Changing goals

Effective ongoing communication must be established and adhered to by the manager and employee to keep each other informed on the status of the goals being implemented. Sharing and documenting the status of goals must occur in time for management to make decisions and corrections, as necessary. Listed below are trouble spots that may occur and suggested remedies for handling them.

When unexpected events occur that indicate the attainment of the goal is unfeasible, irrelevant or impossible:

  • Stop implementing the goal.
  • Select alternatives (new or modified goals) and set up a time schedule to discontinue the existing goal and/or implement the new or modified one.
  • Communicate change to all employees involved/impacted.

Established goal is pursued even though an unexpected opportunity arises:

  • Re-analyze the payoff of the existing goal in light of the new opportunity.  
  • If usefulness and value will be substantially greater, set new goals in lieu of prior goal.

Goals are expected in an unfairly short, or unattainable, amount of time:

  • Hold frequent progress conversations to clarify difficulties.
  • Managers may need to be prepared, at times, to reduce expectations if they are unfair or unattainable.

Goals are not attained due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control: 

  • Such a failure can provide useful guidelines for the next round of goals.
  • Place greater emphasis on the level of attainability and the probability of occurrence.
  • Document the employee’s efforts and briefly describe the external circumstances.