Why Do 92% Of People Give Up On Their Goals?

30 September 2019

Give Up Goals

​A study from the University of Scranton found that 92 per cent of people will ultimately give up on their goals. With odds like that, you might be struggling to hit your goals at work, no matter how SMART they are! Here are five organisational factors that can contribute to employees giving up on their goals.

You set goals that will impress but are not achievable.

You are asked to set goals around the latest sales targets. In your heart of hearts, you believe a 10% increase on last year is achievable but know that it won't wash. So you set the goal of 20% knowing it will impress your bosses but ultimately be unachievable. You're discouraged before you begin.

Too many goals make nothing a priority.

The business has so many goals and conflicting priorities that it is challenging to get others to collaborate – yet you need them to achieve the goal. Without their support, the goal isn't achievable, so the only option seems to be to give up and focus your energy elsewhere.

You don't have the tools.

Like 33% of workers, you don't believe you have the tools needed to achieve the goal. Unfortunately, this wasn't known or discussed at the time the goal was set but has since become apparent. There is no reset, and without the budget, staff or tools to complete the job, it's an impossible task that slides out of reach.

It's OK not to achieve them.

The organisation has a history of failing to deliver, and this apathy is ingrained in the culture. It feels that to get anyone to commit to helping you achieve your goals, requires you to stick a rocket under them. In the end, it seems easier to go with the flow and let deadlines and goals slide.

You don't believe the reward is worth the effort.

The goal has been handed down to you by your immediate manager, and it is more than a stretch - it is blood, sweat and tears. The likely outcome of your hard work will be that your boss gets their annual bonus and you get a slight raise in line with inflation. Hardly seems worth the stress. In the end, you just don't bother.

Don't let the statistics discourage you. Leaders can have a significant impact on helping a team reach their goals and celebrate the success that comes with achievement. To make goal setting more effective, try helping the team to connect with the organisation's purpose to build intrinsic motivation. Encourage your team to set realistic and stretch goals separately. Make one goal a clear priority for the immediate future. Ensure the rewards are fair and match the required effort.

If you want to build a team of goal-oriented, productive employees, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and get advice from the experts in labour-hire, temp recruitment, permanent and contract staff.