Research shows that setting specific and challenging goals leads to higher performance. In order for them to be effective, there should be alignment between those of the organization, the team’s, and individual ones. Everyone should be working towards the same outcome and understand how their work is contributing to the bigger picture.
Yet only 7% of individuals have a full understanding of their company’s business strategies and what they can do to help achieve organizational goals. Meanwhile, 44% are unable to name them even when familiar with organization goals. There’s a clear gap between reality and expectations: how can individuals support company goals if they don’t know what they are?
Here are 7 steps to set goals for your team and ensure they’re as effective as possible.
1. Know what you want to achieve
Before you communicate to your team, think about why you want to set goals and what you hope to achieve with them. If the wider team goal is completed, what are the implications? How will it benefit your organization? An important part of goal-setting is measurement, so ensure you know how you will track and evaluate progress as well as completion, and how this impacts what you want to achieve.
2. Set goals at the team level
Once you’ve determined what you want to achieve, start by setting goals for the team. When teams have challenging, meaningful goals to work towards, they come together as a more effective and collaborative unit. It helps them be aligned and have a common focus, rather than trying to outperform each another. Of course, team goals can (and should) be broken down into individual ones.
Once you’ve identified them, write down your goals. Research indicates that writing down goals makes for an 80% higher chance of achieving them.
The more you can involve your employees in setting goals for themselves and the group, the more committed to those goals they are likely to be. »
3. Let people develop their own goals
After determining team goals, give people the autonomy to develop their own goals – sitting underneath team ones. Based on their function, they should be able to determine key initiatives and goals that will support the greater team objectives.
Make sure you are available to provide support: help them learn how to develop meaningful and achievable goals by using a framework such as SMART goals. Guide them so they are aligned with the team (and organizational) goals, and ensure they understand the importance of measurement.