Everything in a company works towards targets or what I call an Annual Operating Plan. The growth of the company, the people, compensation, promotion, investment and general happiness— Everything is linked to targets. Each company has its own way of setting targets and many, different parameters influence that. My suggestion concerns not how these targets should be set, but the fact that the right targets should be set. Each company knows what it wants to achieve in terms of revenue, market reach, users, profits, etc. and, in most cases, there would be something they could achieve.
A target lies between these two possibilities: want to achieve and can achieve. I would define the ‘right’ target as something that is 10 per cent more than can be achieved, in a realistic scenario, by the people in a company. I do not believe in setting targets which no one can achieve or which should be set higher so that people have to strive hard to achieve them. I have a different theory. Targets should be set in such a way that they are achievable.
I place a lot of importance on the culture and the attitude that are built into a company. If your team continuously feels that the set targets are impossible to fulfill, then no one would even try to work on them. Being unable to achieve a target is certainly not a great feeling to have. And the more that feeling gets built up in an employee, the worse it is. Success brings in motivation. The ability to achieve a target would always motivate and encourage a team member to work harder and better.
A better way would be to set the right targets and then push people to achieve them rather than to set high targets and run the risk of people missing them. The desire to fulfill set targets should become an inspiration to your team.
Written by Rudrajeet Desai