6 Strategies for Highly Effective Goal Setting When Implementing SuccessFactors Performance and Goal Management

One of the key factors during the implementation of SuccessFactors Performance Management is setting goals.

However, many organizations get stuck here, not knowing where to begin or which type of goals to set. And then,

someone brings in the concept of SMART goals solving this dilemma.

smart-goals blog


Goals must be: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related (SMART). But SMART goals are just the

technical structure to wrap goals in. It does not tackle the challenge of defining goals that truly drive high performance,

engage employees and align with business strategy.

Understanding that this is a crucial point that involves involved management discussion, we took the time to highlight six goal development strategies.


  1. Align with strategy – How many of your line managers and employees are familiar with your corporate strategy? Probably not many. The setting of departmental or personal goals must be aligned with overall corporate strategy to contribute to organizational performance. Invest the time and present the corporate strategy to your team; discuss the impact of the overall strategy on each and every one of them. This will help them define their own goals that are much more tightly linked with corporate strategy.
  2. Cascade to improve alignment – “Cascading goals” is the process of adopting goals at different levels within a company to ensure alignment between the organization’s objectives and employees’ activities and goals. More specifically, when you ask your team to set goals, you should share with them the goals you have set for the group as a whole and ask them to define their own goals to contribute to the whole.
  3. Goals must be proactive – Goals must demonstrate proactivity and motivate your employees in recognizing their responsibility to make things happen. The employees who end up with progressively better jobs within the organization, are those who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done.
  4. Goals must begin with the end in mind – We see many cases where the goal setting process suffers from what we call “the activity trap.” People want to show that they are doing something, anything, and everything as long as they are seen as being active at work. In order for your team to set the right goals, they should know what are their end goals and understand what their starting point is. As simple as this may sound, not all managers work with their people on developing a clear vision of the future and providing them with concrete feedback on where they are presently.
  5. Goals must help employees put things first – Often caught between the urgent and the important, employees must learn self-leadership and self-management. Having the right goals help them to accomplish this as self-leadership assists in deciding what the “first things” are, while self-management provides the discipline of carrying out their program.
  6. Goals help develop a win/win situation for all stakeholders – In the popular book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes a “think win/win” concept as an opportunity to make an important deposit in another person’s emotional bank account. More specifically, you being able to find a way that both of you can benefit by your interaction. Setting goals for managers and employees should be no different. To foster engagement and commitment to goals, organizations must consider the individual’s benefit when setting these goals. Likewise employees should think of the organization’s benefits in their personal goal setting.


Goal setting is absolutely essential to motivating employees and creating an environment where they can win,

and feel like winners. However, if still in doubt about which goals are needed at the time of implementation,

SuccessFactors comes with a Goal Dictionary that can be imported during the implementation process. This

allows you to begin the process with a list of pre-set goals and later add some of your own goals.

Want more details?

In What to Expect When Implementing SuccessFactors Performance & Goals Management, AKT highlights a few issues that rarely get the attention of those organizations going through the process of implementing SuccessFactors.

Download free AKT’s guide:
Guide to Implementing Performance & Goals Management

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