You’ll hear that word quite a lot this year with the soccer world cup taking place in South Africa.
You certainly hear that word quite a lot in business… and not always in the happiest of circumstances.
Let me explain.
There are lots of games played in corporations. For example, the annual budget round where departmental heads make their pitch for funds (always overstated) and the CEO is determined to keep costs low (invariably unrealistically so).
Another example is the annual cycle of targets and the way these translate into the goals set for individual members of staff.
This should be the chance for a realistic forecast of what the member of staff can achieve given their expertise and experience and the potential for achievement given company culture and the market.
So why’s this activity so dreaded by members of staff and management alike?
Let’s take the manager first. She’s usually under pressure from the senior management team to set over-stretching and unrealistic targets. This is because senior management have exaggerated the company’s potential to shareholders and to the markets. The manager knows the targets she is about to share are unrealistic, or will cause serious stress, but is obliged to set these goals and ’sell’ them to her staff.
And the member of staff? Well, he’s just spent a year chasing last year’s unrealistic target and has ‘fallen short’, compromising his bonus. He wants smarter, more achievable targets set… which will test him—but not to the point of destruction, or at least disaffection.
Yes… notwithstanding the global economic recession and difficult labor market, people will leave. They’ll either take their valuable knowledge or contacts lists to a competitor, or set up on their own. A new game at the very least, and one where they can be more self-determining and set their own rules.
How smart is your company when it comes to setting corporate targets and translating them into people goals?
Tags: bonus budget ceo circumstances company culture competitor corporations departmental heads disaffection goal global economic recession lots of games new game pitch senior management team shareholders soccer world cup south africa stress target targets