Well-chosen goals and objectives point a business in the right direction and keep a company on the right track. A football match without goal posts would just be a number of players running around in circles kicking the ball at one another.
They should cascade down the business and support the company, the team and contribute to personal development.
The board agrees the strategic goals for the business. Directors are set objectives for themselves and their teams. They in turn set the agenda for their team members with both team objectives and personal ones.
Objectives and goals must be meaningful in a business context – there is no point a manager setting an objective relating to the development of new products if that is at odds with a business objective to concentrate on existing brands.
A Goal is not the same as an Objective and it is certainly not a Task.
Tasks are specific pieces of work you undertake to do your job e.g. enter a new client into the CRM system, answer the phone, etc.
Goals establish where you intend to go and tell you when you get there. They help improve your overall effectiveness as a company — whether you want to increase your share of the market or improve your customer service. The more carefully you define your goals, the more likely you are to do the right things and achieve what you wanted to accomplish in the first place.
Objectives are the specific steps you and your company need to take in order to reach each of your goals. They specify what you must do — and how and when.
Think of goals and objectives this way:
- Goals tell you where you want to go; objectives tell you exactly how to get there.
- Goals can increase your effectiveness; objectives back your goals and make you more efficient.
- Goals are typically described in words; objectives often come with numbers and specific dates.
All of this has to start from the top. We would love to chat if you are having problems setting strategic goals for the business.