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Goal Setting

What is Goal Setting?

Goal setting is a valuable technique to support the effective performance of individual AOD workers and teams. Used effectively, goal setting can be used to address a range of workforce development challenges such as organisational change, worker performance, and teamwork. The emphasis for effective goal setting is to:

  1. Set challenging but realistic goals, and
  2. Ensure feedback, support and rewards during the process of striving toward a goal.

Goals appear in various forms in the workplace, including:

  • Project deadlines and outcomes (products, deliverables)
  • Best practice or performance standards
  • Clinical guidelines for work practice (e.g., treatment guidelines).

Features of effective goal setting

Setting goals and objectives alone is not likely to enhance motivation or improve performance. In order for goal setting to be most effective, six key strategies are recommended:

  1. Set specific and challenging goals and objectives
  2. Build and support workers' commitment to achieving the goal and objectives
  3. Provide feedback on achievement of shorter term objectives, as well as final goal achievement
  4. Provide rewards and recognition for achieving shorter term objectives and final goal achievement
  5. Ensure sufficient resources and support are available
  6. Ensure workers have the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities required to achieve the goal and objectives.

The importance of a collaborative approach to goal setting

Approaching goal setting as a collaborative activity between workers and managers / supervisors can strengthen commitment and motivation.

Goals and objectives assigned by others (e.g., a supervisor) can sustain high commitment when:

  • The individual assigning the goal is perceived to be trustworthy, knowledgeable and to have legitimate authority
  • A rationale or explanation for the goal is provided
  • Reward and recognition is provided for achievement of goals and objectives 
  • Support and encouragement are provided.

More Information

For more information about setting goals, please see Chapter 5 (pdf 1.3MB) of the TIPS Kit.