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Sourcing Alignment Through Individualized Goal Setting

Collaboration
Productivity
Sharing the vision
Team processes
OKR

30 January, 2019

Mike Grainge contributes advice on how to avoid dictating goals and instead how to drive individuals to intrinsically align with company objectives.

Problem

From a corporate standpoint our goals are driven by the top level. We have three company goals and beneath those each team members' goals are focused upward on achieving those three objectives. Of course, we challenge ourselves and our employees to deliver on those goals. I'll sit with my teams in meetings every day and determine whether or not we are doing our best to deliver. And if we're not, then what can we do to challenge the system that is in place so that our teams are motivated and driven. Below are a few tips on how to guide individuals on your team to achieve company goals.

Actions taken

  • Be transparent and discuss with your teams what the corporate goals are and what you need to do as a company, currently and in the future, to achieve those goals.
  • Ask each individual to write out what they feel their goals are. Goals are set twice a year. Give some coaching and guidance so that the goals align with the company's objectives. Ask inquisitive questions like, how does this impact the overall goals, why do you feel it is important for the company, and how do they feel that goal is going to achieve the ultimate corporate goal? Essentially, though, don't actually write out the goals for the employees, they write them themselves.
  • Hold the employees accountable for everything that they write down. Sit with them and discuss what is on their paper until they feel comfortable with what they have written. Once they agree to their goals then publish them, that way the individuals have a say in what they are doing and how their success relates to the corporate goals.
  • Ask employees to add in a personal goal and explain how they would like to work on that. Then allocate some time so that they can achieve it.

Lessons learned

  • A lot of companies will dictate their goals, therefore, team members don't have a say in them. This is not a practical method because you want to push ownership on to the individuals so that they develop objectives that align with the corporate goals.
  • Educate individuals in their thinking so that they align with the corporate goals. Instill in your teams to begin thinking businesslike, from a business aspect.
  • Understand who your team members are. Learn about individual team members and what their ability is to meet certain goals. Interact with them so that you can guide them in the right direction and align them with corporate goals.
  • During reviews you are not only sitting with the individuals to review their goals but you are also reviewing the individuals themselves and how they are doing overall.
  • How often reviews take place is determined by who the individual is and your trust in them delivering. If a team member is new to company then meet with them biweekly. For company members who have been around for a while maybe extend it to once a month. It all comes back to trust.
  • Ultimately, it's up to management to review and audit the written goals to ensure that they do align with the company's goals.
  • Don't micromanage. Part of allowing individuals to set a goal is to allow them to manage themselves and giving them the responsibility to deliver.

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