How to Set Goals That Keep Your Team on Track

Setting team goals and ultimately team member goals helps give your team purpose along with checkpoints for measuring success. That old adage “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there,” is certainly true in the case of team goals.

The problem is that “any road” could be expensive, time consuming and full of risk for your team. So here’s what you need to do.

First you need to make sure you have a mission defined for your team. This shouldn’t be some fancy, corporate lingo statement that nobody understands. It should be a “plain language” statement that includes the following components:

  • The reason for your team
  • Your team’s unique ‘value added’
  • Your team’s core business activity
  • A focus for your team
  • The team purpose

Having a mission for your team is critical to your success. But one of keys to remember is that it’s not the statement that’s most important. What’s important is that your team live its mission each and every day. (if you need some step-by step instructions for creating your team’s mission, head on over and read How To Create A Team Mission Statement.)

Once you have the team mission statement completed, you’re ready to tackle some goals.

Goals will:

  • Serve as a road map for the team
  • Identify the results to be achieved
  • Outline the action required to accomplish results

The first thing you’ll need to do to set goals to support your team mission is to identify your success criteria. Have a team brainstorming session to answer the question, “What does success look like for our team?” Then take that list and turn the items into meaningful team goals.

You should have long term and short term goals for your team. And don’t make the mistake of taking on too many goals at a time. Three to five is plenty. Any more than that and you’ll overwhelm your team and get nothing accomplished.

Break down those team goals into small, manageable pieces tied to team member accountability. Set up a schedule for regular check ins to make sure each team member is achieving what is expected.

Do you think goals are important for team success? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. She gets a lot of joy from working with teams and their leadership to help them improve and work through team issues. Not only does her advice come from the heart, it comes from years of experience working as a team member, team leader, manager and owner of her own company. She has truly walked in your shoes and offers help so you can be a better team leader. You can find more advice from Denise at her website askteamdoc and don't forget to follow her on Twitter @askteamdoc.

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  • Anonymous

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to your goals) is available too.
    Works also on mobile, and syncs with Evernote.

    [Reply]

    deniseoberry Reply:

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the GTD
    programs. Any tracking program that people will use is what will work best
    for them. Appreciate you taking the time to share your idea.

    [Reply]

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  • warren renovat moses

    thanks for these articles they really inspire us to beyond ourselves

    [Reply]

  • Danilo

    Goals are always importatnt because they are the road to acomplish your dreams and team dreams also.

    [Reply]

  • karledward01

    goal are inevitably, they connect to the enthusiastic desires towards success

    [Reply]