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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 47 October 2002

Goal Setting for Motivation

Over the years I have regularly came across research completed by Edwin Locke (1968) about goal setting theory.  It is designed to predict workplace behaviour and to put in place a theory to motivate individuals.
When Locke did his research Performance Management Programs (PMP) or Performance Development Reviews (PDRs) were terms not used.  Yet his theory applies extremely well to these today as it does with sales goals, team goals and personal goals.

The theory is very good and a key part to performance results yet alone is not enough in workplace motivation as others factors like;  attitude and organisational processes which need to be considered.
The key components of the goal setting theory consist of;
Challenging goals
These are goals which are designed to stretch and challenge individuals.  They are more likely to lead to higher performance than unchallenging goals if set within current abilities.  If not within current abilities then it can demotivate some people.
Specific goals
Goals which are specific as opposed to vague allow individuals to adjust behaviour.  (You may be familiar with the acronym SMARTA).
Being involved in the setting of the goals can lead to greater commitment in achieving them.  The effort people exert tends to be higher when they design the goals themselves.
Knowledge of results
Essentially this is feedback against the goal. This may be feedback from others or it may be an individuals’ assessment of how they are performing e.g. “How fast did I run?” or “Did I hit budget this month?”
In addition
Keep in mind that goals can also be designed at various time intervals.  They do not necessarily need to be six months or twelve months so that they fit into a PDR.
Written goals seem to be more effective when reviewed regularly (feedback).  I know one person who has their personal goals laminated in the shower to review each day.  Whilst that may not be your cuppa, it has worked very well for him.
One last thing to consider in committing to a goal is “What will the cost be in achieving it?” This could be personal relationships or monetary.  If the costs are too high it may time to choose a new goal.



Personally Speaking

In the past happening people have supported community based organisations each year. These have included Canteen, Camp Quality and Indigenous organisations.
This month clients who have supported Happening People in 2002 were invited to the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia’s charity fund raising evening where we sponsored a table.  This event will provide vital funding for cancer research programs. 
I know that many people have been touched by this, the statistics are horrifying. The advancements over the past 30 years truly showed me that donating money can make a difference. 
To Maria Dimolianios and everyone at CIT, well done in organising such a large event!!

Kind regards


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