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.
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 —
Consider the feedback from your senior and mid-level level leaders to understand the grass root strengths and obstacles and refine your message further.
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.
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.
Everyone within the organization must know what company goals are. The messaging should be consistent and clear.
Slowly weave key goals into the organizational culture for continuous reinforcement and goal alignment across all levels.
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.
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).
Goals should be communicated with transparency —
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To ensure company-wide goal alignment, new hires must understand the company’s vision, mission, their job role and day-to-day responsibilities well.
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.