Goal Agreement on Employee Motivation: 2 Steps for Priority and Clear Communication!


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How do you motivate employees? By setting clear goals - actually quite simple. Why is it often wrong? And what can you do about it?

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Dr. Hagen Rudolph is an economist and social scientist and works as an independent author and lecturer.

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Employee motivation - what is important?

The behavior of their superiors is crucial to the motivation of employees.

  • How are they treated by their manager?
  • What is the power of leadership?
  • Are the employees not only challenged but also encouraged? Does the manager give instructions or set goals?

Management by target agreement or Management by Objectives (MbO) was developed in 1954 by Peter F. Drucker and made known by George S. Odiorne from 1965 onwards. The method has proven itself over many decades and comes in countless numbers Company for use. This e-book would like to show you, as a manager, how you can lead your employees successfully by agreeing on goals.

How does goal agreement work?

However, in practice, employee motivation often fails due to clear goals in communication. In doing so, company success can be significantly increased by means of target agreements. But how do goal definition, target agreement and target achievement talks work?

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The management by target agreement is a dynamic model - a cycle scheme that is run through cyclically. It consists of three steps:

  1. Define goals,
  2. Objectives meeting
  3. Achievement conversation

The next sections show you how you can use these steps as a management tool and thus increase the motivation of your employees and, related to that, the success of your company. You will then find out where difficulties can arise during implementation and what possible solutions there are. The method is based on a participatory management style and fair interaction between managers and employees. No previous knowledge is required for their implementation.

Clearly Communicate: 2 Steps to the optimal goal agreement

Management by target agreement runs cyclically through the stations target setting, target agreement and target achievement. A target period usually extends over a year.

1. Define goals

Before setting goals, you need at least a rough idea of ​​what they might look like. As a rule, you must adhere to guidelines when choosing goals: first and foremost, the overall goals of your company. These provide the framework. Department goals are derived from them. Individual goals of the employees in turn are derived from the department goals.

Companies, departments and groups are of course not acting individuals, but only organizational units. And their goals are only theoretical constructs. Making decisions, taking action, pursuing goals, creating value - only people like your employees and you can do that. Your interaction determines the success or failure of a company.

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But a year - the usual cycle time - is long, especially in a dynamic environment. Define interim goals (such as monthly or quarterly figures) and milestones (results at the end of certain project phases) so that you can already see during this time whether you are on the right track. Failure to meet intermediate goals and milestones serves as an early indicator for problems - as a signal to take corrective action at an early stage.

When you formulate goals, keep in mind that these should consist of two elements, namely

  1. the goal: - “What do I want to achieve?” - determined in measurable numbers (quantitative, e.g. number of items produced, sales, market share) or according to other quality criteria (qualitative, e.g. customer satisfaction, adherence to deadlines), and
  2. the measures: - “How do I want to proceed?” - defined in action plans.

Targets pre-formulated in this way are, however, still relatively imprecise. Therefore, specify your goals based on the following four dimensions:

  • Target direction: The target direction must be consistent with the corporate goals. It consists of the respective parameter (e.g. operating result, customer satisfaction) and its intended direction (e.g. improvement, reduction), so it could be an “improvement in results” or a “reduction in complaints”.
  • Measured variable: The measured variable must match the target direction and reflect this objectively in a suitable manner. For example, revenue is a suitable measure for improving results. So this would probably have to be increased.
  • Target amount: You can set the target amount in absolute figures (e.g. “Sales: 280.000 euros in the next calendar year”) or in relative figures (e.g. “plus four percent”).
  • Reference value: In the case of relative figures, you have to determine a reference value, ie around four percent increase in sales “compared to the previous year”.

Thus, one goal could be:

"We want to achieve an increase in sales of four percent compared to the previous year."

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Measures must now be derived to achieve these specific goals. Be clear and precise here too. Specify exactly ...

  • who (department, person ...)
  • what (project, task, measure ...),
  • when or when (dates or periods for interim, milestones, result),
  • (resources such as capital, materials, employees),
  • how (procedure) and
  • with which result (fixed target, see above)

... has to do.

After you have defined specific goals and precise measures to achieve them, you now need to communicate them. This brings you to the second step, the target agreement discussion.

2. Objectives meeting

The core of a target agreement is not the target - this could also be simply given - but the agreement. It is crucial that your employee takes on tasks and feels responsible for them - that he sees the tasks as challenges and tries to achieve them independently. Ideally, he identifies himself with the goals because he was involved in formulating them, so they in a sense bear his “signature”.

  1. Before a new period, both you as a manager and your employee consider for yourself which goals the employee can realistically achieve by the end of the upcoming period.
  2. For the actual target agreement, sit down with your employee and bring your and his ideas into line with one another. In particular, make sure that the agreed goals are in line with the general corporate goals. If you do not already know this, you must first explain this to your employee.
  3. Make yourself aware that the conversation should lead to a win-win situation. Make an effort together to achieve the most accurate, realistic assessment of the employee and his potential as well as the goals that he can achieve in his position in the company. No one is served by over- or under-demanding your employee. It is up to him to aim for realistic goals. And it is your job to help him do that.

As the superior, you are responsible for conducting the appraisal interview; both parties are responsible for the result. Conduct the conversation in an open and honest dialogue. The conversation thrives on reciprocity and the willingness to engage with the other's point of view.

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  1. Siggi willow

    Astrid Bülter - The same in green;)

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  3. Target agreement for employee motivation: 2 steps for clear communication! - Best of HR | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES. DE (Blog) - Current News24.info

    [...] Target agreement for employee motivation: 2 steps for clear communication! Best of HR | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES. DE (Blog) How does target agreement work? In practice, however, employee motivation through clear goals often fails due to communication. Corporate success can be significantly increased through target agreements. But how do goal definitions work, ... [...]

  4. kroppo

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  5. Competencepartner

    Basics of employee motivation: The main thing is to have clear goals !: Clear goals serve the employees ... - Exciting contribution4dSNCF68Oi #Creation #Education

  6. firm-job

    Basics of employee motivation: The main thing is to have clear goals !: Clear goals serve to motivate employees and ... - Exciting contributiontmdtgedMSg

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