Big dreams. Innovative ideas. Creative aspirations. These are all things you might bring to the table as a manager or leader. But drawing a straight line from where your team or company is now to where you’d like it to be might not seem feasible.
Taking your organization in the direction you’ve imagined starts with effectively setting and planning goals for your team and company. By breaking down your goals and creating a solid action plan to reach them, the process becomes much easier. Below, you’ll find seven tips for achieving company goals and objectives.
How do you achieve organizational goals and objectives?
Goals and objectives are the foundation of organizational progress. Without a clear perspective on your goals, you’re less likely to complete them. Roughly 90 percent of organizations don’t strategize successfully, leading many of them not to reach even their day-to-day goals. Defining your objectives – and guiding your team toward them – is key to succeeding at both your long-term and short-term goals. Here are some steps to help you do so.
Step #1: Identify your high-level goals and objectives
Before you can achieve a goal or start working on it, you need a clear idea of exactly what you want to accomplish. The idea here is to start from the top and work your way down. Identifying your company’s high-level goals can help you prioritize potential growth areas and, subsequently, narrow your focus.
With this more streamlined focus and larger objectives in hand, you can plan smaller, more achievable goals. Think of them as bite-size pieces: You wouldn’t eat the whole cake in one mouthful, right? The idea is the same when achieving company goals and objectives.
Be on top of your goals.
Having all your meeting notes, decisions, and action items in one place will give you a clear idea of what exactly you are working on and where you can take more on. Try a tool like Fellow for one source of truth!
Step #2: Track your goals in a visible place
After you’ve identified your business goals and objectives, it’s time to share them with your team. You can hold a meeting to explain your company’s high-level goals and how they align with your company’s purpose. During this meeting, you can create an active spreadsheet that contains each of your goals so your team can reference them. From there, you should assign meeting action items to your employees so they can truly cross the finish line.
Step #3: Define clear milestones
Once you fully know your company’s objectives, you can create a list of project milestones to reach along the way. No, milestones and goals aren’t the same, but that’s a common misconception – if you’ve conflated them, you’re not alone! Milestones monitor your employees’ progress toward the goals they’re working to achieve. Put another way, milestones are to stepping stones as goals are to paths (there’s a reason they’re called milestones).
Good milestones are measurable and have specific deadlines. To make your milestones measurable, you can attach a number to them: generating 50 sales leads, gaining 1000 program subscribers. This way, you’ll know exactly when your team has reached a milestone.
The OKR methodology can be a productive approach to setting milestones for your objectives. With OKRs (objectives and key results), you specifically define your objectives and list the milestones your team should reach along the way.
Step #4: Connect projects to milestones and goals
A milestone is measurable and often comes with a deadline, but it’s not quite a plan of attack. It doesn’t quite tell your team how to generate those new subscriptions. Connect your projects to your goals and milestones to make your objectives obviously attainable. In the example above, the manager might want to organize a giveaway that invites people to subscribe to the company’s email marketing list.
Step #5: Share progress updates, and celebrate culture
Achieving goals requires dedication and motivation. You probably know that’s easier said than done. Even if you love what you do, there are just some days when getting started (and following) through are tough. Research backs this notion: A 2020 Gallup study found that 54 percent of employees aren’t engaged at work.
Sounds damaging to your goals, right? You can counter it by celebrating your team’s wins. Doing so shows that you care and that the work is valuable, and both these notions can increase employee engagement and improve company culture. Working to achieve your company goals takes time, so reward your employees along the way. Celebrate even the little wins so employees don’t mentally jump ship before your goals reach completion.
As your team advances toward your goal, you should schedule time for progress updates. This way, you can more clearly show your employees how far you’ve progressed. You can also show how the employee’s efforts are contributing to the larger goal. At the same time, you can communicate to your team where they might be falling behind or underperforming. You can then make any necessary adjustments.
Step #6: Use previous goals and results to inform your planning
Let’s say you’re working on a project like previous ones for which your team has struggled to meet deadlines. That experience should show you how to plan deadlines for your current project. After all, history does have a tendency to repeat itself – unless someone steps in. You can – and should – be that person.
Maybe you’ll allot your team more time to work on their tasks. Maybe you’ll introduce a more efficient workflow in the beginning stages of a project. As long as your actions are based on a concrete history of your team’s past successes and obstacles, you’re doing this step right.
7 tips for achieving company goals and objectives
Now that you know how to set goals and milestones for your company, you can start inviting your employees into the process. Before you do, here are a few tips to help you exceed the expectations you set.
- Set SMART goals
- Create a clear plan of action
- Mitigate distractions
- Employ efficient time management
- Use the “Eat That Frog” technique
- Apply the Pareto principle
- Always track progress
1 Set SMART goals
The S.M.A.R.T. acronym gives you five goal-setting criteria that are reliable in all manner of situations. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This structure leaves little room for interpretation – instead, they get everyone focused in the same direction.
An example goal would be an eight percent decrease in your organization’s monthly expenses. Or, more accurately, this goal is four-fifths of an example. It’s definitely specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound. But how will your team achieve it? Perhaps by increasing their productivity rates or axing pricey business services your company no longer needs. Mention that in your goal to get your team on the right path!
2 Create a clear plan of action
Setting business goals without an action plan is like handing your team a bunch of furniture pieces with no instructions to build it. Your employees might eventually figure out how to complete their goal – assemble the furniture – but clear instructions would save so much time. That’s why you should provide an action plan: It gives your team a clear path to walk. It also allows you to track progress and assign tasks to the team member they best suit.
3 Mitigate distractions
Distractions can come in many forms, like having too many meetings, browsing social media, and, most commonly, using personal phones. Research from a staffing firm found that employees spend an average of 56 minutes on their phones at work each day. That’s why you should ask that employees avoid social media and their phones except while on break. And cancel those meetings that could’ve been an email – your team’s focus is a limited resource.
4 Employ efficient time management
Poor time management can significantly increase your team’s stress levels. There’s a ripple effect to this stress: It can make your team really irritable, leading to strained workplace relationships. To avoid this domino effect, consider introducing time management strategies that help keep your team on track. You’ll keep your team less stressed and increase employee productivity – as in, you’ll more happily reach your goals.
5 Use the “Eat That Frog” technique
Yes, this is actually the name of a useful concept. The “Eat That Frog” technique (again, you are reading that right) stems from a statement by Mark Twain.
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
You can apply this sentiment to your workplace. The frog represents the item on your to-do list that you’re dreading the most. Start your day with this task, and you’ll have no worse tasks to handle for the day. Once you’re done, that great sense of accomplishment can be all the fuel you need to accomplish the rest of your task list.
6 Apply the Pareto principle
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. This principle can encourage you to rethink how you’re prioritizing your tasks. To apply it, ask yourself, “Which of my tasks are the most important and could yield the most results?” From this point of view, you’ll have a better idea of which tasks you should tackle first. This way, you’ll put your best efforts into the work that matters the most.
7 Always track progress
Monitoring your team’s progress helps you make sure everyone is adequately approaching their goals. You can use task management software to track your team’s progress on their assigned responsibilities. With these programs, employees can see how their work is directly contributing to your company’s goals. Your teams can also more easily see their assignments and deadlines. With that, achieving company goals and objectives becomes much more within reach!
On the way to success
Setting and achieving your business goals doesn’t have to be daunting and complex. With smart planning, you can lead your team to accomplish some of your most ambitious goals. And to help you make the most of your team’s time, Fellow has all the tools you need to plan effective meetings. Get your team on the same page at these meetings, and their focus and motivation will peak, putting you that much closer to your goals.