Company goals are clearly defined targets that a business aims to achieve within a set time period. They can be related to everything from productivity and growth to employee satisfaction. Company goals are important because they give your business direction and help you focus on specific actions.
Why Do You Need Company Goals?
There are numerous reasons why company goals are essential for long-term success. We’ve listed a few of the benefits of having clear goals below.
They will keep you accountable. With well-defined goals, it’s much easier to maintain accountability. Many goals can be broken down to a team or individual level, which can help you to understand employee achievement and/ or underachievement.
They enable informed decisions. When you have a defined goal to work towards, you can make clear decisions based on it. This will help you maintain a stable business direction and become more successful.
They help keep departments aligned. When there’s a collective goal to work towards, it’s usually much easier for different departments and teams to work together effectively. Smaller goals can help optimize processes within teams.
They enable you to measure success. Achievable goals essentially provide a benchmark for gauging company success. This information can be used to help you set new goals.
What Types of Company Goals Are There?
We can split company goals into several different categories according to their type and aims. Some of these include the following.
Long-Term vs Short-Term
Short-term goals are usually smaller but can be achieved in weeks or months. Long-term goals take significantly longer to achieve and can include five or ten-year visions.
Qualitative vs Quantitative
Quantitative goals can be measured, and it’s easy to determine when and how they’re achieved. For example, a quantitative goal might be to reduce employee absences by 20%.
On the other hand, qualitative goals are harder to measure and depend largely on opinions and observations. For example, a qualitative company goal might be to boost employee happiness by 50%.
Performance goals are related to your company’s day-to-day operations. They are usually quite short-term and should be easy to measure. For example, a qualitative performance goal could be to boost monthly sales by 10%.
These tend to relate to employees’ own objectives and can include aspects of work-life balance, career advancement, or pay rates. For example, you could aim to reduce overtime by 50% so employees get to spend more time with their friends and family.
These types of goals usually relate to topics of social responsibility. A good example of a social company goal might be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.
Generally, growth goals are related to the expansion of your business as a whole—or certain parts of it. They can include everything from launching new product lines to expanding to a new region.
Developing Company Goals With the SMART Principle
When you’re developing a new company goal, you should follow the SMART principle—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. These five elements should be present in every company goal.
All company goals should define the outcome they aim to achieve. By making your goals specific, you can take clear actions to achieve them.
In most cases, there needs to be something to measure results against. Even with qualitative goals, you should have a benchmark to compare with.
There’s no point in having goals that you know you won’t be able to achieve as you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Of course, business goals can be challenging, but make sure you have a good chance of succeeding at them.
Similarly, all goals should be realistic and in line with your company policy and general operations. In most cases, your company goals should align with your long-term business plan.
Last but not least, all goals should have a time frame attached to them. Setting milestones can be useful for breaking larger goals into smaller steps.
5 Tips for Setting Company Goals
Setting new company goals can be difficult at first. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Start with broad goals
When you’re setting company goals for the first time, start with the big picture. Focus on what you hope to achieve in the next year, five years, and 10 years, and then create smaller goals based on this.
- Break your goals down as much as possible
Breaking down your goals into smaller targets can help you achieve them. For example, weekly goals could be split into daily targets and annual goals into monthly components.
- Keep things measurable
Although it’s not always possible, try to keep your goals measurable. Doing so will help you monitor your successes and ensure you’re progressing in the right direction.
- Assign tasks to individual employees
To ensure goals are met, it may be beneficial to assign specific tasks to individual employees. This is especially true for tasks requiring specialized skills or experience.
- Don’t forget to measure your progress
It’s all well and good to have goals, but they won’t be meaningful if you don’t monitor your progress. Keeping track of your goals will help you ensure that you’re going to hit them—and allow you to adjust your daily workflows should you need to.
At the end of the day, company goals are a great thing. They can help you and your team to maintain a clear vision for the future while measuring current growth and productivity.
Developing business goals is a relatively simple process, especially if you follow the SMART principles. It’s important to break larger goals down into smaller targets, and don’t forget to measure your success.