Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory

Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory

Edwin Locke developed Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory in 1968. It is based off a belief that by setting goals that are both specific and challenging, an employee is more likely to be motivated by satisfaction at the sense of achievement and completion of tasks.

The theory outlines that working towards a goal provided the motivation to reach that goal and this, therefore, improved performance. Specific and difficult goals led to better performance than vague goals or goals that were too easy to achieve. In order to motivate, goals must be clear and specific and provide a challenge for employees. Employees need to be committed to meet the challenge and it helps if employees receive feedback. Goals should not be overwhelming as it results in loss of motivation.

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The SMART principle is an approach that can be used by managers to ensure that the set objectives or goals of the organisation are more likely to motivate employees.

Management by Objectives involves managers to be clear about their objectives before they can pursue any activity. The achievement of objectives can be used as criteria to evaluate the success of the manager in conducting their role in the organisation. It requires manager to determine what the business objectives are and plan how to achieve the objectives efficiently and effectively.

Human Resources Management Applying This Theory

Goals or objectives should be set by the managers of the organisation or alternatively can be self-imposed b the employees. are constantly for employees by managers or also can be self-imposed. By managers ensuring goals are specific and challenging for employees, it is more likely to motivate them. Managers need knowledge of employee’s skills and personal characteristics so that appropriate goals can be set that are achievable.