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Set Achievable Team Goals: Strategies for Business Owners

Discover the importance of team goal setting and effective strategies for setting team goals in your organization.

If you operate or manage a business with employees, you already know the importance of team collaboration. Teams can help a business increase internal productivity and efficiency while reaching its sales goals.

Unfortunately, many small business owners don't realize the importance of the team goal-setting process. While it's crucial for employees to set their own goals in the workplace, team goal setting is just as important. Setting goals for teams gives you something to measure to ensure your team is productive and can accomplish all the tasks they need within the designated time frame.

Being goal-oriented can help you resolve issues within teams that affect your business's bottom line. Keep reading to learn more about setting team goals, including how to set team goals and the benefits of doing so.

What is team goal setting?

Every business has goals. For example, you have website goals that determine the performance of your website based on its purpose, overarching company goals for revenue and sales, and specific marketing campaigns with goals that support your overall company goals. But do your employees and teams have goals?

Team goal setting gives your employees something to work towards, making them more productive and efficient while ensuring everything they need to do is completed on time. Team goals drive performance and help employees determine where they fit into the company's vision.

With team goals, you'll measure the performance of various teams and the members within them. These performance objectives can help you determine if teams are meeting their goals, exceeding them, or falling behind.

Importance of setting SMART goals

SMART goal setting can help you measure the effectiveness of your whole team, but it's not enough to set simple goals.

For example, a sales team might aim to sell more items, but that doesn't necessarily tell them anything. SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound — goals ensure your team understands exactly what the goals are and when they should be achieved by.

The SMART framework can help set your teams up for success by making their goal more specific and easily measured. Additionally, these ensure that the goals are actually possible and realistic for the company.

For example, if your company currently sells $50,000 of product in a month, you can't expect your sales team to increase it to $500,000 next month because that's unrealistic compared to the current data you have. You need to set achievable goals that your team can realistically accomplish.

These goals are time-based, meaning there's a deadline to meet them. Would you rather have your sales team working towards increasing sales by 10% within the next year or next quarter? This information can help them devise a better strategy focused on these specific goals.

Benefits of setting team goals

Goal setting gives your employees something to work toward. Without them, you won't know if your teams are succeeding at their given tasks. Setting team goals can help your team and business in a few ways, such as:

Improved team communication and collaboration

While having personal goals for individual team members is important for measuring their performance, team goals give everyone working together a common goal that requires them to collaborate on campaigns.

For instance, if you want to revisit your marketing goals, your marketing team will need to come together to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns and create new campaigns for increased success.

Your company may consist of several departments and smaller teams within those departments. For example, you may have a marketing department with social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising teams that rarely come together.

However, they still have team goals that require them to work together. Assigning an entire department team goals promotes open communication and encourages everyone to work together. Your marketing strategy will be much more effective when teams come out of their silos and start considering what other teams are working on.

Increased motivation and engagement:

To increase engagement in your organization to improve employee satisfaction, you must set goals. Goals are highly motivating because they give teams information about what they're working for.

For instance, a sales team might aim to achieve a 5% increase in sales month over month. What does this goal do? It motivates them to sell more to achieve the goal.

Defining goals demonstrates to teams that their contributions are helping the business grow, making them feel more like a team instead of individual employees who work alone. Increasing motivation in your employees can help improve overall engagement and boost job satisfaction.

Improved work performance

Defining goals can improve your team's work performance because it gives them clear direction. With a SMART goal or objective, they'll always know what they're working on and how it helps the business.

Employees with goals waste less time trying to find work to do and more time actually working towards achieving something, whatever their goals may be.

Additionally, setting team goals and milestones prevents them from falling behind on work that must be completed.

Better accountability

Team goals hold employees accountable for their work. Knowing how a team's goal relates to the company's objectives can help teams better understand their role within an organization.

Additionally, goal setting holds each team member accountable for their work because it impacts the other team members. For instance, the marketing department may have a process for website design. If one person doesn't complete their work by the deadline, it affects the entire team's ability to provide quality work because it means everyone else has to rush or push the deadline back.

This accountability can lead to a greater sense of pride in an employee's work and will help keep your team focused so they can accomplish goals by the deadline.

How to set team goals

Knowing how to set goals for your team is crucial. Remember, your goals should be SMART, enabling each person to understand their role, what they should work on, and when they should be accomplished.

Here are a few tips to help you set effective goals for any team within an organization:

Determine your team's purpose

One of the most important aspects of the goal-setting process is determining a team's purpose.

Teams come together for various purposes, such as sales, marketing, or customer service. Additionally, some teams require individuals from various departments to work together to complete a project. Whatever the case, you should always define the team's purpose and set goals that align with the business's overall objectives.

Was your team created to work on a specific project? Or is it a departmental team with the same overarching responsibilities? This information matters because it can help you set attainable goals that align with the organization's goals.

Ultimately, you must consider what you want your team to do. For example, will they be responsible for developing new software, planning an event, or interacting with customers?

Letting your team members know their purpose can help them get started on the right foot without confusion so they understand they're working toward a common goal.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

In every team, there will be strengths and weaknesses. For example, your development department may not be as creative as your design department, but your design team doesn't know how to code.

That's why people from each department form teams in the first place — to cover for each other's weaknesses and ensure the work can get done up to certain standards.

Set SMART goals

Another crucial team goal-setting activity is to set SMART goals. You should consider factors such as the team's purpose, what you want them to achieve, and their strengths and weaknesses to set attainable, relevant goals that your team members can accomplish.

For instance, what's a better goal: Increasing paid website traffic or increasing paid website traffic by 5% in the next three months?

Increasing paid website traffic by 5% in the next three months gives you a specific and measurable goal of increasing paid traffic by 5% and gives you a deadline to achieve it.

Develop a strategy

Your goals should serve as the basis for your team's strategy. For instance, once you learn how to set effective marketing goals, you can create a plan of action for achieving those goals. Everyone within the team should know what they're responsible for and their deadlines.

The best way to devise a strategy is to schedule a meeting with your team to discuss the overarching goals and allow everyone to provide feedback to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands their individual tasks.

Your strategy should also include the tools your team needs to complete their work. For instance, a website developer may need access to the designer's comps and designs before they can begin coding. Additionally, you can elect team leaders to ensure everyone is on the same page and provide them with additional help throughout the process.

Establish a timeline

Remember, your SMART goals are timely, so you'll need to establish a timeline that includes when each team member should complete their work.

At this point, it's crucial to talk to each team member individually to discuss how long it will take them to complete their work. Once you have everyone's estimated timelines, you can establish an ultimate timeline for when the team will achieve its goals.

Monitor progress

After setting team goals, you should create a framework for measuring success and tracking progress. You can use various project management tools that allow everyone to leave comments and mark tasks as completed to help you keep track of everyone's work. But you should also meet with team members regularly to see if they need help or additional resources.

You can also consider scheduling regular check-in meetings that allow everyone to share what they're working on and ask questions about the project's current status.

Then, after you've met your goals or reached the deadline, you should evaluate your team's performance. For instance, did they meet their goals before the deadline? If not, it's crucial to determine why and find ways to solve bottlenecks and any other issues before working on the next project.

Maximize your team success through effective goal setting

Setting effective team goals can improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace while motivating team members. However, it's not enough to set basic goals. Your teams must understand what they're working towards and how they can track progress regardless of the type of project they're working on.

Just as important as setting goals is tracking goals and measuring success. With Mailchimp, you can send email surveys and communications directly to team members to get their feedback on projects and goals and ensure everyone is on the same page. Try Mailchimp today.

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