Finally I am back to my blog after a big break.  Again, blame it to my poor time management skills !

Anyways, this time I am going to pen my thoughts on the Goal setting that all the leads need to do for their subordinates in the organization they work.  As you would appreciate the fact that the goals, if set correctly and on right time, can help build successful careers of the people and self.

So, here in my blog post today, I would attempt to put few things that would help you put the goals in right perspective when you need to do it next.


how to set up the goal !


goalMost of the leaders with whom I have interacted or worked with, often ask the question ‘How to set a right goal’ for someone that work for you. The lack of understanding on how to set up the goals, often ends up resulting into ‘assigning a task’ to the employee instead of setting up a real career goal. 

Now, how should we really think of a goal and how do we really put that into the perspective so that the employee understands what he or she wants to achieve, but is free to determine how he or she needs to get there.

Setting up any goal is essentially answering four basic questions about the goal that is being set up.  They are as follows,


  • WHAT ? – Determine what you want to do (for self goal) or what you want the other employee to do at the end of the evaluation period.  Typically this becomes the objective of your goal.
  • HOW ? – In case of self goal, determine how you want to do the things. This will help you answer what you need to do to achieve the goal.  This may not be required in case of setting up the employee goal.  You need to allow the employee to determine how it needs to be achieved by the employee.
  • WHY ? – Determine why doing this is important for you and essentially for the organization. Typically this will help you identify the benefits to yourself and the organization if the goal has been met.
  • WHEN ? – Most important part of goal setting is to time bound the activity and the goal achievement date. Typically for the performance appraisals, its the end of the year for which the goal is being set.


An example of the self goal that I set up during the workshop was as follows,


What – To develop a next in line leadership for myself in the team.

How – By doing the leadership training, taking continuous feedback and coaching to the immediate subordinates.

Why – To get the best out of the leaders reporting to me and free up myself for the next role.

When – Within next 6 months




It is essential that when the goal is set as per the formula mentioned above, the resultant goal should be SMART.  Yeah, SMART !


  • Specific – The goal should be very specific on what needs to be achieved and should not be confusing or too elaborative and hard to understand.
  • Measurable – It should be measurable periodically to find out the progress and also at the end of the cycle to ensure that the objective is met.
  • Achievable – The goal should be realistically achievable by the employee. There is no point on setting up a goal of scaling a mountain for someone who is not fit enough to walk !
  • Relevant – The goal should be relevant for the job that is being done in the organization and what is expected out of the role.
  • Time bound – Time is very important as it determines when it needs to be reviewed, tracked and closed, so the goal should always be time bound.


A really SMART goal helps in getting the team focussed and bound towards success. 

Further to this, when you are actually filling up the self appraisal and writing feedback on the goals that you set earlier, keep in mind the following keywords that would actually help you put some weight behind your comments.


  • Direct / indirect contribution to the business results
  • Operational excellence
  • Franchise building
  • People development (leadership development)


Try the above tips when you are setting up the goals next time and, as usual, let me know your feedback.