Effective Team Goal Setting

The start of any year is often a time for reflection and setting our intentions for the new year. Whether as a team or individually, we can look back on 2020 and ask ourselves some questions; What have we learned from last year? What helped us overcome challenges? What should we hold on to? 

This reflection can give us a starting point for setting our intentions for the new year. The key to the successful accomplishment of any goal is in the specificity of the goal. Writing down your goal will also increase your chances of completing that goal, placing it somewhere it is visible on a regular basis.  

Get Specific With Your Goals for 2021

To set a specific goal you must answer the ‘W’ questions:

  • Who will be involved?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where; identify a location
  • Which; identify the requirements and constraints

Work out the specifics of the benefits and purpose behind the goal. A general goal might be to complete a training course. A specific goal would be to complete a training course in Microsoft TEAMS in quarter one to improve the collaboration and performance in my team.

Keep Track of your Progress

Decide how you will keep track of how you are progressing in your goal. Ask yourself how you will know you have achieved your goal? Remember that you can achieve almost any goal when you plan your steps carefully and put a timeframe in place that allows you to complete the actions/tasks necessary. On a scale of 1-10 ask yourself how committed you are to achieving this goal. If your answer is less than 9 consider whether you have the right goal! You may need to start again. 

Team Goals: How to Achieve Them

For team goals – reflect on the team’s strengths and resources that you can bring to bear in achieving the goal. Consider whether the goal will take you out of your comfort zone, bringing with it a higher level of motivation than a goal that is set too low which can have the opposite effect. A team’s biggest achievements will always be the ones where they are pushed furthest. 

Consider whether your goal is tangible, that is, it can be experienced by one of the senses such as taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. It is easier to be specific and measure a goal that is tangible. If your goal is intangible i.e. something which relates to perhaps behaviour patterns, consider tying it to a tangible goal to increase your chances of success. 

5 Principles for Effective Team Goal Setting

  • Ensure the goal is aligned with your team values. This prevents a conflict within the team and what everyone understands to be important to the team. 
  • Make sure your goals will work for the team and is something that is really wanted and not just something that sounds good.
  • Ensure one goal does not contradict another goal.
  • Write your goal with specifics and a clear vision on the end game.
  • Think Big, make sure your goal helps your team aim high.

Aoife Mc Nena is Head of People & Culture at Intuity Technologies and offers consultancy services within the People & Performance Practice at Intuity. Click here to arrange to speak with Aoife. 

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