Weekend Poll Results: See How Others Manage Goal Setting

With thanks to all who are participating in my Weekend Polls feature, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll, which I’ve now closed.

The focus of this past weekend’s poll:

How do you approach goal setting and measurement of progress toward goals?

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The Results: More than two thirds of respondents set annual career goals. While 42% do so as part of performance management/review processes at the office, 33% do so independently and some establish career goals both independently and as part of workplace performance management. 

What kind of metrics, targets or motivational drivers might help you achieve your goals?

Measuring progress: For 43% of respondents, career goals are assessed and tied to passing subsequent performance reviews, financial incentives or professional development opportunities. Despite this, only 17% of respondents establish metrics to assess progress with their goals – although 50% of respondents do assess their goal progress at least twice annually, and 42% have established plans to support goal achievement.

Do you like to keep your goals private, or does voicing them to others make you more accountable and help generate a framework for success?

How are people doing? 45% of respondents reporting being on track to achieve their goals. Is it a coincidence that this is almost the same as the percentage – 44% – of respondents who have articulated their career goals to others? What do you think? Does voicing your goal to others make you more accountable, and/or does it help generate support for your success? Read on for full results.

THE RESULTS, BY PERCENTAGES

Setting annual career goals is the norm for more than two thirds of respondents

  • 69% of respondents set annual career goals
  • 31% of respondents do not set annual career goals

Almost a third of respondents said they set career goals independent of any workplace processes

  • 42% of respondents establish career goals as part of performance management/reviews in the office
  • 33% of respondents establish career goals independently
  • 17% of respondents haven’t been establishing career goals, but are starting to consider it
  • 8% of respondents selected “Other” and one offered, “Both: as part of my performance and independently”

43% of respondents identified corporate/organisational incentives to achieve such goals

  • 57% of respondents reported no corporate/organisational incentives to achieve such goals
  • 29% of respondents identified “I pass my performance review” as the incentive
  • 7% of respondents identified “professional development opportunities” as the incentive

Less than one in five respondents identify metrics to assess goal progress

  • 83% of respondents have not identified metrics  to assess progress on their career goals
  • 17% of respondents have identified metrics  to assess progress on their career goals

Half of all respondents assess progress with career goals at least twice annually

  • 25% of respondents assess progress with career goals annually
  • 25% of respondents assess progress with career goals semi-annually
  • 25% of respondents assess progress with career goals quarterly
  • 17% of respondents selected, “Other” and comments included, “rarely” and “When I have time to stop and think about it”
  • 8% of respondents selected my “You really think I should be doing this?!” option

Almost half the respondents are on track to achieve their goals

  • 45% of respondents reported being on track to achieve their goal(s)
  • 27% of respondents reported that they hadn’t set any goals for this year
  • 18% of respondents reported that they’re trying, but aren’t sure they’ll achieve their goals
  •  9% of respondents selected “Other” and one wrote, “I haven’t given up but other factors are a priority for my employer.”

Many are working without a plan and specific targets or motivational drivers to support goal achievement

  • 58% of respondents reported that they have not established a plan with targets or motivational drivers to support goal achievement
  • 42% of respondents reported that they have established a plan with targets or motivational drivers to support goal achievement

The majority of respondents keep their career goals to themselves

  • 55% of respondents reported that they have not articulated their 2015 career goals to anyone else
  • 36% of respondents reported that they have articulated their 2015 career goals to their executive or supervisor
  •  9% of respondents reported that they have articulated their 2015 career goals to one or more colleagues
  •  0% of respondents selected “Yes – to someone in my personal life”

Slightly less than half the respondents set annual health/wellness/fitness goals

  • 58% of respondents reported that they do not set annual health/wellness/fitness goals
  • 42% of respondents reported that they do set annual health/wellness/fitness goals

Many respondents don’t set, or don’t want to talk about, annual financial goals

  • 64% of respondents reported that they do not set annual financial goals
  • 27% of respondents took the opportunity I provided to say, “Enough of the goals already!”
  • 9% of respondents do set financial goals

More than half the respondents make use of a coach or mentor to support success

  • 56% of respondents reported that they have someone they turn to for informal coaching and/or mentoring
  • 44% of respondents reported that they do not make use of a coach or mentor
  • 0% of respondents selected either “Yes – I retain a coach” or “Yes – I have a structured mentoring partnership”

Half the respondents characterised their goals for this year as relatively modest and achievable

  • 50% of respondents characterised their goals for this year as relatively modest and achievable
  • 20% of respondents characterised their goals for this year as slightly ambitious
  • 20% respondents selected the “What goals? I haven’t set any” response
  • 10% of respondents characterised their goals for this year as ambitious

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