Goal setting theoryof motivation

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Apr 2017 11:41:53


ATHENA David works asaProject Manager at TechWorld Inc. She is responsible for managing a team of seven team members. Athena has been facing a lot of problems with her team members. Her team has been underperforming for a long time now. All of Athena’s team members are de-motivated and do not have the enthusiasm or zeal to work. Athena tried to motivate them by using a reward scheme; however, it failed to motivate the employees. This was because all of them
were satisfied with what the company was offering to them as their pay package. Therefore, any extra incentives or reward scheme failed to motivate the team. Athena was a participant in a workshop on motivation for managers to help them motivate their team members and get the best out of each employee. This workshop was arranged by the Human Resources team of TechWorld for all the managers of TechWorld. At the workshop on motivation, Athena learned about the ‘Goal Setting Theory of Motivation’.


‘Goal Setting Theory of Motivation’ states that ‘Goal Setting’ is essentially linked to ‘Task Performance’. It states that specific challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. In simple words,goals indicate and give direction to an employee about what needs to be done and how much efforts are required to be put in. After attending the workshop Athena learned that one of the best ways to motivate them is through ‘goals’. Athena decides to apply the ‘Goal Setting Theory’ to motivate her team.


Each of her team members is allowed to set their individual goals. The goals set by the employees are in line with the organisational goals.
Also, each goal set by the employee is accompanied with a deadline for achieving that particular goal. When Athena’s team members set goals for themselves, they are filled with enthusiasm and feel challenged to achieve the set goal within the timeframe specified by the deadline that they have set for each goal. This led to an increase in the individual’s as well as team’s overall performance.

Therefore,youcanunderstandthat‘TheGoalSettingTheoryofMotivation’ is one of the most important process theories of motivation for motivating employees. Let us learn about ‘Goal Setting Theory of Motivation’. Motivation is the underlying process that initiates, directs and sustains
behavior in order to physiological or psychological needs or wants. In 1960’s Edwin Locke put forward the Goal Setting Theory of Motivation.


This theory states that ‘Goal Setting ‘is essentially linked to task performance. It states that specific and challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. In simple words, goals indicate and give direction to an employee about what needs to be done and how much efforts are required to be put in.

The following are the steps that you should follow for goal setting:
STEP 1: Identify what you really want to achieve.
STEP 2: Write down reasons for the goal.
STEP 3: Write down the goals on paper.
STEP 4: Define your goals clearly and specifically.
STEP 5: Break goals into sub-goals.
(The author is a Soft Skill Trainer at JD College of Engineering and Management and can be reached at sweta.mor@gmail.com)