Communicating Goals

Comm goals

I can’t think of a single organization that does not have specific tasks to complete, even teams or groups within the organization will have things that must be done within a defined timeframe. The achievement of these tasks is how success is measured, they are goals, and they become the very purpose of an organization’s existence. Setting and communicating goals should be considered as much art as it is science and the bolder the goal, the more creativity will need to be employed. When you consider the goals you have set for you organization, how involved is your team in initiating and implementing those goals. Who are the team members and what knowledge do they bring to the team?


In my business experience, the more routine the tasks, the poorer the communication of goals become. For example, in a call centers, service centers and production lines, managers often post or announce goals, which are understood only at the executive level. The word comes down that a thousand calls need to made or ten thousand rivets need to be produced. The goal hangs like a cloud over the heads of team members, but there’s no communication about the purpose, benefit or reasoning for the goal.  Team members grumble and grouse over the additional work because they do not feel invested in the outcome. If your service or production has consistently rated fair to poor, then perhaps it is time to rethink how your goals are being communicated. The goal of every business is to grow and expand, increase revenue or to boost investor value, but do these goals align with the needs of your employees. Beyond the monetary value of a business, the reason nearly every concern comes into existence is because they are supplying a product or serving a need. Do the needs and benefits of your employees grow and expand in proportion with company profits; if not, then they are not invested in the company’s success. It is true that employees want to keep their jobs and they will do whatever is reasonably required to do so, but that need does not rise to the level of commitment required to be exceptional.


If your service or production lines do not rate as exceptional, then begin by assessing the goals you have in place. Do they meet the following basic standards?

Are they realistic?

You may want to double sales or production by the end of the year but you don’t have the personnel and tools in place to make that happen. You don’t have the budget or the market share is unattainable.

Are the relevant?

Consider the vision of why the business began operation and how well your goals align with that vision. If your goals do not produce better results for your customers or employees, then what’s the point?

Do they encourage growth?

Goals are useless if they do not promote learning, improvement and growth; it is the experience of pursuing a goal that inspires teams to pursue the next one with enthusiasm. Ask any person or group that has achieved something great which is more lasting, reaching a milestone or the journey towards it.


The next step is to start looking critically at who the goals setters are; is it just you or a small group who think just as you do? The voice in your head may be your most trusted advisor, just make sure you have enough exposed yourself to a sufficiently broad range of information. If you rely on a team, keep in mind that diversity of experience is just as important as any other type of diversity.


Once you have your goals in place and you are ready to impose them on your staff, STOP; this is now the most critical part of communicating goals for others. Ask yourself what’s in it for “them.” The “them” is the team members who will be grinding away at achieving those goals. What input have they had in setting those goals, have you considered or even asked for feedback from previous missions? When it comes to setting goals failure IS an option, it’s how we learn. Including your team members’ opinions in the discussion of goals is an easy way of gaining their buy in. It’s harder to walk away from a goal you believe you’ve had a hand in setting. If you decide to offer an incentive for reaching a goal, make sure it is one that is meaningful to the team. Do not punish your teams for not reaching a goal, remember this is a learning process and if they are invested in the goal, the failure will be punishment enough. Your task will be to refocus and re-energize your team, that’s what leaders do.


~ Richard



About Richard
I have spent my entire life learning to be a better communicator in in all facets of my life. I have learned as much from my failures as I have from success; laughing, crying and loving along the way. After earning a B.S. in Communications I decided to share what I have learned while continuing my own personal growth. I believe that the better we are to each other, the richer our lives will become.

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