How to set goals for your team

Updated on January 28, 2023
team goal setting

Are you failing as a team? Do your team members have a poor work ethic? Do you feel like there is a lack of direction to your efforts? If this is indeed what you are going through, then the problem might be that the wrong goals have been set for your team.

Goals that are compelling and challenging can lead to excellent results. However, goals that are too abstract or unachievable can be demotivating and lower the performance of your team. That is why you should make a conscious effort to properly set the goals for your team before you start a project.

So, what are the things that you can do today in order to make that change happen? In other words, how can you put your team on the path to the right objectives? Here we will take a look at how to set goals for your team. In other words, what you can do as a manager to set goals for your team in a way that will lead to success.

Understanding your team goals

team goal setting

Right now you might think that setting a goal for yourself is difficult. So how are you supposed to do that for other people? The first step that you need to take is to understand your team goals on a granular level.

When it comes to team goal setting, there are 3 things that you need to consider first:

Are the goals:

  • aligned with the direction of the organization/company
  • motivating your team members to do excellent work
  • fitting for the individual roles within your team

Run every objective through this short check-list to determine if you are on the right path. But this just the very first step. There are two more crucial elements to setting team goals.

Measurable team goals

Let us take a look at some common team goals:

  • Increase our brand’s popularity (A)
  • Gain more followers on social media (M)
  • Sell more product/services (A)
  • Improve our website conversion (M)

By now, you have probably figured out that those marked with (A) are abstract team goals because they can be interpreted in numerous ways. In other words, there is no clear path to the objective.

On the other hand, the goals marked with (M) are measurable because they will be approached in a very specific way that will bring you concrete results.

Protip: It’s okay to discuss goals that are abstract but make sure to pair them with measurable goals for when you get to work.

Chase team goals with ambition, passion, and purpose

Among the ways to achieve team goals, probably the most important part is to answer the question of WHY you are doing this. Establishing the reasons behind your goals is crucial because this will give your team a purpose.

Teams are capable of remarkable work that goes beyond the norms when the individuals pour their heart and soul into their work. So think of ways to introduce proposed team goals in an exciting way and talk about the positive changes that will be brought.

You just need to connect the dots. Every knowledge worker can operate with ambition, passion, and purpose when they are challenged with meaningful goals.

How to set a smart goal for your team (framework)

How to set a smart goal for your team

Here is a framework that you can follow in order to set the right goals for your team and set everything up for success.

1. Project preface: What, How, and Why

So here’s how to set goals as a team:

  • Gather your team and inform them that you will be setting a smart goal for them to achieve.
  • Tell your team members WHAT you are doing, HOW you are doing it, and WHY you are doing it from the very beginning of the project.
  • All your efforts are result-oriented so speak openly about what are the results you are expecting from the new project and how they relate to the general direction of your company.
  • This will give everybody involved a sense of organization and structure. And these are crucial elements for productivity.

Keep in mind that smart goals are all about measurable results. This means that you should have a clear understanding of how you track your team’s progress and how you measure the end results.

2. Assign tasks as per individual roles

Take the time to personally assign the tasks to the team members who are going to complete them. A more personal approach will help you keep the people you work with accountable for their actions and productivity.

This is also an opportunity for you to assign important tasks to team members who will gain valuable experience from completing them. Just make sure to provide them with all the support and guidance they need so they’ll be on the right path,

3. Set progress milestones and realistic deadlines

Project milestones are important because they mark the progress you make. This shows everybody in your team that you are going forward and their work can bring the desired results.

The progress milestones you establish will also motivate your teammates to complete the project that they have been working on so hard.

On the other hand, make sure that the deadlines you set are realistic, based on the individual skills and capabilities of your team members. In fact, instead of giving them a hard deadline, try to be a little bit more flexible and ask them what they think would be a reasonable deadline for the tasks you have assigned to them.

This way they will feel like their voice is heard and they are more likely to finish the tasks before the deadlines they have set up themselves.

4. Provide support and resources

A good team leader empowers their teammates. So you need to do everything in your power to provide the necessary support and resources to your team. This way you will ensure that they have what they need to do great work and accomplish amazing results.

Besides, this way they will see you as somebody who truly cares about their professional growth. And if your team members look up to you and respect what you think, then they will be way more likely to do their best to achieve the team goals that you have placed.

5. Track individual and collective progress

It is important to give your team professional and creative freedom. However, it should all be done within your control. Periodically, you should take the time to speak to your teammates. Maybe conduct even a few 1 on 1 meetings to make sure that everything is going according to plan.

On the other hand, tracking collective progress is just as important. That is where establishing those progress milestones comes into place. You can hold weekly, bi-weekly, or even short daily meetings with your team to discuss your work and track your progress.

Key takeaways

  • Team goals must be aligned with the direction of your company/organization.
  • Team goals should be measurable, establish a clear path to them, and how you measure them.
  • Take the time to delegate the work to the right team members.
  • Establish project milestones to help you keep track of the progress you achieve.
  • Ask your team members to set up reasonable deadlines for themselves.
  • Provide your team with all the resources and support they need to achieve great work.
  • Conduct individual and team meetings every week to track the progress of your projects.
Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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