Alignment is a top priority for organizations of all sizes. If managers are not on the same page as their employees or executives, long-term success is an unlikely feat. At BetterWorks, we understand just how much is involved in creating a unified vision: clear goals, an empowering performance management system, engaged employees and effective communication are just a few. However, when it comes to alignment, we think goal setting is one of the most important steps. That being said, there are three different sets of goals throughout an organization that should be aligned to achieve a broader objective:
1. Company Goals
The first type of objective enterprises must focus on is company goals. This is the overall mission of the organization for any particular period of time, and can involve talent retention, ROI, client relationships, and industry rewards and recognition. Whatever the goals of any given company, we believe they should be based on objectives and key results. As noted in our e-book, “Getting Started with OKRs,” this type of goal helps organizations achieve disciplined thinking so major goals surface and inform everyone about what is most important. Additionally, OKRs are meant to be aspirational, and if a company can strive for greatness, everyone else in the organization will, too.
“Company goals should be based on objectives and key results.”
2. Team Goals
Next, each team must be well-aligned on its own mission as well as the objectives of other teams. This is important because if teams do not understand the purpose of their contributions, it is unlikely they will help achieve company goals. Moreover, by creating alignment and collaboration across teams, enterprises can help reduce the existence of silos that have a negative impact on long-term success.
3. Employee Goals
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, employees must have a good understanding of their own objectives, as well as how their work ties back to company goals. In fact, Gallup wrote for Harvard Business Review that according to its research, clarity of expectations is one of the most important things employees need to perform well. However, additional research from Gallup found more than half of workers do not have a clear understanding of what is expected from them at work.
At the most basic level, setting clear employee expectations is necessary for an organization to function. More importantly, though, is the fact that employees who do not understand the meaning behind their goals are less likely to be engaged.
The Route to Achievement
The key to achieving alignment between company, team and employee goals is interactive goal setting software. As our white paper “Goals and Performance Management” pointed out, goal setting software brings transparency to the performance management process. Goals that are managed on an interactive platform that is visible to everyone create a more open culture that sparks collaborative problem solving and creativity. Additionally, these goals allow teams to understand the business from a larger perspective, achieve alignment and eliminate silos.