How Do Leaders Align Individual Goals With Organizational Objectives?


    How Do Leaders Align Individual Goals With Organizational Objectives?

    In the quest to synchronize personal ambitions with company vision, we've gathered insights from six industry leaders, including CEOs and Talent Managers. They offer strategies ranging from fostering dialogue and coaching to setting clear expectations and tracking progress. Discover how to align individual employee goals with the broader organizational objectives through these expert perspectives.

    • Foster Dialogue and Coaching
    • Leverage Circle of Competence
    • Communicate Organizational Objectives Clearly
    • Link Incentives to Company Goals
    • Connect Individual and Company Goals
    • Set Clear Expectations and Track Progress

    Foster Dialogue and Coaching

    It's all about dialogue and coaching. 1. Identify their WIIFM and opportunities. 2. Overlay the company vision and strategy. 3. Find alignment in discussion and work contributions. 4. Identify growth opportunities. 5. Keep alignment in mind as the top goal. 6. Empower, support, recognize, and act.

    Cheryle Hays
    Cheryle HaysFounder & CEO, InPower Strategists

    Leverage Circle of Competence

    I like using a combination of one of the mental models called 'The Circle of Competence,' where we look at each team member individually to understand their strengths, desires, and drives. We parallel this with work focused on empowering them to take tiny steps toward trying to do things they may not be best at. We use frequent check-ins with each team member for that purpose.

    Understanding one's strengths and finding that intrinsic motivation within are the keys to defining the approach that is geared towards purposely aligning everyone with the business objectives.

    The Circle of Competence model works as soon as you get to understand how to make the best use of it. Once you make peace with knowing what you do not know, the magic happens: you become undefeated in the areas of your expertise, and you graciously pass the rest onto others (as they step in with their expertise in things you are still working to develop). You can then not only leverage your strengths but also clearly see opportunities for improvement. This is how one should work with others while acquiring new skills and knowledge.

    Empowerment comes from within. You set the tone for it.

    Dominika Weston
    Dominika WestonTalent Manager, GLOBO

    Communicate Organizational Objectives Clearly

    It sounds obvious, but I'm consistently surprised at how many CEOs and owners expect their workers to align with organizational objectives they've never heard mentioned or seen put on paper.

    Don't assume your employees are mind readers.

    I made this mistake early on: thinking that the broad goals of my recruiting firm should be clear to anyone walking in the office doors.

    But when I actually sat down to put those objectives into a cohesive plan, I realized it took a little thought on my end. Expecting my team to keep these same aims in their heads was foolish.

    That was when I drafted a quarterly challenge that included both long- and short-term goals, and sent it around headquarters. Once everyone read the same release, they naturally began aligning their own career dreams with those of the company.

    Rob Reeves
    Rob ReevesCEO and President, Redfish Technology

    Link Incentives to Company Goals

    Incentives motivate people. The key is picking the right links between individual and organizational performance to incentivize. So, linking personal incentives to company goals helps align employees with those goals. Some simple ways to do this:

    Bonuses - Give bonuses when important company goals and metrics are met. If increasing sales by 10% is critical for the business, tie employee bonuses to hitting that target.

    Profit Sharing - Share company profits with employees when earnings goals are achieved. Employees see a direct connection between company success and personal payout.

    Individual Recognition - Praise and recognize outstanding work that clearly ties to achieving strategic priorities. For example, acknowledge an employee who generates creative ideas to reduce production costs.

    In essence, you want to reward and acknowledge work by individuals that visibly ladders up to moving the needle on bigger organizational objectives. This reinforces the link between individual contributions and company success. When done right, it motivates people and gets everyone working towards the same fundamental goals.

    Ricci Masero
    Ricci MaseroMarketing Manager, Intellek

    Connect Individual and Company Goals

    It is my belief that there should be a high level of 'connectedness' between individual goals, organizational, and company goals.

    Top-level organizational or company goals, especially those related to revenue or customer success, serve as great examples of how all employees, across all functional levels and departments, can align their individual contributions with broader corporate aspirations. In this case, individual goals reflect the broader company initiative.

    Greater alignment between leaders, teams, and individuals is achievable, particularly when goals are clear, actionable, and easily measurable.

    Stephen Spellicy
    Stephen SpellicyChief Operating Officer, Wallaroo.AI

    Set Clear Expectations and Track Progress

    I love seeing organizations make goal-setting a priority. We want to see organizations not only formulate organization-wide goals and objectives, but we also want to see individuals being able to look inward on themselves and come up with realistic and actionable goals for themselves. Here are some ways that we can bridge the gap and ensure that individual goals are aligning with the broader organizational goals.

    Set Clear Expectations

    It will be difficult for employees to align their individual goals with the broader organizational goals if they are not clear on what those goals are. Employees need to understand the goals of the organization, and the why behind those objectives, so that they are better able to align their own individual goals with them.

    Utilizing Performance Management Systems to Track Goals

    There are numerous performance management systems out there, and most of them can track individual goals that can be linked to organizational goals. It is a great way for the employee to visually see how their goals are linked back to those broader organizational goals. Another benefit here is that these tracking systems can be a tool to be used during one-on-one conversations and roll into the yearly performance evaluations.

    Mary Krull, Shrm-Scp, Prc
    Mary Krull, Shrm-Scp, PrcLead Talent Attraction Partner, Southern New Hampshire University