Setting new goals is an exciting and inspiring exercise for a company. But making sure you have buy-in and alignment from your team to help you achieve those goals is critical to their success. It’s not always easy to get everyone on board, especially if you don’t tackle alignment as a goal in and of itself. To make sure you have the alignment you need to achieve your new goals, your team needs to be part of the goal-setting process.
How To Align Your Team to Company Goals
1. Set Goals that Motivate and Inspire You and Your Team
Setting achievable goals is a good tactical strategy to keep your business on track, but that’s not always enough. To really get buy-in from your team on a set of new goals, you need something big to aim for. Look for goals that will really work to motivate and inspire your team. Set challenging goals that make you and your team do your best work and celebrate when you achieve your smaller goals. Focus on achievements that are important to the business and that you will value in the long run, rather than just reasonable achievements that help you get your work done.
2. Be Realistic
Of course, don’t focus on goals that are completely unreasonable or which have no clear path to achievement, because those will do more to frustrate your employees than inspire them. Be realistic, even include your team in the goal-setting process to make sure they understand the goal and feel they have a clear path to achieving it. But at the same time, don’t sell yourself or your team short by setting a goal that you have no vested interest in the outcome of either. Make it a priority and go to work every day with that goal at the top of your mind and your team will too.
3. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
SMART goals are goals which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This is particularly true for challenging goals, because this method helps you make sure you are committed and held accountable to your goals. Be specific about what you want to achieve with a particular goal. Make sure that you can measure your success or failures throughout the year. Keep in mind that attainability is critical, especially for challenging goals, because if you give up on a big goal because it’s unrealistic, then you are less likely to be motivated toward other challenging goals. Make sure that your goal is relevant to your life and your work. And give yourself and your goal a schedule and stick to it.
4. Make a Plan and Write it Down
Goals are little more than daydreams if you don’t have a plan to achieve them. Goal setting is a dynamic and constantly changing activity. In order to make sure you have team alignment on new goals, you need to be able to think through the steps to achieve the goal and evaluate your team’s progress along the way. Set up regular reminders and check-ins for your team to make sure you are all on the right track. Writing down those goals as a team helps to solidify them in everyone’s mind and cement them as team goals, not just management goals.
5. Reward Successes
Debriefs on progress to achieve those team goals is also an important part of the alignment building process. Employees need to know how they will be held accountable and rewarded for achieving said goals in order to have their full buy-in. Aligning goals with performance reviews helps to ensure this communication happens, but it can take place outside this process as well. If goals are met or exceeded, a reward can engage and encourage top performers, and demonstrate the company’s acknowledgment of their efforts – whether it’s a shout out at a meeting, a note of recognition, or a gift of some kind, the effort will send the message that the company rewards hard work.
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