The Effect of Stretch Goals on Employee Engagement

a giraffe stretching for food to show the Effect of Stretch Goals on Employee Engagement

The Effect of Stretch Goals on Employee Engagement
Stretch goals are performance goals that can only be achieved by extending oneself to the limit.  According to Google, which has become known for its audacious business goal philosophy, “Stretch goals are the building blocks for remarkable achievements in the long term.”  But even Google sometimes fails to reach its goals and those disappointing results can have unwanted consequences – killing motivation and damaging performance.  We need to understand the effect of stretch goals on employee engagement.

Positive or Negative Effect of Stretch Goals
Regarding the question of the effect of stretch goals on employee engagement–whether stretch goals positively or negatively affect employee engagement–it depends.  It’s all a matter of degree.  Realistically attainable and appropriate goals can be a spur to employees’ expending extra effort.  But near-impossible goals can have the opposite effect.

What We Know
At its core, employee engagement is the willingness of employees to consistently exert discretionary effort toward their work.  It is human nature to want to succeed.  Most of us are psychologically predisposed to prove our ability to meet reasonable challenges.  And, so, when offered realistic and meaningful challenges at work, employees are naturally drawn to address them.

To Increase Employee Engagement
One of the ways to increase the engagement of your employees is to ensure that you offer them opportunities to grow and to “stretch” appropriately beyond their comfort zone.  Employees want a certain amount of variety in their work responsibilities.  Just doing the “same old-same old” crushes one’s spirit.

If you want to encourage creativity and innovation, you need to expand the boundaries of what you ask your employees to do.

A Manager’s Role
Managers have a direct impact on employee engagement.  Managers have the means to offer challenges to their employees at both the team and individual levels.  They can work with their teams to identify goals that will inspire coordinated effort and improved performance.

For the individual employee, managers can identify challenges that take advantage of the worker’s specific talents and personal aspirations.  The closer a challenge is to what an employee does well and likes to do, the more engaged they will be in meeting it.

The Bottom Line
When you are working toward increasing employee engagement, it would be smart to evaluate how you set goals.  Be sure you take into account the effect of stretch goals on employee engagement. If you want to create a high performance culture, strive to create goals that are:

  • Clear and relevant
  • Reachable but only with extra effort
  • Meaningful personally and professionally
  • Aligned with the corporate strategy and cultural norms
  • Recognized and rewarded

Then watch your engagement measures increase as they reflect the positive effect of appropriate challenges.

If you want to learn about research-backed ways to improve employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways To Boost Engagement

Comments are closed.

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More