Why giving staff members a Stretch Goal (a goal that may be completely out-of-reach, but still attainable) is a good idea
When managers meet with staff members at the beginning of the year, or quarter, to decide on goals, they should give staff members stretch goals. Even if the manager knows that the stretch goals will most likely not be met. The obvious question is why? Why would managers want to make staff members feel that they failed? How is this a good strategy?
The answer lies in how managers should view the purpose of goals:
One of the purposes of goals is to provide staff members with direction and give them something to achieve. However, if staff members reach their goals without too much effort, it may mean that their goals were too easy for them. The other purpose of goals is to give staff members a direction and something to dream about, that can eventually be achieved with the right amount of time and effort. Giving staff members stretch goals that they cannot achieve on the first shot, will not make staff members feel like they failed. On the contrary, it will encourage them to work harder and think outside of the box to try and achieve these goals. If or when they do not achieve the goals in the first try, managers should support staff members and encourage them to try again until they succeeded. Stretch goals, with the right amount of support from managers, can help staff members be more creative and help them build more character and endurance. As, the harder one works on goals, the better they will be the next time they work toward something that requires effort.