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by Nora Milley | Originally posted on March 5, 2010

Every management system model I see talks about communicating goals and objectives to the organization. Why is it important?

I remember when I started my first job. I was assigned a particular task and as an excited new professional, I performed it as indicated. However, my boss told me to change the work I had just finished to a different format, because what I had done wasn’t going to work. I wondered why he didn’t just assign the task correctly from the beginning, but I was new, so I performed the task again, to the best of my abilities and in record time. When I presented it to him a second time, he still didn’t like it.

Well… let’s say I was getting a little confused. Although I was somewhat afraid to question him, I asked, “What is it you are looking for? What is the end result you are expecting?” He smiled and explained to me exactly what he wanted. Trying not to sound too inexperienced, I asked, “Why do you need that?” He started to explain more about where the company was, and where it was going strategically. He also explained the goals and objectives of the project I was supporting with my task. SuddenIy I saw the light, and was able to connect the dots! I understood the direction in which we were heading, and felt I was part of the project. I knew that the task I was performing, as insignificant as it seemed, was going to benefit the organization in the end.

If your personnel do not understand the goals and objectives of your organization, then you may face a bigger challenge achieving them. They will be working with blinders on—just taking steps without really knowing where they are supposed to end up. They may get lost or sidetracked, not knowing the correct path. Through no fault of their own, they may not give their activities the importance that they deserve. Organizations where employees are engaged with the goals and objectives are more likely to move forward faster.

Imagine a group of people trying to move an open parachute. If all of them know where they want to put it, they will move in the same direction. Otherwise, everyone will pull in their own direction, based on wherever they believe would be the best place for it. The end goal may happen by chance, but in the interim the disorganization would likely cause a lot of friction.

If you struggle with getting the results you want—if your personnel seem to be walking in circles all the time with no progress, if your project is “stuck,” or if you have unmotivated employees, then you may try communicating and explaining the goals and objectives of the organization, project, task, or group. Make sure everyone understands their place in the big picture and the importance or impact of their actions. You will certainly notice the difference.