A stretch goal pushes people to continue performing. Unlike "commit" goals which must be met, "stretch" goals act as a motivational tool for employees. It should be "Achievable" as a SMART goal, but not have a guarantee of success. More often than not, you will fall short of achieving the stretch goal. Therefore, if you're always hitting your stretch, you're not stretching far enough.
- In addition to setting a Commit Goal, you should also set a Stretch. A Stretch Goal is what's going to push people to achieve more. It still needs to be achievable when you go back and look at Smart Goals. But, it won't have a guarantee of success. More often than not, you'll fall short of you hitting your Stretch Goal. If you're always hitting your Stretch, you're not stretching far enough. So why should you set Stretch Goals? If you just set a Commit Goal, what might happen is when you hit that point in the year, when you hit your Commit, the team's just going coast.
They're gonna say "Well, we hit our goal, "we don't have to push ourselves so hard. "Let's just relax and get to the end of the year." A Stretch Goal gets them to continue performing. Once they hit the Commit, there's still something more that they can go out and achieve. A Stretch Goal can motivate and excite people. When they hit it, it creates a sense of shared achievement that's going to build morale and team identity. Stretch Goals force people to think differently.
Many times a Commit Goal is based upon what people know they can do. They don't challenge constraints or look for new ways of doing things. A Commit Goal is about getting things done. Doing it the way we've always done it. A Stretch Goal gets them to challenge assumptions. They'll look at the business differently. They're going to be willing to make large changes. And they're going to take risks to achieve that Stretch. That Stretch Goal helps them build new skills from trying new things.
So by combining a Commit Goal that they can achieve, and that you can deliver to the organization, and a Stretch Goal that pushes them to improve their performance, you're getting the best of both worlds. They're focused on the metrics that matter, and they make sure they deliver the Commit. And the Stretch gets them to continue performing after the Commit has been met.
Along with providing guidance on how to link individual employee goals to organizational strategy, Mike walks you through the different types of goals, including bottom-up, zero-based, commit, and stretch goals. He also helps you use goals to change behaviors, build new skills among employees, and make goals actionable by using incentives and tying them to specific activities. He concludes with a comprehensive plan for setting and implementing goals, and some tips on dealing with challenges such as conflicting goals.
- Identifying goals and goal types
- Setting SMART goals
- Linking goals to business strategy
- Building goals from the bottom up or top down
- Creating stretch goals
- Outlining activities and resources to help employees achieve goals
- Reviewing and revising goals
- Reconciling conflicting goals