How to align individual goals with organizational goals

Aligning your individual goals according to you organization's goals will help you track your progress and understand the results in a more personalized form.

No organization can succeed when employees are working in silos. Setting the right goal isn’t enough, you must align each individual goal with team goals and every team goal with the business goal to ensure success.

Importance of strategic goal alignment

  • Clearly defined, aligned goals help individuals understand how they are contributing to the organization’s growth and purpose. Thereby, inspiring them to do their best.
  • Aligned goals also help set priorities. Thus, helping day-to-day task allocation.
  • Aligned goals connect employees and teams, building a sense of camaraderie among team members.

How to align employee goals with company goals

Step I — Set clear company goals

a. Have a clear purpose  

Start with a strong, aspirational, strategic purpose and key business priorities that are set by the higher management for a particular time period. Ask these questions —

  • What problems are we solving?
  • Who is it for?
  • Why will they care?
  • What promises do we want to make and keep?
  • What matters the most today?

b. Get leadership buy-in 

Consider the feedback from your senior and mid-level level leaders to understand the grass root strengths and obstacles and refine your message further.

c. Develop a clear message 

Next, you need to formulate your key business goals into a clear statement that is understandable by everyone within the organization across all levels. Focus on clarity over jargon.

d. Leverage emotions, not numbers 

Your goal statement should invoke a sense of purpose and inspiration among your employees. Therefore, instead of putting emphasis on a specific number as a business target, make it passionate. i.e focus on the impact you want to create as a company, instead of the outcome you want to achieve in your messaging. 

For example — Transform the ways organizations work is a more inspiring goal statement than Reach $2 million in ARR.

Step II — Communicate goals at each level

a. Communicate your business goals relentlessly

Everyone within the organization must know what company goals are. The messaging should be consistent and clear.

  • How can you make goals a part of your team meetings, performance reviews and 1:1 check-ins?

Slowly weave key goals into the organizational culture for continuous reinforcement and goal alignment across all levels.

b. Communicate the connection

Ask your department heads/ team leads/ managers to effectively communicate the connection between individual efforts and team/department goals with the overall company goal. This way employees know how their efforts fit into the big picture.

c. Break down bigger goals into smaller milestones

In order to make your message clearer, break down your company objectives into smaller, time-bound milestones/ targets. This is where leveraging OKRs or Objectives and Key Results can help build accountability.

These milestones must include — the goal i.e. what needs to be accomplished (Objective)  as well as how progress or success will be measured (Key Results).

d. Provide transparency and focus

Goals should be communicated with transparency —

  • What each team is working on?
  • Who is accountable for which goal’s completion?
  • What are the next steps?

Goal visibility helps employees know how their team’s goals are aligned with that of other teams and how different teams can help each other. This leads to better collaboration and a healthy competition across teams.

Step III — Allow employees to set their own goals

a. Help them stay within the company framework

Once the company goals are clearly communicated, let your teams and team members set their own goals based on their unique strengths, work styles and interests that fits into the company objective. Employees are more likely to challenge themselves and set aspirational goals when given the freedom to choose their own goals. 

b. Don’t be rigid about cascading goals

Cascading goals where individual goals must support the goals above it irrespective of individual preferences leads to poor engagement. Hence, be flexible and focus more on goal alignment than how individual goals are set. 

c. Empower your people to think big

Reward smart risk-taking and innovation during this process. Encourage employees to set aspirational goals (or OKRs). Match individual strengths with organizational opportunities to find the sweet spot of high performance and engagement

d. Create a balance

However, not every goal needs to be bold and ambitious. Some goals must be transactional and realistic to drive quick business results. Managers must find this balance within the team.

Step IV — Help employees achieve their goals

a. Focus on celebrating progress 

Leadership must communicate regularly the progress on company goals and acknowledge individual efforts that helped achieve it. Continuous updates on collective progress helps everyone realign their efforts as needed. While timely recognition drives employee motivation.

b. Regular 1:1 and team meetings

Continuous feedback and regular coaching by managers helps employees stay aligned with their goals and provides insights into real-time, on-the-ground problems faced to ensure better goal alignment.

c. Great onboarding for new hires

To ensure company-wide goal alignment, new hires must understand the company’s vision, mission, their job role and day-to-day responsibilities well. 

d. Resources, learning and development

Finally, ensure that employees have access to all necessary resources to do their job well and have a skill development strategy in place. When each employee knows what they need to do, how to do it well and where to get help — individual improvement will invariably lead to business success. Thus, ensuring (almost) perfect alignment.

  • Book a free demo with SuperBeings today to see how you can apply these principles to set team OKRs directly in your team
  • Check out the following SuperBeings Playbooks to conduct effective OKR check-ins — 
  • Weekly OKR check-in
  • Quarterly OKR check-in
  • 1:1 meetings
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