Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Feedback Goals Motivation

My manager is upset with the goals I set for myself this year, and I don't see the problem. The goals included increasing gross margins, cross training my employees, and reducing turnover. My manager said that these are not goals, since goals need to be specific. Are these goals or not?

To be specific, you have listed hopes, not goals. It is obviously a good sign that you have positive dreams about the future, but goals are much more than that.

For a goal to be more than a dream, it needs to be specific, measurable, prioritized, and backed up by an action plan to get there. For example, if you want to cross train your employees, your goal would include how many employees will be cross trained, what the training will cover, when the training will be completed, and how the results of the training will be measured and evaluated.

If you want to make some improvements in your life, whether on the job or off, it is very important to have real goals. In fact, studies over the years have consistently found that goals can have a strong motivational impact. Having challenging yet attainable goals can be truly energizing.

At this point, one of your near-term goals should be to develop some real goals for yourself.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!