you need to execute your plan and prepare your employees for the goals you have established for them. As a manager you have to ask yourself, are your employees prepared to do their part in order to accomplish the goals that you have set forth for them? If you answer yes to this then it is important to relay these goals to them and ensure that they are properly informed and understand the goals they are required to achieve. I asked our tech. manager if he covers all bases before he relays any goals to his employees (Rogers, Stan Personal Interview May 10, 2005). He then answered:

“In order for me to properly prepare any of my employees for their monthly goals I have to go over all of the information multiple times before I can effectively relay the message to them. Otherwise, if I’m not organized, they won’t be organized out on the job and in the office.”

Pillar three, direct is next. This is where the manager simply flips on the switch and turns on the lights for the employees. They are given the goals that have been established for them and have been released. It is now up to the employees to take the information that they were given and effectively and efficiently perform their duties to

the best of their abilities. Our internet services manager said it best by saying (Brown, Phil Personal Interview, May 15, 2005):

“Direction is the essence of goal setting. What path will your employees travel down if not directed down the right path? Some will meet their goals but more times most of them will head for the light and never reach it. If the manager does in fact divulge all of the necessary information, they will see that overall job performance will remain high and the employees will be better equipped to meet their goals.”

Now that the employees have all of the information that they need and they are off and running, the manager must now monitor their performance. Managers must make sure that everything is going according to the plan. When it isn’t going as planned, the manager must step in and adjust the plan. They have to always be aware of what’s going on so that they can make the adjustments that are required. This is a continual process that stays intact for as long as the goals are being implemented. Once the goals have changed, the four pillars of goal setting for a manager must be reshaped.

With goals set forth and employees on the

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