I have a number of direct reports I've inherited, many of whom have been at my company as engineers for far longer than I've been with the organization as a manager.  These engineers appear largely uninterested in setting goals much less meeting them by the end of the year.  Company goals are flowed down to them through management and further, they have plenty of latitude in modifying them to suit their individual expectations.  Even so, there is little to no motivation to pay even a little attention to this aspect of their professional development at my company.  Any suggestions the community may have to help me as their manager to stress the importance of this aspect of organizational life would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

pucciot's picture
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Participating in the Goal Setting Process is Part of the Job.

I recommend that you Make Participation as a GOAL
-- Evaluate and Appraise this aspect of your Direct's Performance -- as a Category unto itself

And you can Rate their participation in this aspect of the Job as | Poor | Satisfactory | Excellent | etc.

Our Annual Appraisal time is July when it is also our new Fiscal Year.

Each Appraisal has various categories.
I'm not sure how your place does this, but I can always enter new annual goals in at appraisal time.
Goal Number 1 for each one of my Directs looks like this :

Participate in Annual Goal Setting, Appraisal and Online tool

Targets :
• Complete Self-Appraisal At beginning of Appraisal Period  - Deadline : First 2 weeks
• Complete annual Goal Setting with supervisor - Deadline : Quarter 1
• Create at least One goal that can enhance work Performance Results - Deadline : End of Appraisal period
• Create at least One goal that can enhance work Performance Relationships - Deadline : End of Appraisal period
• Complete Semi-Annual Appraisal with supervisor (with comments in the system) – Feb 1st
• Add Notes, Comments, Journal Entries and Development plans throughout the year. - Deadline : End of Appraisal period

This will make it clear that you consider their participation in the Goal Setting Process as “part of the job” and they will be appraised on this activity just the same as they are appraised on every other part of their job.

Good Luck

angelicdoctor's picture

This is brilliant and many thanks! 


One of the challenges that I have to work through in my little corner of the company is getting this level of support from my management.  Seems that my manager plays very fast and loose with expecting my engineers to participate in goal setting even though this has been an expectation from the corporate level for all employees.  For fear of making our employees unhappy by 'mandating' anything, goal setting included, my middle management team allows too much leniancy and does not expect much accountability.  So long the work gets done, which it really isn't, our engineers pretty much get to work how they want and when they want.  This makes me wonder what managers are actually expected to accomplish and worse, I worry about the stability of my own role here.


I'll start with this common sense approach and see what happens!