As we hit a few months into the new year, now is typically the time when memories of our resolutions start to fade, we lose track of our goals, or abandon them altogether. We’re here to say now is the time to recommit, rather than give up. It’s completely reasonable to review and adjust your goals regularly throughout the year.

For many, 2020 was an interesting year and that means we put off setting goals in 2021 until we could see what the landscape might look like. Now is the time to set those goals. If you put them off or just need to re-evaluate, seize the moment.

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What are team goals?

Goals help to keep our eyes on the prize, working towards a desired outcome, and focused on success. When we have an end result in mind, it’s easier to stay hyper-productive and in a deep workflow. This is especially true when working in teams. With a team goal, you ensure that everyone stays on track and focused on the common objective, even if their individual tasks seem isolated.

When setting goals, both team and individual, it’s important to remember that there are 3 types of goals you, or a team, can set.

Outcome goals are the results we’d like to see or what it is we hope to achieve.

Process goals are the strategies or actions that will lead us to the outcome.

Performance goals are the standards you set to apply to your process.

For example, let’s say your team sends out a customer service survey after interactions with your team and lately those scores have fallen by 7 points. The outcome goal associated with this might be to increase customer service satisfaction scores by 7 points. The process goal would be to have weekly check-ins with your customer. Your performance goal would be to spend at least 10 minutes discussing concerns with the customer and ensure they have no questions or concerns when the call is done. 

How to Set Team Goals

When setting a team goal, it’s important that you’re not just “going through the motions.” Often when we talk about goal setting, people envision lofty goals that are unattainable, and so faith in goal setting as a practice is weaker than it should be. When specific and challenging S.M.A.R.T. goals are set, especially for a team, they can be motivating.

When setting goals for a team, you want to do the following:

1. Figure out the outcome

First, nearly 40% of employees do not know what their business’s goals are. This should be deeply concerning to a company, and to teams. While team goals may only be part of the larger business goal, getting everyone on the same page is key. Right now, according to these stats, half the team isn’t even reading the right book!

Further, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, it’ll be next to impossible to figure out the process or performance goals that will help you get there. You’ll want to assess the larger business goal (outcome) and see where your team fits in achieving that. What will the outcome for your team look like? How does it align with the overall business goal?

2.  Have team members set personal goals

One of the greatest assets you have is your team itself. For that reason, you want to ensure buy-in on your goals and one great way to do that is to allow team members to determine where their individual process goals will help achieve the outcome. Not only does this strategy ensure individual team members envision how they fit into the larger goals, but it can also improve efficiency and the chances of success.

In setting these goals, it’s vital to remember the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals:

S-Specific - Keep it simple, but detailed.
M- Measurable- Find a way to track it. How will you know when it is achieved?
A- Achievable- Keep it realistic.
R- Relevant- Does it matter? Does it help you get to the outcome?
T- Timely- Set a deadline and keep that realistic, but challenging. 


Here’s an example: If you’re in sales, it’s not enough to say, “Next quarter, we'll close more accounts.” Instead, a S.M.A.R.T. goal would be, “By the end of next quarter, I will bring in 10 new accounts that will result in a higher commission for myself and contribute to the overall revenue goals of our company; I’ll do this by increasing the amount of calls I make from 100 to 150.” 

3.  Set deadlines

One of the most important aspects of goal setting is creating deadlines. The fundamentals of S.M.A.R.T. goals include being timely. Open-ended goals, or a failure to create specific tasks (process goals), to be measured in a specific time, are likely to lead to confusion and, quite possibly, failure.

Remember, it’s important to set realistic deadlines, and, if necessary, break large tasks into smaller tasks that can also be measured, and also have deadlines. 

4. Track progress

S.M.A.R.T. goals must be measured. That means you, and your team, need to be aligned and reviewing progress. Successes and meeting benchmarks will motivate team members, but tracking also allows your team to adjust. Some tasks may take longer than others and others may present unexpected challenges. By checking in with team members, and tracking progress, team leaders, and members, can step in where needed and adjust.

5. Adjust as needed

One reason tracking is so important is that it allows you to adjust. Many people view goal setting as black and white. Success or failure. What this fails to account for is the importance of tracking progress and remaining agile throughout the process. Regular feedback and team input can help create the kind of cohesion that leads to success, even in the face of challenges.


Best practices for goal-setting


When you’ve landed on a goal that resonates with you and your team, and aligns with your overall business goals, be sure to keep a few things in mind that will ultimately help you be successful.


Tie your goals to overall KPIs. We often compare key performance indicators to a North Star because KPIs are what keep everyone focused and aligned. If your individual goals aren’t tied to KPIs, then you won’t be working towards the target you care about most. And remember, just like goals, your sales team, service team, project team, finance team, and NOC/operations team KPIs will all vary from one another.

Don’t rely on goals for performance reviews. This can be hard to do, but remember: goal-setting should encourage employees to stretch for something big. And in the process, it’s okay to not be afraid to fail and to not settle for mediocrity. It's also important to keep tracking, keep monitoring, and adjust as needed.


If goals were simply boxes to be check and then tied to compensation, teams would naturally only choose attainable goals, which wouldn’t leave a lot of room for growth. Risk has its rewards. While goals should be attainable, they should also present a challenge.

50 team goal examples

goals example-5

Each department in your organization contributes to the overall success of your company in different ways. Your support team will have different responsibilities than your sales team, and so each of your employees’ goals will vary as well. Make sure that the goals that are being set are relevant the goal owner. Here are some ideas:

Leadership Team:

  • Build on existing MRR: create upsell goals for existing managed services revenue
  • Develop Existing Resources: look at how you can develop your team to meet hiring plans for the future
  • Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead)
  • Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead)
  • Utilization Rate: hours billed vs. total hours in the week (good for operations manager)
  • Past Due Receivables: track how much is owed to your business that is past due (good for finance lead)
  • Average Response Time: monitor the time it takes to respond to a service request (good for services lead)
  • Cash in Bank: see how much cash is in the bank at the end of the week (good for finance lead)
  • Employee Engagement: assess whether you’re keeping and attracting top talen
  • Current Pipeline: the total amount in the pipeline multiplied by percentage chance of closing (good for sales lead)

Service Team:

  • Bring Down Response Time: are you responding to support requests quickly enough?
  • Bring Down Response Plan Time: are you starting work on the ticket fast enough?
  • Bring Down Resolution Time: total time to resolve tickets, minus business hours and hold statuses
  • New Certifications: stay on top of certifications that keep your team members relevant
  • Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead)
  • Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead)
  • SLAs Missed: tickets that missed their SLA (good for services lead)
  • Noisy Tickets: tickets with more than 5 time entries that are still open
  • Ticket Backlog: tracking the backlog of tickets to make sure they are coming down
  • Stale Tickets: open tickets that haven’t been updated in over 3 days

Finance/HR Teams:

  • Implement Quarterly Fun Event: a great one for HR, to keep team members engaged and close knit
  • Nothing Over 90 Days Past Due: strive to reduce AR to as little as possible
  • Past Due Accounts Receivable: total dollar amount of past due invoices
  • >90 Days Past Due: total dollar amount greater than 90 days past due
  • Cash in Bank: monitor how much cash is on hand
  • Payables Past Due: total money owed to vendors/clients
  • Invoices Delivered: monitor how efficiently and on-time invoices are being sent
  • Continued Education Hours: track how well you’re investing in employees and how much continued education they are completing

Operations/Projects Teams:

  • Fixed Fee Projects > 20k: keeping track of the fixed fee projects in your pipeline
  • Document Sales to Project Team Handoff: document the process for sales to hand off a won project to the project team
  • Projects Over Budget: number of projects that are over budget against Work Plan hours
  • Project Hours: track these to determine if too much/too little time is being spent on projects and see if priorities need to be readjusted
  • Documentation New & Updated: monitor how many documents are being created and updated
  • Open Projects: keep an eye on overall workload
  • Hours Not Billed: hours without an agreement or project without an associated invoice

Sales Team:

  • New New MRR: the amount of money closed in managed services revenue
  • Pipeline Per Sales Rep: the current weekly pipeline multiplied by stage
  • Networking Events Attended: an important one for sales reps as they can result in new business, track the number of networking events they are participating in
  • Dials Made: count how many outbound calls are being made
  • Opportunities With No Activity: the number of opportunities with no activity in the previous week

While professional goals are of utmost importance, we always like to leave room for personal development, too. That’s why we think it can be a good idea to assign 1 ‘fun’ goal to each employee per cycle. When we’re growing and pushing our own boundaries, it makes us more well-rounded and productive employees.

Fun goals:

  • Watch all the Oscar winning movies from your birth year
  • Learn how to juggle
  • Explore 3 new parks this quarter
  • Win a trivia night this year
  • Walk 50,000 steps in one month
  • Learn an instrument
  • Call at least one family member or friend on way to or from work, weekly
  • Get an hour massage this month
  • Watch a Ted talk with a friend or partner then discuss over coffee


BrightGauge Goals helps you track progress throughout the year

We’re passionate about goal-setting, and the goals feature of BrightGauge was designed for that reason. It makes it easy to stay on track of progress because it's automated for you. Further, our dashboards allow you to track and customize the KPIs that are along the path to your objectives. You can share those with your team as a whole or individual employees.

Send employees an email to check in on their goals through highly visible goal cards. You'll keep team members motivated and accountable for their process goals.

Plus, those inspiration ideas  we mentioned above? Most of them can be found in BrightGauge, so if you’re feeling intimidated about the process of actually coming up with goals, fear not. They take just a few minutes to set up.

We live for goals. Let us help you achieve yours.

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