Have you ever wondered how leaders set and achieve team goals, create alignment, and ultimately reach their objectives? We did, so we asked the experts.
Take a minute to study these thirteen insightful team-goal examples from the best in the business—and then get to work on achieving your own team-building goals!
1- Study.com: Building Consensus
Adrian Ridner is the CEO & co-founder of Study.com, a huge resource of over 22,000 video lessons that guarantee you’ll find what you need to study. With courses in math, science, psychology, business, and more, this site allows you to improve grades, prep for tests, and earn credit. Ridner answered our question, “How do you create alignment around your team goals?” in this way:
“Millennials now make up more than one-third of the workforce and their strengths include teamwork and building consensus. We leverage that to help create goal alignment. Teams discuss the goals together to make sure everyone has a voice and is brought into the goals.”
Jacob Dayan is the CEO and co-founder of a highly rated tax-services company that has resolved over $400 million in tax debt. Jacob is a big believer in letting his employees in not only on the team goal-setting process, but on the reasons behind the goals:
“One of the most important things that you can do in order to get buy-in from your employees is to explain why they are being asked to complete a task.
For example, you need to complete this task by this date so that x team can complete this next task by this date. If we miss this first deadline, then that puts us behind schedule and we will be off track to meet our overall goal.
You can also explain how the task they’re being asked to complete will affect the customers or the rest of the company. Make sure it is clear that they know their purpose in completing this task is bigger than themselves. It has long-term and far-reaching effects. Allow them to see the big picture.”
Featured on several national media outlets including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Forbes, and more, Money Crashers’ Andrew Schrage knows a thing or two about setting and reaching team goals:
“The goal must be put down in writing so you and the team have something to refer to throughout the process. The goal should have some flexibility involved, such as a numeric range instead of one fixed number. The goals should also be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.”
An award-winning outdoor-advertising firm that specializes in digital billboards, wallscapes, street furniture, window displays, and other media, Brooklyn Outdoor counts Pepsi, Amazon, and Nike as their clients. Their advice to other executives is to know your team and grow through teamwork goals:
“To get our team on board with goals, we collectively work together on team-building workshops. If you know what motivates your team members, you can use their individual strengths to accomplish goals together. A company culture that excites your employees to strive for greatness will make your time spent together as rewarding as the results.”
5- reDock: Having Strong Communications
Jamie Walker from reDock, a software company that builds winning proposals for professional-services teams, believes strong communication is key:
“The best way to set up team goals is to have strong communications within your team and discuss the goal at hand. Come up with milestones together. This will ensure there is alignment and team members will want to take ownership.”
6- Notejoy: Identifying Misalignments Early
Ada Chen Rekhi is founder & COO at Notejoy, a collaborative notes app for teams that brings a fast and focused workspace for businesses to get on the same page and leverage team knowledge. Her advice is as follows:
“How do we create alignment around our goals? We do this in two ways. First, some of the goals are shared. For example, if we are trying to reach a specific objective for users on Notejoy, we’ll have a mix of goals across product, engineering, and marketing in order to reach that objective.
The second way we create alignment is that all of our goals are shared publicly with the entire team and reviewed as a group. This makes it so we can identify conflicts or misalignment early.
Another thing, while the goals are ‘shared,’ it’s important to tie goals to specific people and names. Each of our goals maps to a specific owner who is responsible for driving and reporting the progress on the goal.”
7- DataTracks: Powering Employee Collaboration
A SaaS-platform provider that helps enterprises in preparing compliance and management reports, DataTracks is constantly updating their technology to suit their customers’ needs. With these constant changes, it can be a complicated task to keep everyone focused and on board with the same goals. Here’s what they do to make it happen:
“We use a combination of apps and rewards to power our employee experience and for powering employee collaboration. Our employees share updates on projects in ‘team rooms’ and also comment on ideas and iterate from there.”
Karla Stefan Singson is an all-around success. As Events and PR Lead for Prep PR and a writer, public speaker, and serial entrepreneur who has personally grown five brick-and-mortar and online businesses, she knows a thing or two about how to get team-building goals to work:
“I ensure that every assignment is closely linked to someone’s skills, connection, and job description. This has to be organic, otherwise, it won’t work. I try not to micromanage because that’s how I show trust and confidence in their skills. And, all of my people get big and small bonuses for every job well done. My HR motto is this: No hard work left unrewarded, no kindness left unnoticed.”
Cristian Rennella is the CEO and co-founder of a wildly successful online personal-credit and car insurance-comparison site with almost 22 million international users. He talks about how gamification was the game-changer for ensuring his team members assumed ownership around their identified goals:
“We developed an internal game called ‘Achieve to Win‘ with different levels, points, and prizes that were reached depending on the achieved goals (number of sales, marketing conversions, the useful life of the customer, new purchases from the same customer, etc.).
The prizes are not money but can be one of the following: full day or half day extra vacation, work from home the day they choose, access to special foods and drinks in the kitchen, etc.
Thanks to this gamification on the work goals, we were able to increase our employee productivity by 31.8%!
We believe that the main reason why it worked is because the game format generates much more commitment from the new and younger employees in the company.”
10- Actioned.com: Focusing on the Goals
Fiona Adler is a writer and the founder of Actioned.com, a productivity tool for individuals and teams. Each day, this tool helps every team member update “what they got done” and “what they plan to do the next day” so everyone can see what everyone else is doing. It works like an office whiteboard that keeps everyone focused on what they need to do each day in order to be in sync with their team.
Fiona contributes her thoughts to the topic of how to set and achieve goals as a team in the workplace:
“When a team has clear goals, the challenge is to keep the focus on those goals and not be distracted by other things as the weeks go by.
An effective method is to structure your meetings so that your team goals are top of mind. List them on the top of your agendas, read them out, record progress toward those goals. Then, when the team is discussing priorities for the coming week, bring the conversation back to the goals. Which actions will help us achieve these goals? Which actions are more likely to be more effective in moving us closer toward these goals?”
11- Hook Agency: Working on a 12-Week-Year Challenge
Tim Brown is a regular columnist on Forbes.com and the owner and marketer of the boutique digital Hook Agency. His company has served both small and large businesses to get them better represented online with professional web design and SEO services.
Tim told us about a new challenge his team has started, inspired by the book The 12 Week Year:
“We’ve recently started a new 12-week-year challenge, where for 12 weeks we have our broader goals we want to accomplish in the next 3 months (the book refers to these as lag indicators) and then also the short-term goals (lead indicators) we’d need to hit each week in order to get there. We each report weekly on what percentage of our ‘lead indicators’ we hit overall, and individually. This allows me to focus on shorter-term things that will likely lead to the long-term goals.”
12- Big 5 Performance: Using a Performance-Management Process
Roger Ferguson is a performance-appraisal expert, process-improvement consultant, and author of Finally! Performance Assessment That Works: Big 5 Performance Management. Using the tools outlined in the Big 5 process, his team has found success in achieving their goals:
“It is a simple process requiring each employee to submit a half-page report, each month, detailing their five most significant accomplishments from last month and their five highest priorities for the current month. Managers respond with praise, coaching, or correction. These reports are usually due on the 5th day of the month and managers usually have five days to respond, further instilling the Big Five process into the culture.”
Alon Rajic, Managing Director of an international money-transfer site that has been featured on Inc.com, The Daily Telegraph, and 1,000+ websites, had this to say about how he makes sure his team achieves their goals:
“I set up a meeting every 3 months between each employee and higher-level management. This is when the employee showcases his work for the past 3 months, showing how far he has gotten on the tasks that were assigned to him to accomplish. I have found that when an employee presents to a higher-level manager that he is not often in contact with, he becomes more thorough, detailed, and self-critical.”
Let’s review the key takeaways from the experts regarding setting and achieving team goals:
- Come to a consensus on the goals by allowing everyone to have a voice.
- Explain the “why” behind the goal and how it affects both the company and the customer.
- Write down your goals and make them SMART.
- Know the skillset and motivations of each team member.
- Have strong communication within your team from the beginning.
- Identify potential conflicts by sharing goals across departments.
- Try an app to facilitate employee collaboration.
- Show confidence by not micromanaging and kindness by rewarding.
- Implement gamification techniques with prizes to motivate and encourage people.
- Bring every meeting conversation back to the goals to minimize distractions.
- Challenge yourself to hit short-term goals that will lead to long-term goal success.
- Use a performance-management system with an appropriate managerial response.
- Give employees opportunities to showcase their work to higher executives.
With these team-goal examples in mind, you have a great starting point to begin creating your own successful strategies for what will best work in your business when setting team goals.
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