The Importance and Rewards of Goalsharing - by Ravi Patel


What is Goalsharing?


Just as it is in personal and social situations where “many hands are better than one,” companies have also learned that a few people or management by itself cannot achieve corporate goals. Most productive organizations involve all employees in accomplishing established goals.


So what is Goalsharing? It a process whereby the objectives of the company are synchronized with individual employee goals such that in completing the personal goals, the employee is actually also contributing to achieving the company’s objectives. We have all been exposed to the term “Integrated Performance Objective” (IPO). It is indeed integrating the objectives of the company and the individual employee, so that in the end everyone wins.


Why is it important? It creates a team of committed employees all working towards the same objectives. It also creates a congruency between all employee and organization goals, rather than everyone doing their own thing. Imagine competitive rowing, where the individual rowers are all in sync. Isn’t that a superb picture of teamwork at its best?


The positive feeling of accomplishing one’s own goals is magnified tremendously if those goals also assist in contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the many (the company). Goalsharing is worthy because I like being a part of a team and contributing to its success.


A Goalsharing Program is comprised of two parts – establishing and achieving goals, and earning rewards based on achievement.


Management normally develops and sets the overall objectives annually at the beginning of the year. Using these as targets, IPOs are established for each employee in partnership with the supervisor. Each individual IPO must be tied in some way to the corporate objectives in order for Goalsharing to be effective. Also, each IPO must be SMART.


Progress towards fulfilling the IPOs should be monitored periodically, preferably monthly. If circumstances require modifying IPOs, the employee and the supervisor should do so. It also makes sense to review accomplishment of all IPOs in a company-wide forum, at least quarterly. Celebrate successes and stay on the path of achievement.


Reward for performance is the second part of the Goalsharing Program. An ideal program, in my opinion, rewards employees not only for the achievement of company objectives, but also for successfully completing personal IPOs.


Why both? If the company wins, all employees should win. This is the first level of reward. On a second level, each employee needs to execute and be rewarded for it. It would be unfair if an employee who does not complete his or her IPOs gets the same reward as another employee who successfully does. Thus, an effective reward program is based 50% on company objectives, and 50% on individual IPOs.


The payout criteria for the reward part of the Goalsharing Program are established early on in the year so that everyone understands the targets. The company objectives are weighted according to their importance. Certain minimum thresholds and gates are also established to ensure the integrity of the reward program.


As in any team, no matter what the performance of an individual player, success is first measured if the team wins. Likewise, if the company does not achieve its most important objective, make money, individual rewards are neither affordable nor appropriate.


At the end of the year, after the measurement of performance on company and employee IPOs, rewards are determined and paid out. Rewards may be in the form of cash, options or a combination thereof.  This is the ultimate in sharing and celebration of success.


So, Goalsharing is important as it not only allows an employee to become a team player for achieving company goals, but also gives him/her an opportunity to carry out own IPOs. Consequently, it rewards an employee for the success of the company, while providing a platform e to earn a bonus based on individual performance.


A Goalsharing Program, in my opinion, is the best of both worlds – a win for the company and a win for the employee! How much sweeter can it be?




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