Setting goals and putting them into motion is one of the most important things you can do as a team leader.
In fact, a Harvard study shows that setting goals improves motivation, especially if there is an inherent follow-through.
In this article, we look at how to align your team’s goals and motivations to increase the success of your employees and thus your company.
Align for Victory
Your company is made up of multiple teams, and each of these teams should have their own set of goals that aligns with your company’s goals. For example, your sales team might have set a goal to increase sales of a specific product by 10%, while your retail staff may have decided their goal is to create new window displays once a week.
Both of these goals are building blocks to your main company goal of selling 100 more products in Q4 than in Q3.
Now that you see how your teams can work together, let’s look at them individually.
For your team to be aligned, they have to be working for a common purpose and with a similar motivation.
The ideal team has come together, with each team member bringing a separate set of skills and expertise. Your team will be aligned when their common goal is known, and when they cooperate together to achieve it.
Goals have the added bonus of increasing motivation. For example, let’s say that your wait staff team has a goal of selling 10 new menu items each night for a month. At the end of the month, if they meet the goal as a whole, you reward them.
If your team is working well together, and they are aligned with a common goal, you might find they individually exceed your expectations – selling 20 new menu items each night.
Everyone needs a goal, and by setting goals, you provide focus for your team.
When your team is working together towards a common goal and motivated by the same end result, they can prioritize their projects and tasks to focus on the goal at hand.
Define the Objectives
As you start to set goals with your team, start by spelling out the objectives of your team. A highly functional and aligned team is driven by a common mission. It’s important everyone understands the mission.
By understanding and buying into the mission, your team is more apt to share the team goal. The team goal then becomes more important than their own individual goals.
Team goals bind your team together and creative cohesiveness while increasing productivity.
Define the Responsibilities
In order to work toward your common goals, each person on the team should agree to how you’ll meet the goal.
Once that happens, you can set individual responsibilities. These should be well-defined so there is no room for interpretation.
For the good of the team and motivation of all members, keep the individual tasks as evenly distributed as possible.
As the team leader, your encouragement goes a long way in building your team and keeping members active and engaged.
Make sure that everyone continues to work together and remains aligned in goals and motivation.
Ensure that everyone knows they have a place on the team, and everyone’s opinions and work is valued.
You’ll find that your employees are more motivated when they have something to strive for. Make sure your goals are specific and attainable.
Goals that aren’t reachable are motivation killers. You want your team to be successful, so make sure your goals are realistic.
Generally, you’ll find your team members want to be successful, and your goals will motivate them to reach for excellence.
You can always offer some type of reward if your team meets your goal.
Check out our Relational Employee Schedule Formula guide to learn how you can align your schedule with your goals and your employees’ goals to keep them motivated.
Align the Team
Consider the team who can’t reach its goals unless every member of the team works together, finishing their tasks on time.
This is a team that is aligned with a shared motivation. When your team realizes their goals can only be reached with maximum teamwork, you’ll have a better chance at success.
Lastly, remember that employee buy-in is important to your bottom line.
When setting team goals, make sure your employees agree with the goals and their individual tasks. This gives them a sense of ownership – another wonderful motivator.
Albert Einstein said, “The value of achievement lies in the achieving.”
When you set goals, you give your team something to reach for. They will soon learn that Einstein is correct, sometimes getting to the goal is reward enough.
All companies should have written goals that encompass the company as a whole. Then, each of your teams should have their own set of specific, attainable, timely and measurable goals that work with your overall goals.
Goal setting improves employee motivation, boosts morale and is good for your bottom line.
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