Achieve amazing things, with the power of goals!
There are several reasons why it is important to set goals and objectives. Research confirms that benefits of goal setting include establishing a higher performing professional culture on an individual, team and organisational level, and a more satisfied workforce. This is true both for goals which are formulated on enterprise level, i.e. what an organisation as a whole wants to achieve as well on team level, i.e. what team-specific goals should we as a smaller group focus on in order to further the reaching of the larger goal on organisational level.
Needless to say, the positives of setting clear goals apply to one’s personal sphere, too. Having direction and focus is important in all aspects of life and getting into the habit of determining what you want to do, and how to get there, is a key contributor to establishing a feeling of being in control and maintaining a manageable professional workload and personal to do list. For best effect, goals shouldn’t exist in a vacuum, but instead be associated with clearly formulated and measurable milestones and deadline(s). Conversely, the absence of clear goals in the workplace prevents the development of a feeling of cohesiveness and leaves people at risk of losing sight of where their company is heading and how their own efforts tie into the organisation’s strategic direction and overall mission and vision.
Of course, the specific function of each team will determine which goals, activities and tasks that are relevant to perform as part of their initiatives to drive the business forward and bring it closer to its goals. Ideally however, work should flow based on a “cascading” of goals throughout the organisation, so that the efforts of different teams clearly tie into the company’s ambition of reaching a certain outcome, and in what timeframe. As such, examples of organisational goals which trickle down through the company include:
Company Goal: Increase turnover by 20% vs. last year.
- HR Team Goal: Hire 10 new sales reps in June 2021.
- Marketing Team Goals: Roll out new marketing campaign in Q3 2021.
- Sales Team Goals: Secure $1 million new client sales per month over 2021.
- Customer Success Team Goals: 1) Reduce monthly client churn by 10% by Q4 2021. 2) Reach monthly up-sell of $500k in 2021.
Setting clear goals enables us to keep focused on where we stand currently and where we want to be in the future. Ideally, goals should also inspire us on how to get where we’re going, not just point out the destination.
Goals help us articulate what we wish to achieve. This is equally accurate in a personal and professional context, and goals can therefore relate to almost anything, such as learning a new language or reaching a specific sales target. A goal also ensures we maintain a clear-cut direction to aim towards, preventing us from losing sight of where we are heading also in periods when other distractions risk leading us off course. For goal-setting to work it is also important that we can evaluate the work we have put in to achieve our aim, which means goals should have a deadline and be measurable along appropriate dimensions, e.g. being able to hold a conversation about the weather in a foreign language in six months’ time, or secure $10,000 of new business before the end of the current quarter. If you would like to discuss what goals can do for you and your organisation, I’d love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
By: Johan Flodgren