Poor business goals can have a negative effect on the business. Think about this: Goals by design focus attention and energy. Managers need to insure that the goal they set for their employees to reach for are in tune with your business ideals.
When you set goals for say, production levels, you are telling your employees that this is the most important thing to be focused on right now. This may put blinders on your employees so they do not keep in mind the quality and workmanship that you want to be known for.
It may also lead to unethical behavior. Anyone who has ever been stopped by a Chicago police when they were on the quota system knows how that happens. In the 1970’s they were required to have so many tickets written before the end of their shift. If you happened to be in front of them at the end of their shift and they needed one more ticket to hit their quota, they made up a reason to give you a ticket. I know, I’ve been there. In stead of making sure traffic was flowing safely, they had to find people to give tickets to or face their sergeant. They had to choose between keeping their job and being ethical. Their job won every time.
Your customers will always know if they have been had by a poor business goal. Think about the recent car manufacturer’s recalls. Their focus was on production level and cost cutting meassures. Not safety and quality. Yet their customers expect they are buying a good quality vehicle that will transport them and their family safely.
Do you have goals that are misplaced? What effect will they have on your business? Be sure to recognize your employees for reaching a goal, and for exceptional effort, but make sure you know what you are rewarding. Recognition is a powerful tool for communication, use it wisely.