People everywhere are planning vacations and trips with family and friends. Some trips are easy enough to plan: 1. Get there 2. Relax.
BUT what if you are heading somewhere new, and what if it isn’t just you trying to get there? How do you ensure the whole group finds its way to your destination and, more importantly, who will be there to steer everyone back in the right direction if they’ve gone off course before it’s too late?
It’s probably safe to say I’m not passionate enough about proper road navigation to devote an entire blog post to it (at this point in my life, anyways), but I am setting the stage for the main topic of conversation here: employee performance goals. Just like road trips, they must be planned and courses must be corrected as deviations occur – as to avoid ending up in the middle of nowhere.
Goals literally drive company productivity and motivate employees. They also give executives a roadmap to get a company where it wants it to be. But if employees have goals that aren’t in line with the executives’ goals, it’s likely that things will get bumpy and eventually stall. Goal alignment is a major part of performance management; one that ensures everyone in the company has similar goals that eventually merge with the overall objectives of the company.
How Does Goal Alignment Work?
In order to have the same goals carried throughout a company, employees at every level must be aware of the overall goals for an organization. Everyone must buy into these goals and work to achieve them. At every level, managers and employees must understand the reasons behind the goals that executives have set. When everyone understands how their job and role plays into the company’s overall goals, it is more likely that they’ll work cohesively to achieve those goals.
How to Align Goals
There are multiple ways to achieve goal alignment. The first option, which is perhaps the most easily understood, is to link goals. Linking brings similar goals together, and allows employees to attach their goals to those of their superiors’. For instance, if an employee would like to set a goal to increase customer support response time to less than 2 hours, they should also link it to a company goal dealing with increased customer satisfaction.
Cascading goals is a bit different. This method applies in a top-down type of organization that allows executives and managers to assign their goals to their subordinates.
Why is Goal Alignment Important?
Without clearly aligned goals, employees in the same department may be unwittingly sabotaging each other by working toward self-defined outcomes that clash. If everyone in a department is following the same map, has common goals and understands how their paths help everyone reach their destination, work becomes easier and less complicated. Making goal alignment an important part of your company’s performance management will help to motivate employees to work harder, smarter, and towards a common objective. It may also increase employee morale and make your organization a happier place to work.