DiBona & Associates
DiBona & Associates

Setting the Bar High: Six Practical Steps for C-Suite Executives to Establish Clear Goals & Expectations

21.04.23 05:07 PM By Noel DiBona

Construction industry working at high productivity

Setting clear goals and expectations for your team is wildly important and unfortunately often overlooked.

There are six key areas that leaders at all levels must focus on!

When leaders focus on these six key areas their teams greatly benefit:

- ​Improved alignment with company objectives
- Enhanced communication

-​ Increase in collaboration

- ​Improved productivity

1. ​Be specific and measurable

When setting goals, it's important to be as specific and measurable as possible. This means defining your goals in a way that is clear and precise, and can be quantified or measured in some way. Vague or general goals can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, and can make it difficult to track progress or evaluate success.

To make your goals more specific, consider using the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Your goal should be:

      • Specific: Your goal should be clear and precise, and define exactly what you want to achieve.
      • Measurable: Your goal should be quantifiable or measurable in some way, so you can track progress and evaluate success.
      • Achievable: Your goal should be realistic and achievable, given the resources and time available.
      • Relevant: Your goal should be relevant to the overall objectives of your team or organization, and align with your values and priorities.
      • Time-bound: Your goal should have a specific deadline or timeframe for completion, to help you stay focused and on track.

Using the SMART framework can help you set clear, specific, and measurable goals that are easy to understand and track.

For example:
Vague goal -    "improve customer satisfaction."
SMART goal -  "increase customer satisfaction ratings by 10% within the next six months, as measured by our quarterly customer satisfaction survey."

    2. ​Align goals with company objectives

    To align your team's goals with the company's overall objectives, it's important to have a clear understanding of the company's vision, mission, and strategic priorities. This will help you to set specific and relevant goals that contribute to the organization's success.

    To align your team's goals with company objectives, consider the following:

        • Review the company's mission statement, vision, and strategic priorities.
        • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the company's goals and priorities.
        • Set goals that are relevant to your team's area of responsibility and that contribute to the company's success.
        • Ensure that your team's goals are aligned with the organization's values and culture.

    By aligning your team's goals with company objectives, you can help your team understand how their work contributes to the larger goals of the organization. This can increase their motivation and commitment to achieving their goals. 

      3. ​Communicate expectations clearly

      When communicating expectations, leaders MUST be clearconcise, and consistent. This will help your team understand what is expected of them and what they need to achieve.

      To communicate expectations clearly, consider the following:

          • Use clear and concise language.
          • Avoid jargon or technical terms that may be confusing.
          • Provide examples or additional information if necessary.
          • Repeat and reinforce expectations regularly.
          • Provide regular feedback and updates on your team's progress.

      Clear communication help prevent misunderstandings and increase your team's motivation and engagement.

        4. ​Involve your team in goal setting

        Increase your team members buy-in and motivation, helping them take ownership of their goals and feel more invested in achieving them.

        To involve your team in goal setting, consider the following:

            • Hold team meetings or brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and set goals collaboratively.
            • Encourage team members to share their insights and perspectives.
            • Consider each team member's strengths and weaknesses when setting goals.
            • Ensure that everyone understands the goals and their individual responsibilities.
            • By involving your team in the goal-setting process, you can increase their motivation and engagement, and promote a sense of ownership and accountability.

          5. ​Break down goals into smaller tasks

          Make goals more manageable to help your team stay focused and motivated. This can also help them track progress more easily and feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each task.

          To break down goals into smaller tasks:

              • Identify the specific actions needed to achieve the goal.
              • Estimate the time and resources required for each task.
              • Assign tasks to specific team members.
              • Set deadlines for each task.
              • Monitor progress and provide feedback as needed.

          This process will also help leaders identify potential roadblocks or challenges and allow them to be addressed before they become major obstacles.

          6. ​Provide resources and support

          Don't leave your team to fend for themselves, leaders must be approachable and offer support to their team when needed.

              • Identify the specific resources needed to achieve the goals:

          Start by identifying the specific resources your team needs to achieve their goals. This might include access to technology or equipment, additional staff support, specialized training, or other resources. Talk to your team members to understand what they need to be successful.

              • Allocate resources based on priority and availability.

          Once you have identified the specific resources needed, you need to allocate them based on priority and availability. Determine which resources are most critical to achieving the goals and allocate them first. Consider the availability of resources and any budget constraints you may have.

              • Provide training or coaching as needed.

          Providing training or coaching is an excellent way to support your team's development and help them achieve their goals. Identify any gaps in skills or knowledge that may be hindering their progress, and provide training or coaching as needed. This can include formal training programs, one-on-one coaching, or mentorship opportunities.

              • Monitor progress and adjust resources as needed.

          As your team works towards their goals, it's important to monitor their progress and adjust resources as needed. Keep track of how well your team is performing and make adjustments to resources as necessary. If your team is struggling to meet their goals, consider providing additional resources or support to help them succeed.

          Setting clear goals and expectations is a crucial aspect of effective management.

          Follow the steps above to:

          - Create a supportive environment where your team thrives.
          - Empower your team to take ownership of their work.

          -​ Motivate and keep your team focused.

          - ​Achieve greater success.

          Now that you have the blueprint to help your team achieve greater success, how are you going to implement it?