1. Me or We? Which Goal setting process is better?

    shutterstock_284519075Written By: Chris Miller, Product Center of Excellence Manager, Performance and Goals

    For many of us, setting goals is a very private process.  I need space to review who I am today and who I want to be in the future.  This requires a lot of self-reflection.  I have to be willing to reach inside and document what I do well and where I believe I struggle.  I may ask my manager or a mentor for their thoughts on the goals I have set for myself as a gut check.  My manager will offer suggestions for goals they believe I should work towards. This is typically where the goal setting process ends.  Conversations with my manager typically revolve around progress towards my goals and if there is anything they can do to help.  For me, goal setting has primarily been a two person process – primarily focused on my boss and my goal setting abilities.

    Now think back to the last time you were part of a group trying to accomplish a goal.  It may have been stressful and there may have been times where you felt like “you could do it better yourself”.  The age old saying however is still true – Two heads are better than one!  Each person in the group brings a perspective to share.  They bring an approach and organizational style.  They bring an external network of connections to call upon in times of need.  These are all necessary pieces of the puzzle to pull together and figure out how each member can contribute ideas and actions towards the group’s ultimate success.

    Let’s put these two concepts together.  In this blog, we will take a look at how collaboration and team work could be the key to a better goal setting experience and ultimately how it could lead to a positive performance management culture.  With happy people who are looking forward to thinking about bettering themselves and their career, the employee engagement scores inside the company are bound to skyrocket.

    In my personal life, I have used collaboration sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and in my business life, I have used SuccessFactors’ Jam to collaborate and share information.  Recent research suggests that the future of performance management will be more real time, and collaborative.  This got me to thinking about how Jam could be used today in the goal setting process.

    1)     Strategic goal messaging – Many times we hear what the company’s strategic goals and messages are through the eyes of others.  Think about the power of messaging from the Leadership team providing short personal videos about the company strategy and what it means to them.  Seeing and feeling their connection to the company is the key for others to believe and want to join in.

    2)     Recommendations provided through usage – Jam will explore what you have recently looked at and provide recommendations on additional things that might interest you.  Maybe there is a document posted on strategy you didn’t know about but it would really be insightful.  Maybe there is a blog post that was written about exactly how you thinking.  Having the program work for you and look for things you might not otherwise be aware of is like having a second pair of eyes at your disposal.

    3)     Jam Groups – the possibility are endless with how groups can be used in the goal setting process.  You could be automatically entered into groups when you start with an organization based on your department or your job to quickly connect and start building relationships in the organization. Those groups can be used to acclimate you into the organization and help provide a starting point for goal setting.  You could also utilize Jam groups to create a workspace for projects to discuss project goals, collaborate on working documents, share creative ideas and gather the group’s feedback. The more free and open the group is the better the project’s end results will be.

    4)     Blogs and Discussions– Jam creates a space to share creative ideas and have others comment on them. Think about the possibilities if you posted a thought or idea on a goal you were pondering or having a hard time writing down on paper.  Now think about that same goal being a topic of conversation amongst your team, and your peers where they can help you strategize on how to be successful.   Will this solution be perfect – no! Not everyone will be helpful or be interested in helping you achieve your goals.  As this process gains steam and people see how it has helped others, one can only hope that people will use this process and look to help the greater good of all and the company.

    5)     Tasks – True to many goal setting programs, Jam can create tasks so that detailed actions and processes can be tracked.  People can be held accountable for their action items and alerts and notifications can be sent.  Goal setting is only part of the process – once they are set, we have to watch them, nurture them, and be sure they are frequently checked up on to be sure we are headed in the right direction.

    6)     Polls – We have all done it – log in and answer a quick question, just so we can see the results of what everyone else said.  Think about a world where these polls are utilized to gain quick feedback on company strategies and goal alignment.  Or gaining positive reinforcement about how everyone is moving forward with their goal achievement…. Seeing how others are doing could be the catalyst you need to dig in and see yourself being successful.

    Social collaboration is a way of life for many of us personally.  We wake up to look at Facebook to see what others are doing.  We make posts and display pictures hoping for some internal gratification.  Why can’t the same ideas and concepts become part of our daily performance management conversation?  The answer is – IT CAN!!  The future of performance management will be riddled with collaboration, frequent feedback and personal connections.    We are in an exciting time in the field of performance management and goal setting.  We get to see for the first time in twenty to thirty years of doing it one way, a new light, a new way to think about ourselves, and new way for organizations and cultures to grow and be successful. Take the leap today – take one goal you are struggling with and post it out there for a few of your close work friends to get their thoughts and ideas…. See where it takes you and consider if you are willing to take a risk next time in the name of goal success.


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