Goals are important because they provide direction, help us focus on what’s important, and clarify the decision-making process. Goals can be set company-wide, by department, or by individual teams within an organization.
Although setting goals seems like an easy task, according to Nicole Klemp of 15Fivethere are ways to improve the goal setting process. For the achievement of objectives to be successful, there must be buy-in from the company’s leaders. This is necessary to ensure that people within an organization are working on business goals. She also said it’s important to set incremental goals within the larger goals so people can see they’re progressing toward the bigger ones.
Klemp also shared some common missteps that occur when setting goals. The first is to overdo it. Goals should focus on what is most important and should be clear and specific. Set a manageable number of goals that meet current priorities. Once a goal is completed, you can add a new one.
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Be sure to set goals that align with other areas of the business. In other words, get out of your own silo to see how your goals will impact other areas of the business. It doesn’t help if your team’s goals contradict departmental or company goals, or even the goals of other teams in your division. Make sure you get cross-functional alignment and work to develop those that don’t conflict with other goals.
Goals should be firm, but not so firm that they cannot be adjusted in unforeseen circumstances – think COVID-19. It’s a balancing act to ensure goals set direction, but don’t tie your hands if circumstances change drastically.
Klemp also said it’s important not to confuse goals with strategy. “Strategies and tactics are the things a team does to achieve its goals,” she explained.
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Finally, make sure your team understands why you are setting goals. “Explain to employees why having clear, documented goals is important to the business and how it can help them succeed in their own roles,” Klemp said.
Goals help everyone in the organization know where they are headed and what they need to do to help the business succeed. “Goal setting is a team sport,” Klemp concluded. “Everyone from executives to leaders needs to know the playbook and understand how it performs to achieve their goals.”
Jane Clark focuses on managing member services operations at NationaLease as Vice President of Member Services. She works to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs and improve collaboration within NationaLease support groups.