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How do you include all employees in setting companywide goals?

5 min read


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Q. What is your advice for including all employees in the process of setting companywide goals?

1. Give employees a hands-on role

At Ceros, we follow The Rhino Principle, which is largely based on Agile, a software development method used extensively by the development community. Within each department, employees help determine the goals of each seven-week sprint and the tactical steps needed to achieve them, giving them a hands-on role in determining what their specific goals will be and how to attain them. — Simon Berg, Ceros

2. Treat employees like athletes

Athletes are driven by lofty, usually year-end, goals. In order to have a successful team, great coaches are always instilling daily reminders about these all-encompassing team goals. Championships cannot be won early in a season but they sure can be lost. This goes for businesses and employees alike. Strive to train your staff on the end goals by driving home points of winning every single day. — Adam McDaniel, Logi Trans Express

3. Focus on team and culture

In order to actively involve all employees in company-wide goal setting, you have to focus on team and culture. Without emphasizing the importance of those two things, you may be successful but you will not create a great working environment. I use the acronym DRIVE with my team to promote an inclusive atmosphere: determination, respect, integrity, versatility and excellence. — Josh York, GYMGUYZ

4. Hold weekly meetings

Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working towards meeting the companywide goals. In addition to the weekly meetings, we also send out a monthly user activity report to all team members. The monthly report lets everyone see how their work and achieving our goals is contributing to the company’s success. — Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

5. Ask for feedback

We look at all of our employees as members of our team who have valuable input to help improve and grow our business. Being a team player means we want to know from any of our employees if they see room for improvement, even if it involves a part of the business that they are not directly involved in. It is often easier to see a solution from the outside looking in. — Jessica Geier, Raw Generation Inc.

6. Ask specific questions

Ask three simple questions of your employees: What is the first thing you would start doing to make our company more successful? One thing you would stop doing to prevent us from achieving success? One thing you would keep doing that is extremely effective for us? You will have great ideas and you have to help your team feel smart, important, and valued contributors to the success of the business. — Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk

7. Divide and conquer

At Cyberclick, our company works together as one big team to give our input on companywide goals. We take votes and discuss which goals need to be given top priority and once this is settled we divide and conquer, creating smaller teams that include anyone interested in accomplishing a particular goal. These smaller teams delegate tasks and deadlines to ensure we are moving forward with our goals. — David Tomas, Cyberclick

8. Agree on metrics

It’s important to have your employees buy into their individual and department goals. A great way to do this is by having your employees think about and create three goals for themselves. Then, meet with them, review and steer them toward achievable, measurable goals that benefit the company. Finally, come to agreements on what the metrics are going to be and how they are going to be tracked. — Afif Khoury, SOCi Inc.

9. Encourage a collective atmosphere

When involving employees in the process of setting goals, it is important to remind them that they are all on the same team. Regardless of what the goals end up being, what department came up with them, or who is championing them, a win for the company is a win for everyone. Keeping a collective atmosphere helps to refrain managers, departments or teams from pushing their own agendas. — Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

10. Start small with shared goals

Start small with goals that aren’t necessarily position-specific, but help improve company morale. Happy employees tend to be more receptive to collective goals that they don’t “own.” Additionally, it’s important to make sure everyone — from the custodial staff to senior management — feels recognized and valued by allowing them to submit input on what the goals should be. — Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group

11. Engage everybody on your company’s mission

Everybody in the organization should feel that they are part of a bigger picture — staying true to the company’s mission. It is important to define a clear company mission and use it as the reference point when assigning KPIs at all levels by following a cascading process in the organization. Everybody should be able to see how their daily tasks are linked to the overall company goals. — Brian Pallas, Opportunity Network

12. Spend time with every employee

Spend time with every employee, even those who are at the lowest tier. This way you will have the chance to see what everyone is up to on a daily basis. This will help you analyze what needs to be improved. Conclude your time by asking what area they believe needs more attention. This will help improve employee relationships by showing you value their opinion. — Stanley Meytin, True Film Production