Setting Team Goals: Achieve Success While Building a Collaborative Work Environment

It's often been said that "teamwork makes the dream work" but, is there a way to actually quantify the impact that achieving team goals can have on your organization? Goal setting, when done correctly, can help you measure organizational success. The impact that one team member alone can have when achieving goals simply doesn't compare to the significant progress that a whole team can make when they are working together. We'll cover the importance of setting team goals, along with some examples of team goals and the profound impact they can have on your organization as a whole.

How to Set Team Goals

First, we'll start with how you can set team goals. This really applies to any goal setting methodology, but the idea starts with setting what's called a SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. We've covered this in-depth in a previous blog post, so here are the basics to setting smart goals.

  • Specific: the goals are specific in defining achievement, and are clearly defined.
  • Measurable: they are able to be measured, quantitatively or qualitatively. 
  • Achievable: the group goals need to be realistic and achievable.
  • Relevant: they must be relevant to organizational goals, and therefore to the team's goals.
  • Timely: there needs to be target dates set (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) to determine when the group goals should be achieved.

Applying the SMART goal framework can help you with the team goal setting process. You can set individual team members up for success while also tracking the team's performance.

setting team goals

What are some Team Goals Examples?

It's easy to set team goals in a broad sense, and it becomes a bit more complicated when you apply the SMART framework to group goal setting. For example, "increase customer retention" is one of the most common of examples of team goals, but it is not specific and doesn't provide a way to measure progress. "Increase customer retention by 10% by December of 2022" is specific, measurable, and timely. Following are some other team goals that can be adapted into most organizations:

  • The sales team will increase monthly sales by X% or $X by Y date.
  • We will produce at least X new leads or customers, month-over-month, while focusing on improving the customer experience, by January of 2023. We will assess progress with monthly meetings and maintain consistent communication with team leaders.
  • We will increase content production by adding 2 extra articles/posts a month to our blog, and check our social media metrics weekly to see the impact on traffic and customer views.
  • Our team will attend X networking events this year to generate X amount of leads and work to close sales by X% higher by Quarter 4.
  • We will increase employee satisfaction scores by X% on the next employee engagement survey, occurring on Y date, by implementing an employee recognition program (with a target rollout date) and meeting with individual employees on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis.

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Setting group goals will vary dependent upon your unique business strategy, company's objectives, and the key results you wish to see in your organization. You can help your teams set achievable goals and make sure the team understands how important their individual performance and contributions are throughout the whole process. A team goal is achieved with collaboration, communication, and a successful way of tracking progress.

Why are Team Goals Important for a Collaborative Work Environment?

Team goal setting is such an important way to inspire higher performance, increase employee engagement, all while working to meet company objectives. Achieving individual goals help increase individual employee satisfaction, and when team members work together, achieving team goals multiplies those positive impacts. When a team works together setting goals, it promotes communication, collaboration, the ability to give/receive regular feedback, and learn new skills. A team leader may emerge out of an employee who was previously not confident or comfortable enough to take the lead on a project or spearhead a new campaign.

Each team member gets to see how their work ties into the team objective, and how their overall success contributes to business goals as a whole. Employees who feel a greater sense of workplace belonging feel more comfortable speaking up, sharing ideas, and collaborating with those around them.

Consider some of these recent statistics, found by Zippia, surrounding teamwork, collaboration, and its impact on company goals:

  • More than 50% of workers in the United States say their jobs are "reliant" on collaboration.
  • Approximately 75% of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as being very important.
  • Of those surveyed in leadership positions, 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration as the top reason for workplace failures.
  • Employees who work in "collaborative settings" at work are over 50% more effective at completing assigned tasks than those who work alone or without a team.

A U.S. workplace survey conducted by Gensler also showed that over 52% of those surveyed shared that their job is reliant on in-person collaboration with others. Furthermore, more than 33% of HR officers surveyed, in a study published by Accountemps, felt that "improper collaboration and communication" are what have the biggest impact on low employee morale.

group goal setting

How to Track Progress when Setting Group Goals

Range, a platform that helps remote and hybrid teams connect and collaborate with one another, shares these four simple tips for tracking progress of team goals:

  1. Break up overarching goals into incremental tasks.
  2. Assign manageable deadlines.
  3. Review progress and make adjustments.
  4. Make goal tracking collaborative.

It may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Allow team members to provide feedback and set their own goals along the way that contribute to the group goals.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it's imperative to set the right goals for your organization's needs and make sure each employee understands how their contributions impact the business, and in what way. Show specific examples of the influence that each team's work has on overall business success. Ensure your leaders have the skills they need to connect with each team, and that your employees know how valuable their voices and unique strengths are.

Every organization faces its own set of challenges and needs a unique strategy for improving positive employee relations and maintaining engagement. If you need help when it comes to goal setting, we're here to help! Click here to learn more.

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About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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