How to Set Team Goals (+Examples)
Even if you’re Steph Curry, a 7-time all-star, two-time league MVP, record holder for scoring in your college conference, and single season three-point record holder, you still don’t get to be an NBA champion for 3 seasons (2015, 2017, 2018) without a team. In fact, at one point, Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, also led the league in “secondary assists” which means even with his individual achievements, he knows when to pass the ball and when to rely on his team.
While it may not be an NBA championship you're looking to win, we don’t need to draw out the analogy to see the parallels between your business and a professional sports team. It’s likely each individual member of your team has larger career goals as well as goals within your company and goals within their team. However, good managers (or good coaches) can align those goals with larger team goals so that everyone works together to be successful.
- How are team goals different from individual goals?
- Why are team goals important?
- How to set team goals
- 20 examples of team goals to use in your business
- How BrightGauge's Goals can help you set and track team goals
How are team goals different from individual goals?
As is clear from the analogy above, individual goals are reflections of an individual’s objectives in relation to their role, whether that’s within their career, business or team. For example, as an individual, my goal may be to convert 3-5 leads over the course of the next few months. While that goal may also contribute to the team or business’s overall goals, the motives behind it may be quite different. What drives an individual to achieve an individual goal may be quite different from what motivates them to participate in team goals.
In contrast, team goals are centered around what will make the team, as a whole, successful. While individual goals may contribute, individual goals may also be outside of the realm of team objectives. If we take the example above, it would fit in with team goals if the overall team objective was to, across multiple team members, convert 15-20 leads over the course of the next few months. However, it is wholly possible that a team goal might be to reduce customer churn and, in that case, that individual goal may not align.
Why are team goals important?
A good number of articles on the internet discuss the reasons why teams might fail, but not many of them look at how we understand and value team goals as one cause. In other words, sometimes we set team goals because we’re expected to, without really understanding the value of the goals themselves (beyond the objective) and the way they can impact your team and their successes, both team and individual.
1. Goals provide focus and direction
Setting S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goals helps your team stay on track. In addition to breaking down a longer-term goal into benchmarks, providing a clear end goal helps your team stay focused on what it is they’re hoping to achieve. In fact, 97% of executives and employees agree that lack of focus or direction is the reason team goals fail.
Additionally, that focus improves your productivity, the quality of the work you produce, and can reduce stress.
2. Goals help you identify friction points
Let’s be honest. We don’t always achieve goals. However, if we don’t have goals at all, we’ll never know if we’re off track. Further, if you’re missing benchmarks, you can start to identify the friction points. Does the team need more resources? Where can you add more support? With any luck, early identification of obstacles can assist in reaching the larger objective even if a benchmark is missed.
3. Goals are a great way to recognize and celebrate achievements
Everyone likes to win. It can be motivating and inspire you to keep going even if a job has been tough. Recognizing teams and individuals can also be crucial to fostering company culture and keeping employees driven and engaged. In fact, 54% of employees said this kind of recognition and group celebration is what kept them at a company.
4. Goals provide meaning to the work
Some times, some days, it’s really easy to get bogged down by tasks, by the daily grind of a job. When there’s a pile of paperwork (even if it’s digital), emails to answer, problems to troubleshoot and resolve, and failures or obstacles, it’s easy to forget why you’re doing something. Goals, particularly when they’re clear, established, discussed among the team, can serve as a reminder that the tasks are leading you and your team to a larger goal, a bigger picture.
5. Goals can be motivating and confidence building
Who among us hasn’t made a list, put something we’ve already completed on said list, and then crossed it off just to get that feeling of satisfaction and completion? Goals are motivating in the same way. There are few things that energize a team, provide the drive that helps individuals ask “What’s next?” and builds confidence in your team’s ability to achieve and to work together like meeting (or crushing) a goal.
How to set team goals
When setting goals for ourselves, we’re keenly aware of our overall objectives balanced with our abilities. We can factor in how we respond to challenges, how we respond to stress and deadlines, and how agile we are when goalposts move or unexpected challenges arise. However, when working with a team, it’s just not that straightforward. Not only do you have more moving parts that need to sync up, but several of those other factors can play in, as can interpersonal relationships. Therefore, it’s worth considering a few things when setting team goals.
1. Remember S.M.A.R.T. goals
It’s easy to, especially if a team is energized, want to set a lofty goal to start. However, it’s more helpful if you think of it as something akin to a New Year’s Resolution. The resolutions that fail are the ones that lack specificity, aren’t realistic, and then begin with someone biting off more than they can chew.
Further, you’ll want to keep them measurable and achievable. Your team will start off on great footing if the first goal you set is small and achievable within the time frame you set. It’s good to set a long-term goal, but focusing in on smaller goals that will lead you there will lead to success.
2. Communicate and align
This seems pretty obvious but, quite often, poor communication or miscommunications are the reasons objectives are not achieved (in addition to other impacts on a business). For some teams this may mean weekly sync ups, emails, reporting, or using a dashboard tool to keep everyone aligned.
In fact, research supports the concept that tracking and monitoring progress is a vital part of achieving goals. When there’s a team involved, effective communication among the team means that everyone is able to monitor progress and reap the benefits of tracking.
3. Build in incentives and praise
As mentioned above, goal setting is an excellent way to recognize and celebrate achievements which, in turn, motivates people. In fact, even deciding on what those incentives may be is a great team building tool. Further, research suggests that praise, when deserved rather than being empty words, has significant power to motivate people and realign them with the goals, the team, and the organization.
4. Goal set as a team
We hinted at it above, but one of the best ways to ensure your team is successful is through team building activities. These activities improve relationships, and communication, help define roles and responsibilities, and clarify tasks and expectations. Additionally, setting goals as a team allows everyone to feel a part of the process and encourages buy-in which can be vital to focus, direction, motivation, and success.
5. Build in individual goals
If buy-in is important, one of the best ways to achieve that is to find ways to align an individual’s goals with the team’s. The added benefit here is that it forces a conversation with individuals about what their goals might be for career growth, especially within your organization. From there, you can work together to find ways to create individual goals that will help achieve team and business goals as well.
6. Be agile
Many business landscapes are constantly evolving, whether that’s within your organization or within your industry. As such, some goals may become unattainable or obstacles to success may be beyond your control. It’s important, for that reason, to remain agile and adaptable and discuss this with your team. It’s important to establish that some goals may be missed and that’s okay as the work to get there is still valuable. If you’ve started with small achievable goals, a missed goal will not be confidence or motivation shattering.
20 examples of team goals to use in your business
Obviously, your team goals will depend upon your teams, their roles within your organization, overall business goals, and current initiatives or changes within your business. Further, it’s important to keep in mind that these are collective goals and achievable only as a team, though individuals can find personal goals to weave in.
Sales Team Goals
- Increase customer lifetime value through product or service upsells
- Increase MRR by a set percentage
- Reduce customer/client churn
- Increase the number of qualified leads month-to-month
Service Team Goals
- Reduce response time
- Increase opportunities for customer/client feedback
- Decrease onboarding time
- Decrease trouble resolution time
Leadership Team Goals
- Improve utilization rate
- Initiate employee incentive program
- Improve employee engagement through activities or events
- Improve communication around larger business objectives
Operations Team Goals
- Initiate new tech/application training program
- Institute or audit file storage conventions
- Evaluate workflows with goal of decreasing time for deliverables
- Identify performance gaps and establish policies/procedures to address them
HR Team Goals
- Track and/or establish team training
- Identify causes for employee churn and work to reduce
- Initiate employee health/exercise program
- Create recruitment pipeline opportunities/outreach
How BrightGauge's Goals can help you set and track team goals
We’ve established that goals are crucial and their benefits enormous. We’ve looked at steps to set them and ideas to implement. We’ve asserted that monitoring the goal is just as important as setting. Now we move on to the coaching role. While Curry and his teammates certainly have the talent and the skills to achieve and win, there’s also a coach who’s providing insights, tools, and oversight. Your team leaders are no different. They need the tools to communicate, to provide progress reports, to track successes and slow downs, and to adjust the “playbook” according to all that data.
That’s where BrightGauge comes in. With a variety of customizable tools designed to help you set goals; gather all your important data in one place; provide clear, complete, and actionable visualizations of relevant metrics; facilitate reporting and keep teams, both large and small, aligned and connected; BrightGauge’s solution is designed to help your team succeed, regardless of the goal.
If you’re ready to lead your team to success, get in touch with our team today. We’re ready to help you meet your goals.