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Four Reasons Your Organization Should Plan and Create Annual Corporate Goals

Drea Zigarmi EdD

May 31, 2018

 Corporate goals are different than individual or team goals, but they are a critical resource to close the gap between large organizational strategies and effective execution of those strategies. But corporate goals are more than just generating revenue or cost savings. Corporate goals should address common objectives of customer satisfaction, stockholder value, increasing the overall value of the organization, and other objective details that demonstrate real business results. Defining larger corporate goals correctly creates the framework in which your business can get to the next level within the market you live in.

Many businesses fail because they don’t take the time to engage this crucial step in the overall business process or fail to realize the importance of the corporate goals they set. Here are four critical reasons your organization needs to be setting appropriate, corporate-level goals:

They Inform the Process Toward Success

Setting a simple goal without defining the steps leads to stagnation, but setting up steps or processes without an overarching goal leads to wasted productivity. Even when goals are set, if the goal isn’t communicated to the employees in a way that is motivating, engaging, and relevant to their role and team, they could generate a large gap between what the organization wants to achieve and what they actual produce.

A corporate goal should include the measurable steps and milestones needed to achieve the goal that allows everyone across the organization to visualize progress toward the desired end state. Make the steps clear and reachable, communicate them throughout the organization by embedding them in your performance process, maintain transparency and accountability for work completed, and recognize success as it is achieved. By creating this process of achieve goals at a corporate level, you boost the odds of attaining the end strategy of your organization.

They Maintain Constant, Clear Communication

If you want to send your employees into fits of insecurity and confusion, set lofty corporate goals and strategies, but don’t tell the company how to achieve those goals. You can’t expect your employees to review a corporate goal and know how to achieve it relative to their personal role or team objectives, without some clear communication and examples of how individuals and teams can align to the larger goal. For example, simply proclaiming you want to make the best coffee in the world doesn’t make that vision a reality. You need to create a plan and use the steps as a means of communication to align your employees to achieving that vision on a day-to-day basis. Show them how to make customers happy, how to make the coffee, or how to set an atmosphere in your shop. Use the goals to promote a sense of teamwork and connection to the executive levels of leadership to help your employees understand, buy into, and passionately contribute to the big picture success. Take advantage of what the digital age offers you and keep track of projects in real-time.

They Define and Maintain Perspective

An executive team that sets corporate goals that are irrelevant to employees, often does so because they have lost perspective on the company’s true means of achieving the vision and values. Executives also have a tendency to not take the time to understand market trends that your business most urgently needs to address in it’s product and service. This lack of perspective can lead to ill-advised or unattainable corporate goals or vision. While you need to maintain an optimistic outlook on future organizational success, don’t lose the connection to current realities that could disrupt your success or help you define processes inside the framework of your specific business. You’re not going to sell the best coffee in the city if your employees don’t know how to make a customer feel welcome or important when they come into the store to make their purchase. Making decisions outside this framework of a realistic perspective can set you up to miss opportunities for growth or new ways of doing business. Define what your business is, what it can do, and make goals that maintain the perspective of what is most urgent and realistic.

They Sustain Growth and Autonomy

The vision of your business thrives in the belief you have that you can succeed in the given industry you serve. That requires a certain amount of ego, but it also requires you manage that ego and actually use skills to live out this belief year to year. Don’t let that belief get in the way of management and operations. Don’t create a business with processes that rely on only on the knowledge and wisdom of the C-Suite, but design ways to grow your people and give them the autonomy to serve the end customer in the best way they can. If you want to make the best coffee in the city, you need to have an operation that is designed to perform at the highest levels without senior leaders dictating every detail or imposing the objectives set by the top of the organization. Great executive leaders create clear company goals that give your employees and individual teams or departments the ability to adapt, grow, and function in the way the best serves the corporate objectives while serving the client’s needs. By creating corporate goals that are adaptable to individual skills, then empowering them to personalize those goals, you engage your employees and generate more sustainability of the long-term vitality of the organization.

Corporate goals matter to every business because they inform and define roles, steps, and success for every person being asked to contribute to the mission, vision, and objectives of the organization. Executive leaders need to define clear end-goals for the business to realize strategic-level success and achieve better performance in the process. Consider how your organization sets goals with care as you plan out your fiscal or performance cycles by taking into account what kind of business you are building and how your business needs to align throughout out every level of the organization to achieve the objectives you’re trying to achieve.