Without a goal, a company has no direction. Goals are the map that keeps everyone on course, whether you’re in a new startup or a well-established corporation. Alignment with the goals your company has set forth is the difference between pursuing the path together as a well-oiled machine or as individual parts flying off in multiple directions. Let’s focus on some reasons why teams don’t achieve their goals and how to get back on track.
People simply don’t know
Recent data shows that on average 50 percent of employee time is spent on work that isn’t aligned with company strategy. Often people are either misinformed by management or not informed at all about the company goals. In many cases, employees are quickly brought on board and given training on their specific job duties with little or no guidance on the bigger picture. Get your team aligned to the overall strategy by providing clear goals. There should be no business jargon in the goal and plain English is best so that anyone can understand. By providing everyone at your company with the same vision of success, leadership that promotes goal alignment helps your organization achieve its corporate goals quicker.
Evaluated against wrong goals
Another pitfall that managers fall into is evaluating their team against the wrong goals, goals that are not aligned with the company vision and strategy. Leadership can sometimes be out of alignment itself and it is good to have continuous evaluations to ensure that everyone is on track. By assuring that all goals in the organization are aligned with strategy, evaluation will have a positive impact. Make sure you know what success looks like and that the metrics and deadlines are aligned to the overall business strategy.
If you want to improve worker performance, you must provide employees with clear, frequent, and consistent feedback. Most managers rely heavily on memory to evaluate employees. This leads to a disproportionate consideration of recent actions and performance. It also enables employees to fall out of alignment with the company goals. Have a more frequent, and possibly a goal management solution that pulls performance data on each goal directly into the employee appraisal, which will ultimately allow for more accurate and fair employee evaluations.
No alignment across company
In the same way that departments shouldn’t operate in silos, leadership and employees shouldn’t operate separately from each other. No employee is an island when it comes to accomplishing the company-wide goals and most goals can be achieved only through the combined efforts of a team of people. By aligning goals across multiple employees, you can create a corporate atmosphere of shared responsibility that will drive the success of your company. Alignment towards the corporate goals will greatly simplify the task of establishing these shared goals and will help keep your entire organization working together toward the same objectives.
Employees have “checked out”
When employees are unclear about their purpose and how it feeds into the overall corporate schema, they become disengaged. This costs the organization time and money, so taking the time to align your people is critical. Studies show that engaged employees not only tend to stick around, which helps to lower your recruiting costs, but they are also enthused and motivated to impact your bottom line. During challenging times their energy and effort can help your organization not simply survive, but thrive. Alignment towards a shared goal also creates ownership in the organization’s success, resulting in more engaged employees and increased retention rates.
Knowing why your team is not achieving its goals is the first step to getting everyone back on track. Once you’ve identified the obstacles, your leadership can refocus and realign for future success!