Talking about the art of goal setting at work, here's what's the most common idea that comes to almost everybody's mind-
“What are your goals in life?”
How a simple question can be such an amazing conversation starter. The HR asks you about it when you walk in for an interview. A stranger initiates the question as an ice breaker to know you better. Worst case, relatives and neighbours keep badgering to see what you are up to in life.
Whichever one be the case, setting goals is important so that you can look forward to achieving something new every time. If you complete a project today then you think about the ways you can do it the next time in a better way. That’s how we keep things interesting by having a healthy competition with our own self. When we go ahead and integrate the art of goal setting with our workplace, things become a lot simpler and easy to follow.
The art of goal setting at work
Creating a basic structure for your team
The best way to set goals for your team is to set goals for yourself first. This is typically because of the cascading nature of decision-making.
The top authority will make work decisions and strategies, which eventually flow through the entire company for all the employees to follow.
Key decision-making team has the least number of members and maximum responsibility. Even a single minor change in their plans affects the workflow of an entire channel. Therefore, if you are a part of the leadership or upper management, you have to set proper goals for the leadership team so that the rest of the plan doesn’t get affected later on.
Apple is one of the best examples to look at when we talk about setting a basic structure for your team to set possible goals. Steve Jobs has been recorded at multiple instances where he suggests that Apple is on a mission to bring about a technology revolution. Its goal is to create the best products and keep improving them year after year to make them better for an even better customer experience.
For this, there was only a single person-in-charge of and responsible for a particular segment, be it design, products, marketing, etc. Hence, individual roles and responsibilities have been designated right at the top management so that the execution is seamless.
Developing a sense of accomplishment
Goal setting is no science.The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is arrange my bed sheet and pillows and fold the comforter. That’s what a lot of us do to make the room look neat and tidy before we leave for work but what some of us don’t realize is that it’s a simple way to feel accomplished. That you completed the first thing that you were supposed to do in the morning before you leave for work.
Similarly, it is really important to set such precise yet significant daily targets at work. The brevity of the task or target doesn’t matter as long as you complete it with full efficiency. There is an inconceivable power in thinking small and eventually getting to something big. Every time you hit a target you feel great.
The great feeling encourages you to set and achieve greater targets at work for the future. Remember when Amazon only sold books before it became an eCommerce behemoth?
Working towards company-wide growth
Achievable targets are your daily tasks but how do you measure that you have actually grown? It’s just like how you compare your photographs of childhood with those of today’s and realise how much things have changed over the years.
Suppose 2 companies achieved 9,000 sales target in the previous quarter.
October November December
3,000 3,000 3,000
October November December
1,000 2,000 6,000
Company 1 shows no growth trajectory while Company 2 shows 100% and 200% growth in two consecutive months, respectively. Therefore, a couple interesting questions that arise-
- How much target is Company 1 supposed to keep for itself for the next quarter?
- Which company will attract more promising and leading investors?
There is no particular answer for the first question because Company 1 has shown no absolute improvement over the months. No doubt, investors would like to become stakeholders for Company 2 because they have shown improvement and are growing exponentially.
Lastly, if you set a goal today then you cannot aim to achieve it tomorrow. It is an ongoing process that eventually leads to growth. So, give it time.
Having something different every time to work on
A company culture that promotes diversity is more likely to moot creative ideas. As a result, a number of companies are focusing on creating highly collaborative cross-functional teams where employees from different backgrounds and experiences can come together and solve a problem. The initiative, in a lot of cases, brings genius ideas. Moreover, people from different backgrounds look at the problem from a different perspective, which may not have been known before.
This is the reason why young children have a high grasping and retention power because heir minds are new and fresh. So, they can acquire new information and bring in their own creativity, which is free from any bias.
That’s how we go about it in our organisation. Once in a week or so, the teams - Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Tech, Product and Analytics - that work on the same product meet-up and discuss new features and ideas. In fact, not only does this process help every team be on the same page but it also leads to some really interesting and insightful discussions.
Advancing with a progressive work culture
With the recent advancements in technology and increasing workload, it’s always better if automation can manage some tasks on our behalf. Since effectiive goal setting is an important way to prioritise work and measure its weightage as a percentage of all our tasks, why not let the machine figure it all out for us every month? In fact, we have trained them to work faster and smarter than ever. As a result, we have all the more reasons to let the machines handle what we might occasionally overlook.
Hence, as Reddit recommends with respect to mastering the art of goal setting- TLDR: Set goals. Work hard. Give it time. Achieve goals. Repeat.