The more buy-in you get from your employees about their jobs, the easier it is for them to get their jobs done. So, why not allow them to create their own set of goals? Some companies will give their employees free range on goal setting. Others will take a hybrid approach where their managers will give them the high-level goals and guidelines and will then let their employees come up with a plan.
One really important aspect of letting employees set their goals is to make sure that they are in line with the overall goals of the company. Employees may have ideas on what they want to do, but it doesn’t contribute well to what the company needs. This is where managers will need to overlook the process to make sure they are in sync. Employees also may not like the idea of creating their own goals because it makes them completely accountable.
At least when managers set goals for employees, they can blame it on the managers (at least internally) if the employees are not able to accomplish those goals. Some employees may try to set aggressive schedules with their goals just to impress the boss. They don’t give themselves enough time and set themselves up for failure. Hopefully, the boss can see through this and make adjustments. If members of the team do not complete their tasks on time, this can look bad for the boss as well. A good boss will ensure that each member can complete the necessary tasks on time.
It’s also possible that employees don’t have the necessary knowledge about what is involved in completing their tasks. They may list tasks that require higher-level manager authority and getting that authority is not accounted for in the plan. The employees also may not be aware of any costs associated with the tasks on their list which could create overages on the budget. These situations will require the manager’s approval and he or she should discuss any issues regarding the goals.
If a manager has several employees within a team, he or she may want them to work together on the goal setting effort. This will ensure that each team member knows what the other members are responsible for and take into account such issues as tasks that may be dependent on other members of the team. The team dynamic is strong when everyone is informed.