Workers, Firms Disconnect on Goals

March 15, 2004 ( - When it comes to matching up the workforce with the company's goals, most firms still have a ways to go.

Slightly over half (58%) of the 12,182 workers polled said their organization has decided what its most important goals are, yet lss than half (44%) say the company has clearly communicated what the important goals are. However, even if companies did more to get the word out about corporate goals, employees are not necessarily behind them: only 22% of workers say that their work team sets goals about which they are excited, according to FranklinCovey’s Execution Quotient study.

More clarity was found in individual goals. Six out of 10 workers (61%) say their individual work goals are clear, but only a third have those goals in written form. Still, less than half of the survey respondents say their goals are tied to specific measurers of performance (42%), have deadlines (42%) or that they had a hand in setting individual work goals (49%).

Further, workers feel under utilized. While 65% said their job contributes to fulfilling an important purpose, only 41% think their posts taps into the best of their talents and passion. Even when those goals are achieved, less than half (45%) say their contributions are recognized and appreciated.

Breaking down the goals that are set by companies for its staff, most workers (63%) say their work team sets goals that will please their customers. However, that is the only apparent point of concurrence found between the team and the individual. Thirty-seven percent of workers say the goals set give them measurable economic impact, 41% think the goals are timely and less than half (46%) think the goals are achievable. This comes as little surprise when compared against the backdrop that only 39% of workers are highly energized and committed to the direction of their work team.

The largest breakdowns occur when considering what the company says it needs done, versus what the team says it needs done, and what is expected of the worker. Fifty-two percent of the survey say the goals of their team are not translated into individual work goals and only about half (54%) say their individual work goals have been translated into daily tasks and activities. This trend continues on to the team, where only 47% of the sample say their work team plans their work around their most important goals, 36% say their team finds specific ways to help each other and only 43% say their team follows through with their plans.

Despite the obvious breakdowns in communication between management and the workforce, workers are happy with their situation. The majority of workers have a good relationship with their manager (63%) and feel welcome as part of a group (56%).

A copy of the full report can be found at