M7 – Motivation Concepts

This week we are studying Motivation Concepts. As you have read, there are a lot of theories written on the subject. The most cited early theory is probably Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.   Some of the more contemporary theories of motivation include Self-Efficacy Theory, Reinforcement Theory, Equity Theory, Expectancy Theory and the Goal-Setting Theory.   This discussion focuses on the Goal-Setting Theory.

On page 234 in the text, read the Point and Counterpoint argument for “Goals Get You to Where You Want to Be.”   After reading both sides (Point and Counterpoint), answer the following questions.   Then log back in after Wednesday to reply to one of your classmates.

“To Goal or Not to Goal,” that is the question. Which point do you believe is more effective in motivating employees?   Why?   Provide one example to support your position.

82 Comments for “M7 – Motivation Concepts”

says:

Which point do you believe is more effective in motivating employees? Why? Provide one example to support your position. I believe the most effective point in motivating employees is definitely goal setting. I feel this way because the concept shows how it may result in higher performance through goal setting, goal acceptance, and feedback. I would also agree that the counter argument makes good points against this theory as well although I feel that the negative outcomes for individuals lies within their expectations of self as well as the company. So as a manager, when giving feedback it would be important and courteous to give feedback in a constructive way while also setting goals in a manner where neither side expects too much of themselves, or the other. It is important to be consciously aware of our employee’s feelings, as we were all in their shoes once before. I believe a good manager is someone who can relate and empathize with their employees while still drawing a clear line between that and managerial duties.

atfinnigan

says:

“To Goal or Not to Goal,” that is the question. Which point do you believe is more effective in motivating employees? Why? Provide one example to support your position.

Goals are not only good but necessary in a corporate setting both as a manager or leader and as a subordinate. As a manager you must set goals not only for yourself but for your company to meet. This will flow down the corporate hierarchy and in tern set goals indirectly for your subordinates. Goals of the company become the goals of the people working for it and under you. As a person working under a management team you must set personal goals for both production and career. These goals must be reasonable, and able to be met. Setting goals outside of the bounds of reason set you up for failure. Where failing to meet goals is demoralizing. These personal goals not only drive your outcome of production but outcome of success. So i am very much in the camp “to goal” but to do so within reason and make your goal line fluid, if their is a reason your goal cant be met that is outside of the bounds of your control, then reassess and set a new goal line.

Chris

says:

To Goal or Not to Goal,” that is the question. Which point do you believe is more effective in motivating employees? Why? Provide one example to support your position.

After reading the Point/Counterpoint section I see valid points to both sides of the argument. Goals are important but they must be two things. They must realistic and reasonable. If one sounds goals that are realistically obtainable the chances of cheating should be greatly reduced. I think that that when goals are unreasonable, and the only way to achieve the goal is by cheating, the goal is flawed. I think that the goals that one sets can also be heavily influence by the outside expectation placed on the goal setter. You often see this in the world of bodybuilding. To be competitive you have to be bigger and more defined than the next guy. This often causes the competitors to set goals that are unrealistic and unachievable. These outside expectations and unreasonable goals but the competitor usually ends up cheating with steroids. Whether in sports or in the workplace, I think that it is important for employer to set goals that are reasonably obtainable for the employee. The goal setter also need to gauge the goals to the potential of the employee.

ateslow

says:

After reading your post on to goal or not to goal I realized that many of us students share the same viewpoints towards Goals. It seems that we, as business students would prefer goal’s rather then not. the connection you made between cheating and body building was a great example and I regret not doing something similar in my post. I always viewed steroids as “the easy option” and through your example i can now see how when it comes to goals, we as the “goal achiever” have the option to take the easy way to achieve the goal, or the ethical/moral “right way” and in both options we benefit or suffer from the consequences.

fagallagherroach

says:

I agree with your perspective on goals that are not attainable through fair practices. Since American’s are obsessed with achievement, we see in today’s society that the newer, bigger, better and brighter is ever before us. It makes for an unrealistic view of unreal expectations and cause people to set goals that tend to frustrate not motivate.

ccgallegos

says:

Hi Chris, I like what you said about goals needing to be realistic and within appropriate expectation. After all, how successful is the goal if it drives one toward unethical decision making only to reach the end state. I feel like we have the same perception, that goals can be beneficial, so long as they are within reason. I know one of my favorite sayings is “if there’s a will, there’s a way” and I think that can be applied toward goal achievement too, and I think it adds a sense of creativity which should be considered prior to cheating or rule breaking.

says:

Quite often people set goals in their personal lives that aren’t achievable in a realistic time frame and I think it is great that you called that out in a way, because it is a point overlooked. It is nice to dream and imagine that we can do the impossible but it is important to set safe guidelines to work within so that the goal is made possible to be met. I think there is a way that works for everyone, it just takes the right person to be patient enough and willing to work with the more difficult employees and less motivated.

cgmcmakin

says:

I thought the arguments made against goal setting were at-least a little off base. Claiming that setting goals creates anxiety about reaching them and also claiming that failing to reach your goal is harmful. Part of the reason for setting goals is to create that worry about not reaching it. This pushes you to exert more effort in the pursuit of the goal and is also a good indicator that your goals are set high enough. It makes no sense to set a goal that you don’t have to worry about completing. “Once a hard task has been accepted, we can expect the employee to exert a high level of effort to try and achieve it” (Robbins 216). Failure isn’t inherently harmful. Yes failure may weigh on the individual but there is much more good to be had. It’s an opportunity to learn what went wrong and what you can do better. Even if you fail to reach your goal, you likely out performed your previous self if you set your goal high enough.

Chris

says:

I agree with your statement about goals can often “drive” someone to achieve them. I think that another thing to consider is who created the goal. I think that sometimes internal self goals are greater than goals set by outside sources.

Michael Dilny

says:

I think setting goals are much more effective than not setting them. It was exciting to read that there was evidence supporting this theory (Robbins, p.216, 2017). Setting a specific goal gives a person something to achieve that is not vague; for example, setting a goal such as getting an A in class, is vastly better than a goal such as just passing a class. It provides a specific goal, that is difficult, and will likely provide positive feedback as discussed in the text (Robbins, p.216, 2017). It seems that reinforcement theory, organizational justice, and expectancy theory are dependent on goals and if you remove them you have removed a large component of motivation; Exhibit 7-9 in this chapter clearly illustrates this (Robbins, 232, 2017). However, the counterpoint does make a good argument as to how goals could cause unethical behavior. In reality, I think that it is up to the individual to ensure they uphold a standard of ethics regardless of how much temptation there may be to compromise their integrity. The argument for not setting goals due to factors being out of our control is interesting. However, there are always going to be things out of our control related to our goals (unexpected variables); I would think that overcoming these issues that come up would just cause for reassessing the situation and setting a more realistic goal.

Reference:
Robbins S. P., Judge T.A. (2017). Organizational Behavior (17th Ed.). [Kindle Version]. Pearson Education.

Austyn

says:

Hey Michael! Good post. I think having a strong code of ethics in these cases is important, but I can definitely see how these situations could come up. Difficult goals are good, but what if it isnt achievable? Perhaps your manager is of the type that says “I don’t need excuses, I need results!” This type of manager may assign a goal that is simply impossible, yet you feel pressured to somehow meet this goal so you don’t lose your job. This could lead you to cut corners or do things you normally wouldn’t do.

-Austyn B.

mbeza

says:

I completely agree with goal setting. Having an end state in mind is a big motivator for myself and many other people. I think the issue occurs in the goal setting process or goal parameters themselves. Many people tend to set goals that can be very hard to achieve. Goals that seem more like dreams than actual achievable accomplishments. Small achievable, incremental goals that help in motivating and achieving your final end state I feel are better suited. If not then I can see how goal setting can be more detrimental than beneficial. Having to worry about the big picture and wondering if you will ever reach it, rather than taking it a step at a time and feeling motivated for accomplishing the smaller parts

gdgrigals

says:

I agree that achieving small parts is more motivational than thinking about the big picture. Taking step-by-step is the best option, I think in every life situation you have to think about the small parts who can lead to big results. If that’s the way to keep an employee motivated then manager should keep setting small goals instead of a big one that feels impossible to achieve.

atfinnigan

says:

I agree that the number one issue people have with goal setting is setting the bar to high. I am guilty of this and in the past it has caused me to take on to much both at work and in school. One thing I have done to try and curve this is to have hard work limits as they compare with time spent. Basically if I am dragging my work home and its cutting into my family life, then my expectations and goals are set to high. Great point, thanks!

Moses

says:

It is better to goal in order to effectively motivate employees. According to the self-serving prophecy and Pygmalion effect, a lack of motivation in management decreases performance in employees and vice versa. Also, it is suggested we focus on goals to reduce errors and biases in decision making, which also helps maintain rationality.

Example: I just don’t see how all employees will be motivated without goals set forth by managers or by both managers and employees. Yes we can see that performing well and maximizing our output is great in a job but to hear it from our leaders makes it more meaningful and motivates us. Provided we are receiving feedback from our managers about our performance. Not all employees will strive to do their best when left to their own devices and can lead to wasteful practices by the employees via CWB for instance. Just because an employee did well in the job interview doesn’t mean he/she is a self motivated employee who will do wonders in their position. They might have lied or been deceitful in the interview without even knowing it themselves while the interviewers were drawn in by the first impressions of this “excellent job candidate”. Motivation from an external source is beneficial for all as long as we’re not smothered or pushed to our limits by it.

cgmcmakin

says:

Feedback is the key. Employees should be be affirmed and rewarded when completing goals. McClelland’s theory of needs says that high achievers perform better in a job that have a high degree of personal responsibility, feedback and adequate risk (Robbins 213). I think it would also be effective to let employees set their own goals so they can have that personal responsibility McClelland talked about.

mabarreto2

says:

Goals are definitely the better route to go when motivating employees. Goals allow people to see progress. They also allow you to adjust your sails to make sure you are headed in the right direction. Without goals, people simply just drift in whichever way the wind takes them. In motivating employees, it is important to set goals to make sure your employees grow as people and with the organization. Without goals, employees stay stagnant and don’t grow. I remember listening to a podcast that mentioned someone having ten years of experience in a job but posed this question: does he really have ten years of experience, or one year of experience repeated over for ten years? Without goals, people simply keep the same experience they have and repeat it over the course of their career.
One example I have is my current venture to in becoming a firefighter. I had to set goals. I had to research what it takes and prerequisites before you can even apply. I set goals to meet them in a timely manner so that I could apply by a certain time frame. I accomplished my goals in a timely manner and now am in the process of applying to several departments. The fear of failure should not stop you from setting goals. You should embrace failure as it comes to you. Failure is a part of life. You will get through it. Failure makes you stronger.

Moses

says:

I agree with you, goals create room for growth! This is one topic I didn’t touch on in my post. I enjoyed reading about the podcast you once heard: “does he really have ten years of experience, or one year of experience repeated over for ten years?” It is an eye opener for me and motivates me to be more goal oriented! Because I enjoy growing in all aspects of my life whether it be family, work or play.

I haven’t been too keen on creating goals until reading your post actually. I tend to overwhelm myself in creating goals because they are foreign to me. I grew up in a rural town in Alaska speaking a different version of English than any other person in any city. I felt goals took too much time and it always caused me to focus less on the task at hand. I fell into calendaring one year and totally enjoyed writing down deadlines but ignored the goals sections of these motivational calendars. I plan on taking a deeper look into setting goals without becoming overwhelmed. Thank you for your post!

jbjohnkins

says:

I think both sides of the arguments are valid, Because sometimes setting goals and falling a little short causes stress on you. But then goal setting keeps you focused and motivated on your goals. I believe in the point of goal setting, first, for myself, I keep a folder of my goals for the week. Which helps me keep focus and finish my stuff in a timely matter. For a company, I feel you must be setting goals. For being in a manager position, your gonna need the practice of setting goals. Setting goals puts you into a mindset that motivates you to do better. You know that your company has an opening for an executive position. With goal setting, You start working harder doing your job better and going beyond your work ethic. Especially if they have a high level of job engagement. If you don’t set goals you or your employees would lose motivation and also lose organization. And as a result, your company would fail. I believe at the end of the day it depends on the person. Some people can’t handle the stress of goal setting, I think that comes when too many goals are set. But I believe the golden ticket comes when you focus on one goal at a time. If your employees are more goal-oriented they will get way more done. Following McClelland’s theory of needs. High achievers perform best when they perceive their probability of success at 50/50. Setting goals know matter how you look at it is gonna raise your percentage of success. “If you don’t design your life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” — Jim Rohn

Michael Dilny

says:

I have to agree that falling short can cause stress at times and that goals keep you focused and motivated. I found it interesting that you use a folder to keep your goals for the week; I do the same except use I use Trello. I agree with what you said about setting too many goals as well, and it causing stress; I am in that predicament right now having taken 21 credit hours – stressful for sure but attainable (I wouldn’t do this again or recommend it). That was a great quote you posted, so true.

fagallagherroach

says:

In the practice of goal setting, I find setting goals is best as to not setting any. It gives you focus. It provides guidance to individuals. If there are not a set goals set established you are more likely to drift and not achieve. An organization that does not have clear and concise markers for their employees sets themselves, their employees and clientele up for possible failure. Any achievement would be a situation of happenstance. I believe goals are to be guidelines and indicators of progress. If a project needs to be finished by a certain date it needs to be clearly stated at the onset of the task.

I find when the goals are overstated is when you have failure. In the case of losing 100 pounds we need to focus on the small tasks first. It can be daunting to try to tackle a goal all at once. A one step at a time approach is easier to accomplish. You would tell the person lets lose 10 pounds and adjust as we progress towards reaching our ultimate goal. As we like to say in our home, “We don’t eat a sandwich as a whole, but one bite at a time.” And if the reward or punishment is deemed reasonable the motivation to reach the goals would be more appropriate in response. If the punishment is too harsh, people are tempted to use some sort of unethical tactics to avoid it. If the reward is too lucrative it may have the same results.

jbjohnkins

says:

I believe you’re absolutely right when goals are overstated you set yourself up to fail. And you end up becoming stressed and angry. I think your also correct when you say it’s easier to focus on the small task of the goal. Instead of the big picture. Again setting goals just stresses you out when you do it wrong.

mbeza

says:

I completely agree with you about the smaller goals within the overall end state. As a famous quote states “How do you eat and elephant, one bit at a time.” The same goes with goals, we have to take small steps to get to our final “goal”. Those small steps, goals, will provide the motivation and direction needed to achieve our ultimate goal.

Michael Dilny

says:

I agree that setting goals are a better approach than not setting any, and how you mentioned not setting goals for employees could them up for possible failure. I like your analogy of the sandwich in relation to goals. It does seem that that is often the best approach; I have a tendency to set the bar too high at times, so this really resonated with me.

Austyn

says:

I think the “Point” side is more convincing, but I think the counterpoint raises important concerns. First of all, let me say that setting goals is a good thing. It lets you hold yourself accountable. Should we set goals for everything? No, but setting goals lets us feel rewarded and can help us chip away at a large task that would otherwise seem insurmountable. As a manager, you need to be careful when you set goals for others. In the counterpoint the article uses cheating and aversion to risk as examples brought on by goals. By setting reasonable goals that do not have outweighed penalties, I think goals can be very motivational. For example, if I was managing a retail store my goal for the store might be “Lower customer wait times 10% within six months.” This is a fairly broad goal, so it would be narrowed down further into specific goals for departments and positions. This broad goal gives a clear sense of purpose though. If every employee is made aware of that goal, each employee will be on the same playing field and be able to give feedback and suggestions on how to achieve it. Another important thing to consider in goal setting is the reward. “If I work 60 hours this week, I will have a big paycheck and be able to buy my girlfriend a gift.” A reward in the workplace has to be something that actually holds value to the employees. A pizza party, surprisingly, is not the number one way to win your employees affection. Haven’t you seen the Wold of Wall Street?

jsferlauto

says:

I think you raise a good point about employers setting goals for employees. In line with self-determination theory, a goal that isn’t set by the individual employee can be seen as forced and can lower their intrinsic motivation to make the goal. It’s better for someone to be able to have the autonomy to set their own goals, so that the goal doesn’t just feel like a requirement. I know that that is the case for myself when I set goals. I also think that in general when we think of rewards for goals we are thinking of extrinsic rewards, while intrinsic rewards tend to be more effective for employee behavior.

racheledson

says:

Hello Austyn,
I liked how you mentioned the importance of making sure the goal is realistic so that unethical behavior will be less used. As we see in the text, setting too hard of goals can create anxiety and worry amongst employees (which can create a need for unethical behavior) (p. 234), or cause people to not even try to reach the goal. I thought it was great that you stated that the reward for achieving the goal needed to be of value to the employees. Like we have learned throughout this class, everyone is different in their values and personalities. By learning what circumstances individuals work best under, such as in McClelland’s Theory of Needs where we learn that high achievers prefer to work with intermediate goals (p. 213), I believe that goals would then be set in ways that enhance employees productivity while also lowering the chance of risks.

Great post!

racheledson

says:

Both arguments made in “To Goal or Not to Goal” were very valid. On the one hand, setting goals can help people perform better. Whereas in the counterpoint, setting goals can leave a sense of failure, pressure for unethical behavior, and lead to poorer performance. I believe that determining whether or not goals would be useful in the job is very complex and must be carefully crafted. Like we have learned in earlier chapters, each worker functions differently and has unique personalities. For instance, as we see in McClelland’s Theory of Needs, some people are driven to excel through their need for achievement by setting intermediate goals (p. 212-13) while others, such as those with the need for affiliation, do not tend to prefer working with such goals. I believe that goals are effective in motivating employees, however, it must be done in a way that best fits the coworkers, looks at more than just the single standard, and ensures that goals are met in ethical ways. If goals are not set this way, I believe that the point of motivating employees to be more productive can cause anxiety (which would, in turn, create a poorer performance) as well as lead to unethical behavior (p. 234). In my personal experience, I tend to do better when I just have a “do my best” mindset. Whenever I give myself a set goal, I usually am so concerned about avoiding failure that I get frustrated and give up. But when I just take the pressure off of myself and just trust that I am smart enough to be able to ace a test, I tend to score much better. While this may not work best for everyone, I have found that this outlook is the most successful way to set my personal goals.

rsrudoy

says:

When it comes to “Goal or Not to Goal”, I’m going to have to pick the goal option. In an organization there is a variety of different people and I believe each of them have a dream or “goal” that they want to accomplish. I understand that setting goals can be difficult because life can take an unexpected turn and our goal that worked on could become a dead end. However, I believe no matter what happens organizations/we/employees should all have one goal that we really want to accomplish. This way we have something to motivate us for the future. I used to work in retail for many years and store performance “goal setting” was something employees had to follow. Looking back at it, if we didn’t have those store sales goals could the store really become successful? So, in other words, yes, I think goals should be set in all environments.

mbeza

says:

I agree about having organizational goals. They can provide guidance, direction and motivation. I think the issue arises when the “goals” set become too much of an external pressure and workers start to feel overwhelmed by the demands that some businesses can place on them. Organizations need to make sure that the goals set are realistic, achievable and motivating. Employees will suffer and middle management will be to blame since they are the once that have face time with the employees.

nkdong

says:

I personally think this is a difficult one, because everyone is different. Also, some jobs simply aren’t designed to provide professional development and growth. However, in an organization where growth and advancement are possible, I believe that goal-setting can be extremely beneficial.

Using myself as an example, as a military pilot, there is always a “next step” to achieve. Coming out of flight school, the greatest next step is pilot in command. Things such as maturity, responsibility, problem solving and decision making, performance under stress and technical/tactical knowledge are continuously evaluated while progressing toward pilot in command. Using this as a goal to strive for is almost a requirement for any pilot that wants to progress their career and remain competitive in their field.

Where I believe the issue lies for some people is that goals are not set properly or realistically, as the counterpoint spoke of. For example, setting a goal of “make pilot in command” is a great overarching goal, but it isn’t very specific. It doesn’t answer questions such as “when”, “how”, etc. For this, I like setting smaller SMART goals for myself to achieve a greater goal. These goals would be for different steps of the process of making pilot in command, rather than the end of the process itself.

For those that haven’t heard of SMART goals:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-based

Because some goals may not seem as quantifiable as others, it may take some creativity in setting certain goals.

jsferlauto

says:

I believe that reasonable goal setting can provide more motivation than not setting goals. They don’t have to be set in stone, and the goal is more to just give employees a focus. In my personal experience I’ve found that rewards are beneficial to motivating people to fulfill their goals, but punishments are not effective for maintaining morale.
I’m of the opinion that several smaller goals end up being more effective than one large vague goal. This is supported by Management study guide website, which says “Specific and clear goals lead to greater output and better performance. Unambiguous, measurable and clear goals accompanied by a deadline for completion avoids misunderstanding.” Instead of setting the goal of passing college, a more specific and controllable goal would be to complete and submit assignments early to avoid losing points on them, or making study note cards before a big examination.
Setting goals can be used to give employees focus on how to effectively direct their time while working, because sometimes there is a set-in stone time-frame for how long a project to take. In the case of manufacturing a ladder truck for a fire department, different teams work on different parts of it. The people doing the electrical work can’t start doing their job until the team putting the frame together has completed their part of it. If the frame isn’t done on time it puts the entire project behind, which effects other teams and can jeopardize future purchases through the company.
I do agree that there are some times when setting goals will demotivate employees, such as when someone is not able to do their best work to make the deadline of a goal. Setting goals for some fields such as sales can cause competition and conflict between members of the workplace. Its for this reason that I think goals are situational, and some organizations wont benefit from goal-setting, but many will.

Sources
“MSG Management Study Guide.” Goal Setting Theory of Motivation, https://www.managementstudyguide.com/goal-setting-theory-motivation.htm.

Nathaniel Savel

says:

After reading the text for this week, specifically, the text regarding Goals Get You to Where You Want to Be I believe the point is much more effective at motivating the majority of employees. Now I say the majority of employees because every employee and person has different things that motivate them. As the counterpoint suggests, there may be some individuals that get anxiety from goal setting or they may perform unethical acts to achieve those goals. For me personally and I believe the majority of people, goal-setting is vital to success and will allow you to achieve success much more effectively. An example used in the text that I believe explains it perfectly is when it discusses test-taking and that if your goal is to get a 95 on the exam you will ultimately perform better, even if you don’t quite reach that 95%. I do think that the goals you set should be achievable though because if you are constantly not reaching these goals that you are dead set on it can be very discouraging.

I am a very goal-driven individual and it is something that has helped me in my career so far. When I first started working in the fire service my supervisor had me set three short term goals and 1 long term goal. My short term goals were to achieve my fire inspector certification, achieve my Associate’s degree in Fire Science, and achieve my Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. My long term goal was to obtain a career position in the fire service. I made those goals a year ago and it allowed me to set my mind to achieving these goals and last year I got my fire inspector certification and my Associate’s degree in Fire Science. I am on track to get my Bachelor’s degree in May and will start looking for job positions very soon. These goals have allowed me to be successful thus far in college and in my life. It is also important to make the goals you set to be obtainable and not so hard to get that you won’t be able to achieve them. If an individual does this, they may very well do the different actions that the counterpoint suggests. To sum it up, I believe that the point is a much stronger argument for most individuals if goals that are set are realistic and achievable.

Jennifer Griffen

says:

Setting goals can be intimidating for a lot of personalities and managers need to be aware of how that affects an employee. When goals are too difficult, many people simply give up and stop trying. I agree that when you have a big life plan it is good to set realistic and attainable goals. Four years ago, I planned to graduate in December 2019 with my bachelor’s degree, start a new career, a new life, etc. I earned an AA and AS degree along the way. After making a lot of personal sacrifices to attend school, a situation which was out of my control happened and completely derailed my plan. We had a house fire this past February, I lost everything, and I had to take two incomplete grades. Barring any more tragedies, I will now graduate May of 2020. Goal setting got me to this point, but I was so laser focused on my December graduation that when I think of this delay, it is frustrating. All my life goals centered on and around graduating on this date. Being a goal-driven person myself, I found that I became too rigid in my goals and need to re-frame my own thinking to tolerate this situation. Goals are good, but sometimes if you go off track, you must be flexible and persistent.

mreichgott

says:

The overall value of goal-setting can be seen in the gamification of more areas of society, relying on the innate need for competition, feedback, reward, and socialization. People like to keep score. In the workplace, goal-setting seems to rely on the importance of employing intrinsically motivated staff whose need for achievement makes them open to specific and challenging goals. The role of the manager then becomes employing the right personalities in the right jobs for the company mission, and shaping the office culture so that employees evolve to match the mentality around them. A good manager ‘gamifies’ the workplace, identifying unique motivations, like generational values, and helping an employee find value in their contribution to the bigger picture. Even in an individualistic culture where financial incentives, like commissions, can work, an organization must include rewards for non-revenue jobs and group tasks to maintain staff flexibility and adaptation. Danger still lies in employees setting low goals, or ‘just doing their best’, which can lead to equity stress or doubt in organizational justice. External goals must also be carefully set in context, to relieve employees of responsibility for results beyond their control; it doesn’t mean that goal-setting is wrong.

When employees contribute to their own goals and contribute to management by objective, it emphasizes their personal contributions to the greater mission. They are part of a team. Goal-setting does not have to be tied to material or promotional approaches; it can be connected by organizational values, like contributing to the survival of a nonprofit. Manager-mandated goals, however, can lead to the dangers of unethical behavior and anxiety that plagued Wells Fargo recently. Pressure to sell more products and achieve unrealistic performance goals created an unethical environment and eventually cost jobs, and the company money and public trust. The pressure to sell, and the acceptance of those lofty goals, was not the theoretical goal-setting that strengthens the bonds of an organization.

bfarnes

says:

I like your mention of gamification of work, and how goal-setting can play into that. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do more of but it can be challenging to do it right. I know I’ve worked with vendors who have literally gone so far as to turn training into a game of some sort, with competitive goals and everything, and it can be very hit or miss depending on how well they do it. Some people love it but for others it can really make them tune out. There also that I work for a company that makes video games so the expectation of quality is pretty high if you’re going to try to make a game out of something.

I also like that you pointed out the dangers of managers setting goals. People are going to find ways to succeed, and if there are incentives that reward undesired or unethical behaviors some people are going to do that. You can also have those people who will do the absolute minimum that fulfills the letter of the goal, so if you have someone like that on your team you have to spell out every detail of what you want accomplished which can be frustrating.

nkdong

says:

I definitely agree that sales based goal setting by managers can cause more problems than it’s worth. I also believe that managers in any type of organization can include employees in individualized goal setting without any possibility of “foul play”. I’m thinking more along the lines of professional development and professional growth here.

ateslow

says:

Goal setting theory is a powerful tool that can be used to better oneself and there environment or business. Visualization is a strong tool that many employee’s in the workplace use every day. Typically every business has goals , also every business should have the goal to be profitable, if they weren’t profitable, then they probably wont be around as often. Typically in sales jobs. A company head manager would place a goal to sell a specific amount of a product, then a compensation will be provided once said goal was achieved as a means to motivate the sale team. Many employee’s might not like having set goal’s because it can be used as evidence of under-performance, or could be used as an excuse to terminate ones job. I personally believe that a business will be less successful if they do not set goals for there employees, however there is an art form to incentive base goal making. For example, A car dealership might set a goal for its sales department to sell a certain amount of cars, However instead of setting a car sell limit on the department, which could possibly make some salesmen anxious, they could create a Sales competition were the 1st place winner get’s something big, like a new car, and the second place winner get’s new barbecue equipment. Incentive a goal in this manner would create a competition way of achieve a set goal. Sales job’s often need goal’s in order to turn a profit. to not set any goals at all is like not having a direction. As far as i’m concerned about the counterpoints stated in the reading, i do not agree that goals can lead to poor job performance, however i do agree that it could cause more unethical decisions to occur. However the Pro’s outweigh the Con’s in this field and personally i believe setting a list of achievable goals benefits all aspects of an individuals life such as ones self image, job performance, and self fulfillment.

arbankston

says:

To goal or not to goal. I think goals can be helpful for some people, especially ones that are motivated by outside factors. Of course, there are other people who do not respond well to goals or the confinement of a deadline, which either demotivates them because they don’t feel that they can achieve the goal or causes them to make shortcuts, cheating, and modified behavior. This question can really only be answered once you know what kind of employees you’re working with. I think goals are great, personally. It’s nice to feel the satisfaction that accompanies accomplishing goals and moving on to the next one. I think the best way to make goals for employees and to also eliminate harm caused by goal-setting is by eliminating the deadline and pressure of achieving the goals. I think that will deter a lot of stress and will help them to focus on the goal itself and how they can get there honestly.

bfarnes

says:

It really feels like your answer of having to “know what kind of employees you’re working with” is really the core message of this entire topic. Since everyone has different preference in the way that they’re managed, and managers have their own preferences in the way that they manage their reports, it’s really difficult to make any sort of broad assumptions or assessments. It reminds me of some training that the Organizational Development team offered at my workplace a few years back covering “situational leadership”. One of the interesting points from that was that not only do people have preferences in how they are managed, but those preferences can even change based on specific tasks or activities. So in this case an employee might want clearly defined goals on one project, but not a different one. It really shows how important it is to know your people, and to communicate with them.

rsrudoy

says:

I really enjoyed your post! I certainly agree that the best way to set goals is to eliminate that deadline and pressure. This especially stood out to me as I used to work in retail management for many years and we had all these sales goals we had to meet or we’d get fired if we missed our goal three times. This made me extremely stressful and anxous at work which is not healthy. The best way to “goal set” is to elminate that anxiety and stress and let employees meet their deadlines in the best possible way they can without having a set deadline.

tcshelton

says:

I believe that goals DO get you to where you would like to be. Whether that be a job or anything else in life. I am siding with the point because without goals you do not really have motive to do much of anything. You will be stagnant in which you’ll remain in the same place. Also, if you do create a goal it’s up to you whether you will follow through or not. I mean who wants to become better at anything? I would hope everyone does, but you have to put a goal in place and achieve it. Also, going off of the video shared by our instructor, it was helpful because it’s true if you do not fail at anything how do you know you can improve. The counterpoint side of the article I believe is partially true, however, you have to have a strong and motivated mind to where if you fail you can’t give up. I support the point of goal setting because you never know where you are going to go if you do not set specific goals and achieve them or adjust them.

Nathaniel Savel

says:

Tcshelton,

I also agree that goals get you to where you would like to be in life. I also fall a little bit in the middle of the road with this discussion board. Like you, I also see some validity in the counterpoint argument. I believe the solution for this is to make your goals realistic and achievable. The goals need to be something that you will have to strive for and work towards but you can’t make every goal you have unrealistic. An example of the situation I’m talking about are the people whose, “goal” is something like I want to be a full-time student, volunteer every day of my life, raise a family of 5, run 10 marathons a year, while also having my dream job making $500,000 a year. While that is a little bit of an exaggeration, there are a lot of people that goals don’t work for because that is what they do. The goals need to be something that keeps you motivated and something you can keep your eyes on. If it is so wildly impossible to obtain, it will be either easy to lose track of what you want.

bfarnes

says:

Both sides in the “To Goal or Not to Goal” make interesting points but it feels like they are arguing past each other to some extent. You have one side saying that goals are a useful tool to encourage us to push ourselves, while the other side is saying that failing at goals or poorly thought-out goals can be demotivating and cause harm, and there’s really no reason that both can’t be correct at the same time. It seems like the key is setting realistic goals, with clear pathways towards accomplishing them, and understanding that these goals can be changed if things change. There’s nothing wrong with having a goal of working towards a promotion at work, but if an outside factor like getting laid-off renders that goal unachievable then simply set a new goal rather than viewing it as a crushing failure. I may have a goal to complete a specific project at work in a certain timeframe, but if business needs change or things come up that take priority I’m going to adjust that goal, not give up on it. Similarly the way in which a goal can be achieved needs to be thought-out, especially goals handed down from above. The examples given of goals that led to unethical or undesired behaviors were handed down by people in leadership roles to their subordinates, and clearly not enough thought was given to what behaviors those goals would motivate.

Also, if you wanted to be cheeky, you could argue that all types of goals, both good and poorly conceived, will always motivate employees, they might just motivate them in the wrong way. The football player in the example did stop throwing interceptions, there were just additional unintended results as well.

Jennifer Griffen

says:

I think it really depends on the type of business whether to set goals. As an example, for a retail environment where you are selling goods, setting goals is a must to keep employees on track. When I worked at a toy store, we had daily goals to meet such as battery sales. If they wanted us to sell fifty packs of batteries daily, we asked each customer if they needed batteries. If they purchased something that did not require batteries, we asked anyway. Chances are they had battery operated goods at home. By asking everyone, we increased our chances of more people purchasing batteries even when batteries weren’t necessary for the current items they were buying. Our district manager would sometimes have competitions on battery sales between stores and there was once a prize of a pizza party for the winning store. That prize motivated my employees a lot, they all liked free pizza and we won. However, goals can be problematic in other situations like in a police department. If an officer is instructed to make quotas like so many tickets and arrests per month, the officer may not be fair. The pressure of having to meet a goal may not be the best in this scenario. Such goals could lead to police harassment, brutality and corruption; which is never good for maintaining a relationship of trust within a community. Without trust their job is less effective since police do need community support even though the higher ups are appeased.

Nathaniel Savel

says:

Jennifer,

I think you’re right in saying that goals can be problematic and good things. I think what it really boils down to is that the goals need to be something that is achievable and they need to be something that is actually beneficial. In your example of police officers having goals for quotas they need to meet I don’t believe it is a good use of goals because it can lead to unjust ways to meet those goals. Overall though I believe in most instances goals are something that is needed. Even in a police department, a goal for an officer could be to get a certain certification, or to promote to a higher position, or to be able to do other things that can benefit them. In every organization, I believe goal-setting can be beneficial if utilized correctly. Goals need to be realistic and achievable as well.

dcheek3

says:

David Cheek Post

I believe setting goals is more effective in motivating employees. I have seen many people who will do very little without given specific goals to accomplish. This answer seems obvious to me, think about any job that is available, they have goals to be completed during the day. No company is going to hire people to do nothing all the time. Granted, the individuals in charge need to set realistic goals in order to reduce turnover or like mentioned in the counter argument, anxiety. Anxiety from goals is caused because they may not be achievable without an extreme amount of effort. I have been in situation especially while in the military, where I have been given tasks to accomplish that I have known weren’t possible. This caused me anxiety, should I do my best or not do it at all because I know it won’t matter? In life a goal can be anything from completing so many tasks in a day or personal goals to get promoted. Individuals that set goals typically work harder to accomplish them and increases productivity for a company.

nahong

says:

Choosing a point that is more effective with employees is very difficult. I believe that both sides had valid points, but I am leaning more towards the goal setting. I think by setting a goal will encourage employees to push themselves the extra mile to achieve their goals. One counterpoint that was made was the amount of anxiety that can be caused from goal setting, but that is more of an issue that they are trying to reach unrealistic goals. Mangers and employees need to understand the importance of realistic goals, and hopefully if it does not work out how you expected the first time around it gives them more motivation to try again and push yourself. Just because you do not reach your goal the first time around does it mean you have to give up. An example I have is I had graduated high school 13 years prior to deciding to go to college, I had set a goal that when I took the math placement test I was going to score high enough to not have to take the beginners level course. I did not succeed with that on my first attempt, however I did study and work hard and the next time I attempted it, I succeed and got a high enough score.

dcheek3

says:

I think that goal setting is also a better tactic to motivate employees. Realist goals, like you mentioned, is definitely an important consideration. I could see a company setting unrealistic goals causing them to have higher turnover or unhappy employees. Typically goals with increase productivity within a business.

dcheek3

says:

David Cheek response to nahong

I think that goal setting is also a better tactic to motivate employees. Realist goals, like you mentioned, is definitely an important consideration. I could see a company setting unrealistic goals causing them to have higher turnover or unhappy employees. Typically goals with increase productivity within a business.

bkanuk

says:

In my opinion, the goal-setting method seems to be another example of motivating employees. According to Robbins, (2017), Organizational Behavior, he stated that another example of motivating employees is the self-determination theory method. (p.2015). The self-determination theory stated that people prefer to feel they have control over their actions, so anything that makes a previously enjoyed task feel more like a obligation than a freely chosen activity that can effect motivation. (p. 2015).

Works Cited:

Robbins, S. (2017). Organizational Behavior. 17th Edition. San Diego, CA:
Pearson Education.

kcampbell8

says:

There are so many pros and cons to setting goals. I have had times when setting goals has helped motivate me and driven me to success. Other times, those goals have never helped motivate me or completely left me frustrated. A useful part about measuring goals is that if you set difficult goals, you are likely to perform better and rise to the occasion. As far as the work place goes, I would learn towards setting goals more. I think it is important while setting goals for the goals to be valued by the employee. If their heart is not in it, the goals will be a flop. Goals should be made by the employee with assistance from the employer. Employees working towards their goals with the help of their supervisory also takes the form of helpful feedback and unites the relationship between worker and supervisor. For example, goal setting can be very effective if the employer’s heart is in it, they get help from their supervisor, and the goals are smart.

dcheek3

says:

David Cheek response to kcampbell8

I believe setting goals does help motivate and drive people to success. Without goals what would an employee do during the day? I think people are naturally going to get away with what they can. So if there are no goals, they won’t do anything. Although, I would really love that job, I can’t think of a company that doesn’t require something specific from their employees to be done during the day (a goal).

ccgallegos

says:

If there is an argument to be said regarding the effectiveness of setting goals vs not, I would say I’m a fifty-fifty split. There are obviously successful outcomes for people who enjoy setting goals. I often think people who enjoy competition probably enjoy goal setting. To make this the standard does not apply to everyone though. Personally, I only enjoy setting goals when I am emotionally invested. When that is the case, I’ll set goals, however, it is the process I enjoy and not the outcome of the achievement. The growth along the way is where I find satisfaction. I also know there are some people who do not enjoy setting goals at all, especially if their perception of goal achievement creates a negative stressor. With the diverse range of personalities, perceptions, cultural backgrounds and emotional intelligence, I don’t believe a blanket statement works on either side of the argument. There are pros and cons to both, and it is very dependent upon the individual, and for me, depends on my mood and the topic at hand!

kcampbell8

says:

I agree. Like anything, there are pros and cons to goal setting. Everyone is different and there are so many variables involved that affect whether people respond well to goal setting or not.

Shayne Jones

says:

Motivation can be very hard as a manager. I am in a non-profit that uses the management by objectives approach. I do not particularly like the method. In the Text Book, it describes the four essential ingredients to this approach Goal specificity, participation in decision making, a period, and feedback (Robbin and Judge, 2015, pg. 219). For this organization, it seems like the majority of discussions happen to get through the process and meet the semi-annual guidelines. It does not help to motivate other than a fear factor of missing the deadline.
When dealing with volunteers, I find that the self-determination theory seems to have a better method of working with them because they determine when they want to work. Self-determination from a volunteer turned employee appears to bring about unhappiness from the employee. They cannot walk away if a project is not to their liking. Self-determination is described as one having control over their actions (Robbins and Judge, 2015, Pg. 215).
In the military, it was even more challenging to motivate everyone all of the time. If the manager knew several approaches to motivation, then they were successful. No one theory seems to be universally accepted. A fluid approach may help in motivation.

arbankston

says:

Hi Shayne, great post. I think it is important having a fluid approach when it comes to motivation as well. It’s a personal choice as to whether or not someone feels motivated to accomplish goals especially when they are not set by the person themself. As for goal setting, it takes a lot of getting to know your employees and also having it fit the type of business and work they’re doing.

gdgrigals

says:

After reading “Goals get you to where you want to be” on page 234, It’s clear that both of the arguments raise valid points. For me, as a student-athlete, it’s hard to choose which of the goal-setting theories I agree more, I have been able to experience both point and counterpoint. I think employees can set their goals by themselves and managers can help them with it, each employee is different and that would be unfair to set goals that they couldn’t achieve. I agree on point method where they could raise goals by day, week or month. For example, if an employee in a shoe factory sets a goal that he will make 50 pairs of shoes by end of the week and he achieves the goal, then for the next week his goal is to ake 60 pairs of shoes. In my opinion, the best way how to motivate employees is to show that they have an opportunity to grow in the company and it can be beneficial.
Of course, managers could set goals by each position and before hiring someone for the job, ask them if they are capable of archiving these goals. One thing that I would invite if I would be a manager is team goals, I would like to see how my employees are working together as a team and set the goals that they need to achieve as a team.

tcshelton

says:

I do agree that if a manager is showing their employee that they have potential it will help them grow and identify things in their workers that maybe they could’t have seen before. However, I feel that it is important to set goals regardless if it’s a job or if it’s life, goals push you and I think they help find yourself as a person. Obviously, people won’t make goals that are not attainable for them, but individual goals given by that one person is more important than goals given by a manager.

cjdarling

says:

What happens every New Years? Every year thousands of people create these “new year’s resolutions”. How many people stick to and complete these resolutions? People can and certainly do create and are given goals that are not obtainable for them. Say someone wants to lose weight, are they going to pick 5 pounds or 25 pounds? After a month and your still at 2 pounds regardless of your goal being 5 or 25 you are going to be discouraged. Another thing that would be interesting to throw into this conversation would be if you would recommend goals or not for different age groups. Say there is a pool of new employees, employees that have been around 5-15 years, and lastly a pool of 15 years+ employees. Do you think the answer would be the same across the board?

mawetherington

says:

On a personal level, Goal Setting Theory feels like the long-term solution if someone is looking to make great strides and measure their progress within a company. The reality from a supervisor’s perspective is multi-variable. As Organizational Behavior concludes, at the end of the chapter, the motivation theories differ in their predictive strength and the reality is that these theories are complimentary, not contradictory (233). All things considered, I would want to sit down with employees of the department in which I supervised and discuss specific goals that were not so difficult they couldn’t reach, but goals that challenged them. I would make it clear that I had the confidence in them and encourage that same attitude for the employee to have towards themselves. This gives workers meaning and expectations. When workers have goals supervisors can provide feedback on how well they are progressing towards their goals and identify discrepancies between what they have done and what they’ll do next (216). In the banking industry, there were highly motivated individuals that sought out goals that would lead them to promotions and they addressed their teller goals quarterly. They weren’t shy about the areas in which they needed improvement or one-on-one training (I admired them for it personally). Those with promotion focus strive for advancement and accomplishment and approach conditions that move them closer towards desired goals (218). This establishes that their success in achieving the goals is quite measurable and they feel accomplished. However, Goal Setting Theory does not work for everyone. In fact, one of the counterpoints with this motivational method is the fact that it doesn’t lead to job satisfaction and there is a large potential for burnout. Ultimately, I would strive for goal setting in my practice, but only a few goals that are clear and challenging. I would have a trial period and access signs of burnout or lack of motivation on a quarterly-basis.

kcampbell8

says:

It is great that you believe in supporting your employee’s and show them that. Working on these goals side by side can create a positive bond between worker and supervisor. It also fosters good communication.

cjdarling

says:

I like your perspective on how to make goal setting a positive experience for employees. You are right when you said setting goals that are obtainable but not hard to reach and will challenge the employee to complete the goal. In my post I touched on how goal setting can be a negative experience. I personally feel like the not to goal is the correct option. If you do your best, that is all that matters. If you constantly set goals for employees but they never reach them not only will you be irritated but the employees will feel worthless.

Shayne Jones

says:

I like that you appreciate goals, but when a company relies on the goal-setting scheme over leadership, what are the employee’s going to do? In my current job, we spend a lot of time talking about goals. When the goals are finally written, employees and managers check the block and move on the way they think the job should be finished. If goals are designed and enforced the way the textbook states, then maybe they work (218). I have a negative experience with goals and how they are applied.

mjteegardin

says:

Well I believe both sides have good points I lean more towards having goals. Under the right circumstances goals can lead to higher performance (Organizational Behavior, 216). I think employees should be able to set their own goals with help from their manager because everyone is different and some goals may be easily attainable for some while harder for others. An example would be at my work we have two yearly goals that we create in the beginning of the year. These goals are created with our supervisors and help improve our skills in the field. I had one this year that involved being backup to a new task. It did take time to learn, but the goal gave me motivation because I knew with the new skills and knowledge you learn the more you can advance in your career.

However I do disagree with the point on goals needing to dominate your focus because that can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Setting a goal with a realistic time frame helps you be able to break it down into smaller pieces. This allows it to not dominate all your attention and creates a more manageable goal.

mawetherington

says:

I completely agree! There should be an even balance between having goals and then those goals consuming one’s mind as they do the job. It is like walking a tight-rope, especially as a manager or a supervisor because you have to be able to access with each employee what will work for them or what motivates them specifically. It might be prudent for companies to have workshops on goal setting or even looking at individuals with large goals to break them down into those manageable pieces. I wonder if that would make a difference.

cjdarling

says:

After reading the comparing arguments on page 234 of our textbook I see how both sides could certainly see that they are the right one. I personally would have to agree with the counterpoint that goals do more harm then good regardless of the amount of research done to validate the level of effectiveness setting goals has. Since I can relate to both arguments my solution would be a common ground between the two, in this case that would be the creation of a tentative plan as opposed to hard line goals. A high reaching goal as mentioned in our text has several negative effects on employees such as; stress, cheating, depression, and anxiety. For example, my goal is to graduate from UAF with a 3.5 GPA. This goal while achievable is a very high goal, but what if even after spending countless hours on course work and doing my absolute best I still fall short? Instead of setting goals for your employees you could instead create a set of guidelines and requirements for each position and also include “extra” things that could increase chances of a raise or promotion for example. My current occupation as a tour guide involves relying heavily on tips. If on every tour I set a goal for $100 in tips and I provide the same quality tour each day and the tips daily end up being; $45, $230, $15, $98, and $115 I will be discouraged that I didn’t reach my goal. How I do it in real life is that I acknowledge that as long as I do my part and provide the same quality tour daily there is nothing further that I can do to change the matter. My tentative plan is therefore to do my best and if that results in a lot of money in tips than great, if not, then great I did everything I could. An example of how goals could be negative for employees would be say that your company relies heavily on customer reviews to increase traffic to your website. The supervisor in this company sets a goals for employees and says that the company wants 10 minimum reviews a week. As mentioned in my tipping example, there is only so much you can do to convince someone to do reviews and stressing about it will more likely than not cause a decrease in effectiveness and efficiency on the job.

asreber

says:

Great post to this discussion. The example you use regarding tips seems like a difficult aspect of your work that isn’t in your control. As a result, I am not surprised that setting the goal of a $100 tip per tour is not attainable. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals are within your control not connected to the customer’s economic situation or their cultural background. On the other hand, gathering customer reviews could be more closely tied to your personal goals. A lot of guides like yourself tend to encourage reviews at the end of their tour as feedback to improve the customer’s experience. Or, setting a goal of making your tour presentation flow naturally instead of sounding like its memorized, etc. Overall, I think setting goals can be useful motivation in any work situation and by making them SMART you won’t experience excess anxiety nor will it interfere with effectiveness or efficiency on the job.

rsrudoy

says:

Really great post! Using your tips as an example was fantastic! I work for a start up company as a housekeeper and I sometimes recieve tips from our customers. However, even though you and I provide high quality service, certain customers won’t tip which can somewhat feel unmotivating.
I used to work in retail management and my company would set ridiculous unrealistic goals for employees so I do agree with you on that.

says:

I absolutely agree with the goal-setting theory. I believe that there is an overwhelming amount of research (as shown in the text) that proves the benefits of setting goals. I understand the concerns of the counterpoint in regards to ambitions overriding ethics and standards, but my response to this would simply be to implement measures to ensure ethics and standards are followed. I think it is dangerous to utilize examples such as loosing a job or coming out of retirement when goals were made to be promoted or enjoy a leisure retirement. While these scenarios are unfortunate I don’t understand what the counterpoint would suggest individuals in these situation do. Give up? Throw in the towel? Unfortunately that response does not make these situations any better. The best response would be to implement SMART goals: strategic, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely. This acronym is a simple tool to help provide structure when creating goals to ensure that goals are not unattainable and can be measured for growth. If lofty goals aren’t achieved, then someone can take another shot at it. Failing to achieve extreme goals does not warrant depression. Creating goals is far better than wandering through life hoping to achieve great results.

nahong

says:

I could not agree more with you. As I was reading the counterpoint those same thoughts crossed my mind, are they suppose to give up or quit? If there goals did not work out how they expected them to, all that means is its either time to try again or decide to set new goals. Goals are meant to be help push you to better the circumstances, giving up is never the option.

tcshelton

says:

I completely agree! I did not want to say, but I felt that the counterpoint was cutting a little to deep to where it made it unreasonable to just cut out goals. I mean we get it, bad things happen, but what happens to you if you’re just playing the field safe and you get nowhere in life because you did not push yourself to make goals.

asreber

says:

Both the point and counterpoint make sense, but I believe that the Goal-setting theory is the most effective way in motivating not only employees but also students and people just wanting to lose weight. If a manager just says “do your best” he could receive all kinds of mixed results. He could have a high-achiever that outperforms everyone, setting new all-time highs in sales, compared to an employee who is lucky to make it to work on time reaching a lower level of sales. Is that fair? Managers who set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals give their employees something meaningful to work towards that everyone understands.

For example, you might have a single guy with no home responsibilities who is great at selling high end sports cars at $70,000 a pop. Your other employee, a mom who has to drop off her kids at school before she comes to work late, might be amazing at selling the more economic minivan. At the end of the month he might have sold more total dollars, but she has sold more total vehicles. The S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting manager should set specific goals to specific employees to achieve the highest performance for the department (like the guy needing to sell ten sports cars and the mom needing to sell twenty minivans for the month). The “do your best approach” can still cause anxiety about what the employee needs to achieve if they don’t know the specifics. Therefore the Goal-setting approach ultimately outperforms the “do your best” approach because the employees have something specific to aim for.

mjteegardin

says:

I agree that having goals created for each individual is a great way to create higher performance. I think an important step for creating SMART goals is having the manager meet with the individual to create goals versus assigning goals. With having goals like that at my work it provides a great way to motivate employees to expand on their knowledge and skills without overwhelming them with a goal that may not be attainable for them at that time.

Thomas

says:

According to our textbook it states that Motivation has three key elements to it and I believe they are intensity, direction, and persistence (Robbin 209). When reading about it as long as our motivation has these keys concepts it would lead to being motivated and staying motivated. There is also McClelland’s Theory of needs from our text where it follow three factors: need for achievement, need for power, and need for affiliation (Robbin 212). I believe out of the three factors I would have to agree with the factor of need for achievement because to not only driven to excel, but with a set of standards you could achieve relationships with others if you have a set of standards to follow for yourself to try and strive for success. These keys and theories from the text could help with motivation, however I would like to state that we could also set our own goals to motivate us and work hard towards that goal. Setting your own goals could be simple or difficult goals, for example my simple goal was to obtain my AA degree in general program and a difficult goal of mine is to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
While reading the points and counterpoints to “Goals Get you to where you want to be” I believe both side bring out some good points, but I would like to lean more to the counterpoint point side. Sure goal setting is good and they could be simple or as complicated to reach, but from time to time we either reach that goal or not. Sometimes not reaching that goal we want will just motivate us a little to do better next time. Even though setting goals is good, but it also has it downsides as well being from the textbook, “Cheating” (Robbin 234). Setting goal could be addicting to the point where it could lead to unethical behaviors.

mreichgott

says:

Thomas –

Thomas – The intrinsic motivation to set goals is definitely valuable, and something that most managers would value in employees. It’s easier to work with than someone who relies on extrinsic motivations that may be beyond their control. The real question for managers is how to motivate employees whose personality or values don’t match the mission, or aren’t able to see their potential to contribute to the mission in a bigger way. The counterpoint of de-emphasizing goal-setting on page 234 seemed to frame expectations as a catalyst for stress, anxiety, and unethical behavior. A good manager will work with staff to define the goal and frame the results in a positive way. That may mean easing a fear of failure or evolving with that employee as their values change. It doesn’t mean that the employee’s personal compass is the only measurement for success.

Sarah Griffen-Lotz

says:

It’s hard to choose a side, because both raise valid points, but I have to agree with the counterpoint. Loose goals, such as the statement “I’m working towards my Associate’s degree”, work better than rigid goals such as “Here’s my plan over the next 5 semesters, broken down by classes, to get my Associate’s degree”. The first statement provides a person flexibility in how they achieve it, which could lead to a more effective path provided the individual is personally motivated to do so. If someone followed the second statement, maybe better classes might appear on the schedule as time goes on, but they would never deviate from the rigid plan and miss out on rewarding opportunities.

In the textbook, it’s implied that goals impact ethics in a sometimes negative way. Pressures such as time and money “tempt us to act unethically” to achieve rigid goals (Organizational Behavior, 219). When thinking about motivating employees, they will face these two pressures the most. Providing a looser framework may prevent this kind of deviant behavior from happening.

says:

Hey Sarah, thanks for your thoughts on goal-setting! I am definitely in agreeance with the goal-setting theory, but understand concerns that are expressed by the counterpoint. After reading your post, I believe that the example you provided assumes that a goal is equivalent to a “life map” (essentially someones long-term plan). Goal-setting theory doesn’t require that the goal be several years long or that there is only one way to accomplish it. Based on your example, I believe many people who might use the phrase, “I am working towards my associates degree,” might have been using the same phrase for multiple years with very little progress. Where as if someone is implementing SMART goals (strategic, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) every semester, then I am more apt to believe that this individual would be demonstrate more growth towards attaining their degree. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and challenging the class to think!

bkanuk

says:

According to Robbins, (2017), Organizational Behavior, stated that in order to be more effective in motivating employees, one has to use self-determination and goal setting factors. (220). Moreover, the self-efficacy theory refers to an individual’s belief that he or she is capable of performing a task. (220). Moreover, Robbins, (2017). Organizational Behavior, stated that the goal-setting theory and the self-efficacy theory don’t compete, instead they complement each other. (220). The reason why it’s important, is because setting difficult goals for people communicates your confidence in them. (220). In my opinion, the more effective way to motivate employees is by social-learning and by reinforcement. The social-learning theory and the reinforcement theory seem to be more effective in motivating employees. The reason why is because much of what they have learned is from watching other role models. On example is when the supervisor shows the best interest in others, which can help motivate the individual to try their best.

Works Cited:
Robbins, S. (2017). Organizational Behavior. 17th Edition. San Diego, CA: Pearson Education.

Sarah Griffen-Lotz

says:

Having a motivated manager sets a great example for employees. When a manager works just as hard as their subordinates, the entire power structure feels more fair to them. A lazy manager can set such a bad example that employees no longer care about their own performance. The power of the self-fulfilling prophecy shouldn’t be underestimated. Attitudes are very important dictators of job performance.

Thomas

says:

I agree with you on a motivated manager is better than a lazy manager because a motivated manager may lead to being fair if they work hard like the other employees. If the manger is being lazy and doing nothing, than it may lead to the employees following what the manager is doing and do nothing as well. So the importance of the power of self-fulfilling prophecy can’t be understated and take the job serious instead of thinking of the job as a hassle.

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