Welcome to 2023! It is that time of the year where we think about our objectives and goals for the future, as well as potential obstacles. Instead of far-fetched, elusive goals, we’re focusing on setting a structured and achievable organisational roadmap for the year ahead.
Goal setting is perhaps the most crucial aspect of organisational success because it assures that all members of the team are working towards a shared vision. If setting goals is so important for overall performance, why do up to 90% of organisations fail to meet their strategic goals for the year?1
Goal Simplicity and Clarity
We found that the two primary pain points are that the goals we set are complicated and ambiguous. When goals are poorly stated, they can be viewed as unimportant. This leads to a depleted motivation to achieve the goal.
It is crucial that your team is involved in the creation of your goals from the very beginning. This will work to elevate any potential confusion and will further empower them to complete their shared goal.
Achieving goals together boosts team performance significantly, and further fosters a stronger team. According to McKinsey & Co., 91% of organisations with successful performance management systems claim that both their team and organisational goals are aligned.2
If your organisation is having trouble adopting and sustaining goals, here are a few pointers to help you make the move or enhance your present system.
SMART: Setting Goals for 2023
Great leaders make it possible for their teams to achieve, and cooperation is an essential component of goal empowerment. One of the most important aspects of creating meaningful, highly motivating goals is working as a team to set objectives, milestones, and action plans. When your team is formulating their goals for 2023, you must ensure that they are:
Clarity is the cornerstone of effective goals in every area of the SMART framework. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that only 55% of mid-level managers can list one of their organisations’ top five goals.3 If goals are outlined and defined clearly, it allows your team to remain focused on the most crucial tasks. Consider these questions below to increase the chances of achieving team goals.
Be specific about:
- Ownership: Who will be responsible for this task? Who is accountable for the success of the team in relation to this goal?
- Achievement: What exactly are we aiming to achieve?
- Reasoning: Why is this goal important to us as a team and an organisation?
- Pathway: How will we achieve this goal? What can we do to ensure we succeed?
When it comes to goals, there is a significant gap between intention and action. Making time each day to track what has been accomplished is one method to help close the gap. According to research released by the Dominican University of California, individuals are 42% more likely to achieve goals when they are physically recorded.4
It’s crucial to set quantifiable objectives for your team, so they can monitor progress and maintain motivation. This means that your team can stay focused, fulfil deadlines, and experience the thrill of coming closer to the objective by regularly evaluating their progress.
Be observant of:
- Obstacles: What are the red barrels that we need to overcome to achieve this goal?
- Achievement: How will we know whether we were successful? What does success look like?
- Progress: How will you track progress and determine whether your team is heading in the correct direction at the right pace? How will we recognise progress and celebrate wins?
The goal of your team cannot be accomplished without your support. It is important that you assess the constraints of the goal, decide whether you need to delegate smaller, more doable jobs or whether extra resources are required. A successful goal will inspire your team to push themselves, while still being achievable.
Become grounded by:
- Realism: How likely is it that we can achieve this goal?
- Resources: What resources could we employ that would make this a realistic goal?
- Focus: How could we make this larger goal smaller, while still ensuring it is a challenge?
Relevant goals are meaningful goals. If a goal is relevant to your team, it is worth pursuing! Goals are only attainable if they are meaningful to your team and if they fit into the wider objectives of the organisation.
Become aligned through:
- Values: Is this goal something that is aligned with our company values?
- Outcome: Would the outcome of achieving this goal have a larger and worthwhile benefit to the organisation and team?
- Timing: Is the timing of this goal right for the team? Is further preparation needed?
One of the main reasons objectives aren’t always met is because there is no set deadline to hold your team accountable. You must first prepare your team for success by establishing realistic deadlines. Without a deadline, your team won’t know how far they’ve come or whether they’re on the right route.
Become motivated by:
- Beginning: Is there a task your team can perform instantly to make headway on the goal?
- Looking forward: When would be the best time to complete this goal? What other goals will this enable us to work towards in the future?
Using the SMART approach is one of the most frequent and beneficial strategies to outline exactly what your team needs to achieve. It also assists the team in visualising the objective, which makes it more real and credible, assisting them to make it into a reality. The more detailed the vision, the easier it is to see, feel, and eventually achieve the goal.
We encourage your entire team to join you on the path to a year of opportunity and growth. Here’s to new beginnings, new challenges, and community building in 2023!
We also have a YouTube video on setting SMART goals. Watch it here: Setting SMART Goals
- “Closing the Gap: Designing and Delivering a Strategy That Works.” Economist Impact | Perspectives, www.impact.economist.com/perspectives/strategy-leadership/closing-gap-designing-and-delivering-strategy-works
- Chowdhury, Sabrin, and Elizabeth Hioe. “How Effective Goal-setting Motivates Employees.” McKinsey & Company, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-organization-blog/how-effective-goal-setting-motivates-employees
- “Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It.” Harvard Business Review, 7 Sept. 2017, www.hbr.org/2015/03/why-strategy-execution-unravelsand-what-to-do-about-it
- Economy, Peter. “This Is the Way You Need to Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success.” Inc. Australia, 23 Nov. 2022, www.inc-aus.com/peter-economy/this-is-way-you-need-to-write-down-your-goals-for-faster-success.html