Motivation in the Workplace: The Value of Setting Goals

Posted by April Parks, M.S. Conflict Management

Oct 30, 2014 1:09:45 PM

Motivation in the workplace and collaborationThere are several factors that contribute to employee productivity such as the environment, the employees' level of teamwork, the communication skills of the supervisor, and the level of collaboration among the organization and its members.

One other contributor that increases motivation in the workplace and employee productivity is goal setting. Although it seems like a small thing, setting goals is an optimal component of employees' motivation in the workplace.

When team members know the goals they wish to achieve, together they can discuss ways to reach that goal while fueling creativity and innovative thinking. Freely discussing ideas and collaborating with their colleagues, employees will feel more motivated to give their best because they realize their contributions matter. It all starts with establishing a goal though.

Goals should be SMART. By this point, most people probably know what this means: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Set goals following this criteria and the organization will have solid, definable goals. It will lessen confusion within in the workplace as well. Having an understanding of goals and what's expected can only help, not hurt the company.

Besides having SMART goals though, Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham found that there is a direct link between goal setting and workplace performance. Dr. Locke has independent research that found that when employees have a goal to work towards, their motivation increases which in turn increases employee productivity.

Keeping employees motivated should be a top priority for managers and leaders. Without any motivation, performance and productivity would lag behind causing the company's success rate and profitability to decrease.

So keep employees motivated through clear and specific goal setting. When an employee is able to achieve a more difficult task, they feel accomplished and are motivated because they put lots of effort into the project.

Something to say to keep motivation high while goal setting is to say something like "try to exceed your best or last project accomplishments," instead of "try harder." When a person has something to use as a baseline of where they were and where they want to be, they will likely be that much more motivated to exceed their past achievements.

There is value in workplace environments, collaboration, and communication in the workplace, but goal setting is also of great value to motivation in the workplace and employee productivity in the workplace. Keeping this tidbit in mind will serve your company graciously as it will reap the long-term benefits of employee retention and high workplace performance.

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