team motivational meeting on beach
Encompassing individual goals into the broader team's goals means one person's success is everyone's success PHOTO: Margarida CSilva

We all know the importance of setting clear goals at work. But setting goals doesn’t end at an individual level. 

Setting team goals sets the bar high for everybody. Breaking down goals into more manageable chunks and assigning them to individuals is a great way to keep people on the same page, while allowing everyone to maintain autonomy over their work.

Cloudy Goals Lead to Lackluster Performance

With research indicating that only 7 percent of employees understand their company's strategy, goals and direction, it’s clear not enough companies are optimizing team goals to ensure people stay on the same page. 

If your organization is suffering from this, it could have a major impact on engagement, and make all the difference between a team of people who are driven to work towards wider company aims and vision, or a group of individuals who put the minimum effort into their individual workloads, with no wider motivational drive. 

Seventy-two percent of highly engaged employees understand the importance of their role and its contribution to organizational success. They understand the value of having people engage with organizational goals and values, and the impact this has. 

If people are unaware of what their role is contributing to and struggle to see its value, they won’t be as likely to work with as much purpose or be as engaged with company aims. 

Failing to set effective goals for the entire team which link to wider organizational aims can be detrimental to the productivity, direction and ownership of the work of your entire team. If employees aren’t aware why they’re being assigned a certain task or unclear where that task fits in a larger vision, they’re less likely to feel a drive to complete it. 

4 Reasons to Set Team Goals

Organizations who succeed in instilling a strong sense of purpose and clarity of goals share some common characteristics. They include:

Transparency 

Setting team goals keeps things open and ensures everyone’s on the same page. 

Keeping things visible across the company doesn’t end with being open about salaries or issues concerning management. Providing team goals means people have their own responsibilities, but also that they know what the rest of the team is working on alongside them. 

With only 5.9 percent of organizations communicating goals on a daily basis, things need to change to ensure people are connected with what they’re working on and are addressing wider organizational aims as part of a team.

Motivation

Imagine if someone asked you to complete a task where they gave you instructions and the resources you needed, but the the task was pointless. How motivated would you be to complete it? 

Your team most likely would feel the same. 

Asking people to complete a task with barely any context or knowledge as to how it will contribute to wider accomplishments will make it highly unlikely they'll be motivated to complete the task at hand. People will have both higher motivation and engagement levels when they’re doing work they can see a wider purpose behind. 

Chip Conley, CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, maintains if employees can find wider purpose behind even the most mundane tasks, their happiness levels will be higher. Higher happiness levels not only make for more genuinely motivated, engaged and content employees, but also contributes to more tangible metrics such as company profits and improved customer satisfaction. 

Keeping employees in the loop in terms of wider organizational goals means people understand the wider purpose of what they’re doing, and appreciate the value of their work outside of the actual tasks they’re undertaking. Motivation levels will rise and people will strive to achieve more. 

Peers 

Most modern employees want more from their working life than just showing up. 

Giving people ownership of a goal which they know contributes to wider team and organizational ones means people will feel more motivated and connected to what they’re doing. People named their co-workers as the number one reason for “going the extra mile” at work. If employees see their work relating not only to organizational goals but also what their peers are working on, they will likely work harder to contribute to the success of their peers and co-workers. 

If twenty-eight percent of tasks people work on have even a minor impact on a wider project, it has a major impact on how people feel about the project. Being a small part of working towards something bigger has a significant impact on people’s emotions. 

Celebrating wider achievements that everyone contributes to can have a massive impact on the way people view their work and their working relationships with their peers. Have everyone celebrate the wins together and people will be more likely to work towards the bigger things in future. 

Collaboration

Besides people pushing themselves in their individual work, having collective goals to work on also boosts collaboration. Of course, once team goals are broken down, everyone has their own responsibilities to work on. 

Encompassing everyone’s individual goals with team ones means one person’s success is everyone’s success. People will be more likely to actively help their peers with any issues, and work collaboratively to get results, rather than adopting a more competitive mindset where focus on individual workloads works more in their favor.