Goals and OKRs

4 Tips for Making Goal Setting Work

January 23, 2019
June 23, 2022
Jack Altman
Lattice Team

Companies that focus on goals tend to do better. Alignment and output are higher, employees feel more connected and engaged, and the sense of purpose is clear. Getting to that point takes work but it's worth the effort.

The hardest part? Getting started. Here are some actionable goal-setting tips from real Lattice customers.

1. Set clear goals and reiterate them.

Clear company goals help everyone know what their own priorities should be. It also helps people make better decisions when facing trade-offs. The more context you can give your team, the better their decisions will be when you're not in the room.

If you walked around the office and asked employees what the company's goals were, would they know? Surprisingly often, the answer is no. That means your company is needlessly leaving a ton of potential on the table. Make sure the entire team knows your company goals.

2. Encourage everyone to own at least one goal.

The best way to help these goals translate into action is to have everyone own at least one goal of their own. This gives people a sense of ownership that they'll consistently come back to and take pride in.

Translate company goals into team and individual goals to engage your employees and give them something they can own while knowing that they're connected to the bigger picture and driving the company forward.

3. Connect company and individual goals.

Connected goals are powerful. They allow companies, teams, and individuals to see how their priorities fit in with the bigger picture.

Linking individual, team, and company goals gets everyone to row in the same direction. Think about a boat with people rowing in unison versus one where the rowers are sporadic and unaligned.

This will have a multiplier effect on your company's output. It also gives your people a clearer sense of purpose about the company's mission and how their work is driving that forward.

4. Set measurable goals.

The more specific you can be about your goals the better. Consider the difference between "Drive massive revenue growth," versus "Give product demos to 500 prospective customers." The first goal doesn't inform my work while the second gives me a clear picture of what needs to get done.

Goals like the former can still work well as top-level goals or as company "North Stars." Even so, be sure to work with those setting team and individual goals to ensure everyone has clear inputs to reference.

These are tips we've heard from some of the companies on our platform. Want to learn how other HR leaders have approached setting, communicating, and managing company goals? Join our free Slack community, Resources for Humans and connect with over 5,500 HR professionals.