We talk a lot about employee goals and career goals, but what good are either of those things if they are not being tied back to what your overall company strategyand vision are? Naturally not very good! Ideally you want to have everyone paddling in the same direction. For . example, imagine my co-worker and I are at a company kayaking event on the Charles River. I say to myself, I really want to work on my paddle technique and use proper form, while my colleague says, I want to paddle as fast as I can. By the end of the excursion, we find that we have worked extremely hard, but have not made it very far. Had we communicated our overall goal of making it to the Science Museum to each other, we would have put together individual goals to get us there, instead we spent the afternoon zig-zaging across the river.
So, it is important to at least once a year have a session where you lay out or revisit your mission and work on developing a strategy, and subsequently a plan for the upcoming review period. This gives you the ability to revisit your guidelines, if anything in your long-term strategy has changed and create a high level roadmap to work towards that renews vision.
In the start-up world we are always taught, “move fast and break things,” or, “done is better than perfect,” which are some of the mottos of Facebook, but … there is always wisdom in using proven methodologies to evaluate and plan your strategy and goals.
Some key steps in typing individual goals to company strategy:
- Lay out your vision and mission – Our mission at HelloTeam is simple. We want every organization to have an engaged, connected and inspired workforce. We believe people who are seen, heard and valued drive organizational success. We can revisit this mission statement every time we think about a new feature, a new product to introduce or a new initiative.Often times you either have employees that have been in the company long and don’t remember the company’s vision and/or mission or brand new employees that don’t know it if it was not mentioned to them in the interview process. Having a clear mission statement that is easily accessible to everyone serves as a reminder to the core purpose of the company. Based on that you can then build a strategy roadmap to achieve your vision.
- Build a high level strategy map – Employees will find it difficult to come up with their quarterly goals or OKRs if you don’t have a crisp and well defined strategy map. A strategy map should express the high level outcomes you want to see happen over a 1-3 year span (considering the average tenure for a millennial is 1.5 years and for generation X the trend is downwards). A strategy map should also not be less than a year since you want to focus on big picture priorities and not on tactical matters.To properly build out a strategy map you need to develop a SWOT analysis for the company itself and each of its major functions. For more on creating a SWOT analysis read here.
- Develop a detailed plan using a goal methodology – There are a variety of goal setting practices such as MBOs, KPIs, SMART(ER) or OKRs and the one that you choose should largely depend on the culture of your company. Setting clear goals at an employee level that support your strategic map and are aligned with the mission of the company help an employees’ understanding of the business which increases engagement, productivity and employee loyalty. Deloitte’s research shows that “organizations that make it easy for employees to set clear goals and have ongoing management of those goals were four times more likely to score in the top 25 percent of business outcomes.
For more on the different types of goal methodologies and which may be the best fit for your company, check out our recent blog post on goal setting here.