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Why and How to Set Achievable Goals Within Your Organization

Beth Thornton

April 4, 2018

Companies thrive when the organization sets goals for its bottom line and aligns those to its employees. While setting organizational goals is crucial for companies, most companies don’t. In fact, in a study conducted for companies, over 80% of the participants stated they have not set organizational goals because they didn't believe it to be an important task. If this sounds like your company, below are four principles to live by, especially if you want lower turnover, a better ROI on your talent and streamlined operations.

71% of companies feel their current leaders lack the skills to lead their organization into the future. Here are 4 ways to set achievable goals for your organization with a bonus whitepaper!Tweet This!

1. Your goals should be flexible yet specific

While flexible goals are better for employees, the vagueness of them is NOT beneficial to employers who have specific business requirements and need to meet them within a certain timeline. Corporate goals should be Specific, Motivating, Attainable, Relevant and Trackable or SMART:

What is a SMART Goal?

Goals Should Be Specific: Instead of “Increase Revenue” try “Increase revenue by cross-selling ACME Widget by 15% before July 15th”. Vague goals can cause harmful consequences and misunderstandings.

Goals Should Be Motivating: Have your managers ask if the goal is motivating: Is it aligned with our values? Does it speak to this employee’s stated values and career goals? Will the employee or department grow because of this goal? If you don’t know the answers to these questions or worse, the answers are NO, you need to reassess whether the goal is motivating.

Goals Should Be Attainable: Are you interested in creating a discouraged and disengaged team? If your goals outpace the the baseline productivity or ability (without any additional budget or staff) then it’s probably not attainable and will only serve to create tension and frustration with the team you’re trying to motivate.

Goals Should Be Relevant: Here are some questions to determine whether or not the goal is relevant: Is the goal the most important goal for you/the employee in a key area of responsibility? Is this goal so important that if not accomplished, at a satisfactory level, it could be said that the key area of responsibility was not fulfilled? Is this goal a high priority for you in relation to other goals?

For example, take an employee who struggles with punctuality, but soars in tactical areas of their role. While you might want to set a goal about starting their shift on time, it might be more beneficial to productivity if their goals were more focused on increasing their managerial skills and learning additional strategic tools. Your organization will benefit more from the additional development and less from their arriving at 9 AM instead of 9:15.

Goals Should Be Trackable: Do you have a system in place for tracking these goals? If not, you may as well be yelling into the void. Your system should be trackable from all vantage points, the manager, the employee and any executive staff accountable for that goal. Which leads us to...


Read More: Our white paper is the ultimate guide to creating incredible, achievable goals!

2. Have a pre-defined system in place

At the time you choose to set organizational goals, make it a point to implement a goal management system that is pre-defined based on your business needs. The system should help you achieve your goals by having goal management system in place containing your corporate goals, individual goals and any issues that are blocking the realization of either. Why do you need a goal management system?

“Measuring goals is critical. How can you know if something has worked or made an impact without monitoring? Measurements should be associated with check-ins and progress check points. Even if the expectation is a little lofty, the process will ensure goals are on track while providing a great place to discuss challenges that are creating obstacles to attaining the desired end result.”

A goal management system can also help:

  • Build your unique performance structure.
  • Set clear roles for employees and their job functions
  • Collaborate on individual goals
  • Identify priorities within roles to set teams up for success
  • Offer consistent collaboration, accountability and checkpoints.
  • Develop goals that align to corporate strategy
  • Easily set SMART goals
  • Collaborate on goals and share successes
Corporate #goals should be Specific, Motivating, Attainable, Relevant and Trackable or SMART: What is a #SMART Goal? @InspireSoftware breaks it down for you!Tweet This!

3. Set a monetary budget as well as a human resources capital per goal

Achievable goals are those that are well-planned from the start. If your project needs certain fiscal resources to be diverted toward completing the task, then plan this from the beginning. If your project needs you to put aside human resources to complete the task, then plan this in a systematic way.

For instance, companies are often swamped with work during the holiday season - having staff members in the store depending on the volume of expected work can help you achieve your set goal of customer satisfaction and increased sales during the holiday season. Having back up staff members ready in case of an increased volume of customers, or in case some of your front line of defense staff cannot make it, should be your backup plan. The same holds true for a company opening a new office, trying to build out their succession plan or readying themselves for the launch of a new product.

Take the Quiz: Do Your Employees Feel Rewarded at Work?

4. Inform your staff of the set organizational goals and ways to achieve them

Goals can be met only if the entire crew is onboard with the idea. The goals you set should be communicated clearly right from the commencement of the project, and the team members should understand the best ways they can meet the business requirements in the most efficient way. Team briefings and debriefings, as well as periodical circulars, can aid the process. Because 71% of companies feel their current leaders lack the skills to lead their organization into the future, here are some other tips to supercharge their individual goals setting:

Allowing employees to select their own goals. In many organizations, the manager selects and assigns goals to the employees. However, some research has shown that selecting one’s own goals may be even more effective. Either way, output can improve by up to 15% when goals are established.

Write it down. Harvard conducted a study where they followed students who stated goals, who stated goals and wrote them down and who had no stated goals. While the students who had goals but did not write them down were earning considerably more than their non-goal peers a decade later, the ones who wrote down their goals were doing even better, earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.

Companies thrive when the organization has set goals that the employees can refer to, adhere to and strive to complete. Need help doing that? Here are proven ways via @InspireSoftware:Tweet This!

Have You Set Organizational Goals for the Next Year?

INSP-crew-onboard-Social-ImageFixed goals with achievable action plans, back up plans, working on a set system and communicating the goals to staff members are important to help your company flourish. For the best results, follow the above tips to start building a goal-focused organization.

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