How to Set Team Goals that Encourage Collaboration

Author: Tyler Cox

shutterstock_1779303113-Converted.jpgOne of the first things people learn as they enter the business world is that teams can accomplish much more together than they can working independently.

 

It doesn’t happen in a vacuum, though. A key to the success of any team is setting team goals and collaborating to accomplish those goals. And while that may be obvious, one of the challenges many managers face in business is setting goals for the team that encourage collaboration and knowing how to track progress towards those goals.

 

Here are a few tips on team goal setting and how to keep your team working towards a goal:

 

INVOLVE THE TEAM IN THE GOAL-SETTING PROCESS

Upper-level managers often have enthusiastic but unrealistic expectations for what the team can accomplish. On the other hand, team members tend to know what they are capable of. Allow team members to set the goals, and you’re likely to find that they’ll put the pressure on themselves to deliver above and beyond. Examples of team goals for creating the company’s annual report might include deadlines for gathering revenue and profit information from accounting, gathering quotes from executives, and writing biographies of key people. Break projects down into small, manageable chunks.

 

TIE TEAM GOALS TO INDIVIDUAL GOALS

Work with the team to break tasks down into individual assignments, and set deadlines for those assignments. In many cases, if a project relies on regular contributions from each team member, others in the group will quickly become aware if someone is falling behind and will take corrective measures to ensure the project stays on track.

 

HOLD REGULAR MEETINGS TO ASSESS PROGRESS

Race-car drivers don’t wait until the final lap to know where they stand; they’re constantly tracking their place in the competition and planning their next move. It’s the same with teams. Knowing where the team stands relative to project completion can help generate enthusiasm for the project. Require the group to hold regular meetings to assess where they stand relative to their goals.

 

ENCOURAGE CROSS-TEAM COLLABORATION

In any organization, opportunities often arise for teams to collaborate with other teams to benefit the organization as a whole. In many cases, such cross-team collaboration could head off problems not seen because groups tend to reside in specific silos. Sales teams, for example, might partner with customer support staff to make sure those who buy a company’s new product are satisfied with their purchase, or designers may meet with supply buyers to ensure they have the products they need to keep production running smoothly.

 

MAKE SURE TEAM MEMBERS HAVE THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR SPECIFIC TASKS

With many workers now doing their jobs from home, it’s a good idea to take some time to educate remote workers on what it takes to succeed. From ensuring they have the best tools to work from home to offering tips on how they can set up their home office and teaching them how to stay collaborative even though they’re not in the same building with the rest of their team.

 

REWARD THE TEAM FOR ACCOMPLISHING THEIR GOAL

One of the biggest ways companies can boost team morale is publicly rewarding them for a job well done. A paid day off, lunch delivered to workers’ homes, or a gift certificate at the local supermarket are excellent rewards. Another great option is to provide team members with products for their office or technological tools for working from home. Not only will those products make their jobs easier, but they’ll also serve as regular reminders of a job well done.