Setting the right objectives

Objectives are specific, measurable, and time-bound goals that an individual, team, or business aims to achieve. They provide a clear and concise description of what needs to be accomplished within a defined period to contribute to the overall success of a project, department, or the entire organisation. (See our framework of SMARTER objectives, to better understand how to effectively structure objectives.)

Metrics should drive a collaborative approach across teams and organisations, so they work together to achieve the same goals; sales targets should be aligned to marketing for example. Setting the right objectives for teams is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Clarity of Purpose: Objectives provide a clear understanding of what the team is expected to achieve. They set a direction and help team members understand their role in contributing to the overall goals of the company.
  2. Alignment with Organisational Goals: Team objectives should align with the broader goals of the organisation. This ensures that the team's efforts contribute to the strategic success of the company.
  3. Motivation and Engagement: Clearly defined objectives give team members a sense of purpose and direction. Knowing what they are working towards can boost motivation and engagement, leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction.
  4. Measurable Outcomes: Objectives are typically accompanied by measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics. This allows for the quantifiable assessment of progress, providing a basis for evaluating team performance.
  5. Resource Allocation: Setting objectives helps in identifying the resources needed to achieve them. It allows for better planning and allocation of resources, whether they be human, financial, or technological.
  6. Accountability: Clear objectives establish accountability within the team. Team members can be held responsible for achieving specific outcomes, promoting a sense of responsibility and ownership.
  7. Communication and Collaboration: Well-defined objectives facilitate communication within the team. Team members can collaborate more effectively when they understand the common goals they are working towards.
  8. Adaptability: Objectives provide a framework, but they should also be adaptable to changing circumstances. Teams can adjust their strategies and goals based on new information or shifts in the business environment.
  9. Performance Evaluation: Objectives serve as a basis for evaluating team performance. During performance reviews, achievements against objectives can be assessed, and feedback can be provided for improvement.
  10. Continuous Improvement: Regularly setting and reviewing objectives promotes a culture of continuous improvement. Teams can learn from both successes and failures, refining their strategies and processes for ongoing success.

Setting objectives for teams is essential for creating a roadmap, fostering motivation, ensuring alignment with organisational goals, and promoting accountability and continuous improvement. It's a fundamental aspect of effective team management and company success.

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