Goal orientation and its effects ?

Goal orientation

Goal orientation is the process of aligning ones’ actions to achieve the primary aim. In the general sense, goal orientation is the degree to which organizations or people concentrate on tasks and complete the tasks. At the business level, goal orientation is a detailed strategy to help the business reach its desired revenues.

Goal orientation plays a key role in fund allocation and management styles. Organizations that have a strong understanding of goals can analyze whether the expected targets are reasonable and can be met with the resources at hand.

Using goal orientation, organizations stay in-line with their vision statements and core competencies. Without goal orientation, businesses are more likely to encounter problems. It is quite tempting to indulge in other profitable areas straying from their core values and goals. However, with a strong goal orientation, this can be prevented.

Managers of an organization have an understanding as to what motivates the employees towards achieving the goals. Managers break down the goal into smaller segments to make it seem more attainable to the employees. Different training might be required to help employees achieve their goals. While some employees are motivated by tangible rewards like bonuses, others simply enjoy the success of achieving the goal.

Goal orientation can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Task-oriented goals: With the application of relevant skills, the task at hand can be pursued and mastered. By mastering a given task, the employee gains self-confidence which drives him further towards mastering other tasks. The success of a task-oriented goal can be measured by how well the individual mastered the task or the development that was seen in an individual after completing the task. Task orientation leads to perseverance and persistence in case an individual has failed to master the task. On the other hand, it also gives immense satisfaction after successfully mastering the task. Task orientation is not a race for individuals. It is the measure of how individuals put their skills and abilities to work.
  • Ego oriented goals: Employees are motivated to do better than their colleagues. Competition fuels ego-oriented goals in individuals. In this category, success is measured in terms of performance. The goal is to be better than others rather than doing your best. This is an extrinsic motivational force that drives individuals to portray higher standards and be better than the rest.

To understand this better, let us take an example of an athlete. When he is task-oriented, his goal is to perform to his best ability irrespective of whether he wins the race or not. He is satisfied after putting in his best efforts. Whereas, an ego-oriented athlete wants to perform better than the rest. When he doubts his ability to win the race, he pulls back.

When there is a lack of motivation in completing tasks, being goal-oriented will help. It gives an individual a sense of pride that drives them to accomplish the tasks. There are many benefits to being goal-oriented:

  • Sense of achievement: One of the best rewards of being goal-oriented is setting a goal for yourself and achieving it in a timely manner. Be it winning a race, scoring 100/100 on a class test, or completing a project, the satisfaction of achieving the goal is inexplicable.
  • Motivation: When you long for something, you become more motivated to attain it. These goals motivate individuals to work harder and give it their all. Be it personal development or attaining a promotion in the organization, when an individual has a strong desire for something, they work harder.
  • Focus: Individuals are more driven when they set goals for themselves. Setting goals helps in completing their work efficiently. It allows an individual to focus more on the minute details which helps in getting the work done.
  • Identify opportunities: Being goal-oriented will help businesses identify opportunities that will further their goals and in turn avoid risks. This helps businesses choose an approach that is best suited for them.


Setting goals challenges individuals to perform better.  It is an excellent way to gain momentum and commit to achieving whatever one wants in life. All in all, being goal-oriented will only do well for individuals as well as organizations