Ask any top company or CEO, and they’ll agree that goal setting is an essential part of a strong business strategy. Goals represent a clear picture of what you want to accomplish to create your desired future, then provide you a map to get there. Many business leaders rely on ongoing goal setting to help them achieve short and long term objectives. Still, they also acknowledge that simply going through the motions doesn’t guarantee your success.
Effective goals are shared goals and should unite every team member and stakeholder with a single vision for the company’s future. But where do these goals come from? And more importantly, how can goals set by the company’s top tier engage workers at the lowest level for a consistent, predictable outcome?
Cascading Goals Explained
Cascading goals refer to the direction in which goals are delivered — from the top down. When done correctly, this method ensures that the actions executed by lower levels reflect the overarching strategy of the organization. As a result, all participants are pushing toward the same objectives rather than creating silos that don’t contribute to the larger vision.
The biggest key to success is to ensure that you don’t cascade objectives downward, but rather project them upward. Here are some actionable tips that can help you better align your objectives for organizational success:
Illustrate the Importance of Team Contributions
Goals that are shared are achievable.
Employees who can see how their efforts contribute to greater successes are more motivated and engaged. It’s not enough to tell them which tasks to do, but also illustrate why they’re doing these things and how they help to fit into the bigger picture. By doing this, they can share in the successes of the company and take pride in their achievements.
Goals without deadlines are just dreams, according to Napoleon Hill. It’s essential to set specific targets or benchmarks for achieving your goals so you can measure progress along the way. Putting a date on a goal adds a tangible aspect that commits you to achieving it, and could give you the momentum you need to keep moving forward.
Transform Goals into Smaller Tasks
If you have large goals or objectives, break them up into smaller, more digestible tasks that can be easily distributed between teams. Much like climbing a mountain can seem like an insurmountable task, breaking it up into multiple smaller hikes can make the journey seem less daunting.
Find potential obstacles early before they can affect your progress.
No matter the goal, there will be challenges along the way that makes the journey less of a straight line. Identifying and sharing those challenges early can help you be better positioned to conquer them before they can derail your progress.
Everyone on your payroll should be working daily to achieve the goals you’ve laid out. Continuous action can reaffirm the idea that the goal is achievable and continue to push you forward. Many company leaders who put in daily work on goals have found that it’s the single biggest catalyst in their strategy. And when you cascade this objective to the rest of your team, you can reach the end results even faster.