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Top tips on setting goals for teams to achieve new ideas

Top tips on setting goals for teams to achieve new ideas Rebecca Jones Motivational Speaker

© Charles Shapiro | Dreamstime Stock Photos

If you are considering developing a more enterprising workforce you will need to motivate your team to step up, become involved and move things forward. It will be necessary to negotiate action plans with the teams and encourage them to work through them by setting goals both as a team and individually.

Make the outcome clear
As Dr Stephen Covey said: “Begin with the end in mind”. Far too often teams are asked to do something new or action something without really understanding why or what they are trying to achieve. Both the outcome and the reason for trying to achieve the outcome need to be made clear. When possible this needs to be done by negotiation and discussion with the team to ensure they understand the reason why and are committed to the idea and want to help make it happen.

Negotiate and set the goals with your team
In order to negotiate the goals it is best to be clear of the vision and everyone’s role in that vision. The vision is usually based on the “Why” element of your organisation: why you do what you do, your organisation’s purpose. Furthermore, if your team members are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses as well as others in their team by carrying out activities such as Belbin etc then team goals can be developed playing to each person’s strengths. This and understanding why they are important will enable buy in.

Agree goals which are not SMART
It’s likely that you have heard of the term SMART goals before. Heck I was taught it and re-taught it myself as a young business lecturer. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. SMART goals sound clear and simple and make sense to many people, however they are often way too focused, stopping people from being more creative, thinking differently and taking a different path to achieve the main aim. If enterprising people only set SMART goals they wouldn’t be enterprising because much of what they achieve is about thinking beyond what seems achievable or realistic to goals which seem scary but have potential high return.

Instead agree to goals which stretch your staff. Take them out of their comfort zone and focus on achieving bigger and better things. Provide structure and overarching goals but understand these can be achieved in different ways. Set goals which focus on the “Why” of your project: ‘Why is it important to make this work?’, ‘Why will this make a difference?’

Break bigger goals down
Help the team take their big goals and plans and break them down into smaller activities which can be prioritised and shared out so that people can work on elements which play to their strengths. By working on smaller elements a sense of achievement can be felt on the way to the end goal rather than waiting until the end to celebrate.

Start with quick easy wins
However big your goal there will be things along the way which can be achieved to boost confidence. By starting with some activities which will help the team feel they are achieving something you will help to build the team and they will feel part of something positive. By quick wins I mean easy tasks and activities which can be carried out with minimal work but have a high return on the investment put in.

Celebrate successes with your teams
To help the staff feel their work is of value celebrate all successes along the way, don’t just wait until you reach that final goal. Celebrate successes both internally and externally to show the importance of what has been achieved.

Agree meaningful results
By framing the results into something which is meaningful and has a purpose it is easier for your team to feel the reason behind doing something. Aim for goals which will make you want to achieve them because of the value of what is being achieved – the “Why” element – rather than using pain goals were you have to achieve the goal to avoid some form of pain or problem.

Read more about how I can help you develop your enterprise here.

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