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Self-assigned goals that are later reviewed and dis­cussed with the manager have a whole host of benefits, which could probably be a session in itself. Let's just say that I'd rather have an employee who has thought through my goals and objectives and come up with so­lutions and supporting goals of his or her own, instead of dictating a set of goals that may never be thought through with any level of detail or commitment. Again, we're empowering people to be creative and set their own direction, but with guidance from their manager after he or she has listened, rather than dictating.

The goal assignment process assures the top down alignment and translation of strategic, boss-initiated goals, to lower-level tactics and operatives. This transla­tion process is critical to the achievement of understand­ing and buy-in. It is based upon translating your vision and strategies into attainable "line-of-sight" goals for all employees including metrics, leadership competen­cies, and MBO goals.

"The power of employees who are in support of com­pany objectives is the catalyst sparking genuine improve­ment." (Beiersdorf, Inc., IndustryWeek winner)

Performance alignment eliminates most obstacles that prevent an organization from achieving its goals. Empowered employees focus efforts on achieving their concisely defined goals, knowing the basis on which their stakeholders will hold them accountable. I should give you the Retcar definition of performance alignment before I go any further.

Performance alignment, in simple terms, is the ex­ecution of an organization's business plan. The plan is

used to allocate the necessary resources. Goals are trans­lated from the plan and aligned with the resources, and accountability for these goals is assigned to each em­ployee. Results are closely monitored to identify oppor­tunities for organizational development. The assessed results drive the ongoing cycle of realignment, realloca-tion of resources, and revised goals.

So far, I've talked about Retcar's alignment process and the assignment of goals. Now we need to discuss accountability and assessment at Retcar, to cover all aspects of the performance alignment definition.


Through our goal assignment process, everyone takes on responsibility for his or her share of the overall com­pany strategy. The vision becomes a part of the very fab­ric of our organization. Everyone knows his or her roles and responsibilities and is held accountable. And at Retcar, they are held accountable by their stakeholders, not just their manager or team leader.


How does that work? Well, you recall that we used our software tool to set up reciprocally confirmed in-terdependencies or working relationships. That mecha­nism is also used to share and understand one another's goals. Part of that dialogue is devoted to understanding how the interdependencies affect achievement of one another's goals. We learn how we impact one another.

Because we have fully defined our interdependencies, we have fully identified all stakeholders. In other words, we at Retcar can hold everyone accountable for their piece of our strategic vision, because we have identified who is affected by our execution or lack of execution. We have identified stakeholders, and we have given them the abil­ity to provide feedback to everyone in our organization with whom they share a material business relationship.

In the pursuit of performance alignment, Retcar has bridged the gap between leadership development and performance management by expanding on the concept of multi-rater feedback. We systematically linked em­ployees with their providers, customers, teammates, boss, and staff, and gave them the tools to provide feed­back. And it's not just feedback on developmental is­sues, but feedback on how they've executed their goals related to the company's strategic vision.

Feedback comes from stakeholders, who are depen­dent upon the recipient of that feedback to accomplish their own goals. It couldn't be a more meaningful mea­surement of how well your organization is executing its vision. It has helped Retcar to truly understand for the first time why a goal wasn't met, and where we went wrong. We can diagnose our developmental opportuni­ties for specific employees and groups and across the entire organization.

Retcar has actually been developing and refining our concept of performance alignment over the last 10 years. We implemented a semi-automated version of it in 1996, and have since evolved it into an in-house developed soft­ware tool. Retcar's strides towards alignment in that timeframe have helped take it from number three to num­ber one in the HVAC air impeller market. Profitability has grown at a rate far surpassing the rate of sales growth.

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 13


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