Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation

What is Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation?

Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation is more on the willingness to work towards the attainment of purpose is the main source of the job motivation. These goals indicate and give direction to the employees about what needs to be done and how much effort is required to be put in. We need to remember that goal setting has its advantages and its limitations.

Goal-setting theory acts as an approach that executives use for employee engagement. It involves having smart goals which drive productivity and performance in general. A person is more motivated when they have clear and specific goals set because they can devote their behaviors, emotions, and thoughts towards achievement of the goal.

In goal-setting theory, there is certain development such as:

a. Self-efficiency - it is the individual's self-confidence and faith that they have the potential of performing the tasks.

b. Goal commitment - when the individual is committed to the tasks or work and will never leave the goal until it's achieved.

Features of Goal Setting Theory: 

The important features of Goal -Setting are being specific and clear goals that lead the employees to greater output and better quality of performance. The goals should be realistic and challenging, the more challenging the work is, the greater is the reward and more is the passion of achieving it. Feedbacks are also very important between the employee and the leader because the essence of feedbacks is gaining reputation and making clarification and regulating goal difficulties.

Five Principles of Goal Setting Theory of Motivation

Five Principles of Goal Setting Theory of Motivation

Vague, unambiguous goal leads to misconceptions and will never give desired results. Crisp, clear, measurable, specific goals have to be set and communicated to the employee in the simplest way possible. No room for assumptions in goal setting.

Challenging goals: 
Besides being clear and specific, the goal set should be challenging. Easy to achieve goals fail to keep the employee excited, however, since people are often motivated by the feeling of achievement, setting challenging goals helps motivate the employee to do his best. When setting goals, make each goal a challenge. If an assignment is easy and not viewed as very important – and if employee doesn’t expect the accomplishment to be significant then the effort may not be impressive

Achievable goals: 
if the goal by his manager is something really steep, it will do more damage instead of good. Easy goals don’t seem to challenge an employee, however, in the eagerness to set challenging goals, if the goal is tad on the unattainable side, the employee can get demotivated, instead of motivated. The idea is to challenge the employee to give his best performance without frustrating him.

Commitment to goals: 
If employees feel they were part of creating the goal, they are more likely to try their level best to achieve the goal.

Task Complexity: 
When a goal is complex, the employee becomes confused on how to achieve the goals. This results in poor motivation and often resist and obstruct people from attaining the goals.

Once the goal is set and task is delegated, it is important to monitor the progress and provide regular feedback to employee. Feedback empowers people to improve their performance and enable them to keep their problems and concerns in perspective.

Advantages of Goal Setting:

1. it is used to raise incentives for the employee to finish the task efficiently.

2. It leads to better performance by increasing motivation and efforts and improving the feedback quality.

Limitations of Goal Setting

When they have very difficult and complicated goals it might trigger riskier behavior.
For example, the employee might lack some skills and competencies, the goal-setting can fail and lead to poor performance.

MSG. (n,d). Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation. 
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2020). Building a theory by induction: The example of goal setting theory. Organizational Psychology Review, 10(3-4), 223-239.
Shoaib, F., & Kohli, N. (2017). Employee engagement and goal setting theory. Indian journal of health & wellbeing, 8(8).

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