New year, new work goals. If you’re setting objectives with your team, you’re likely thinking about what you want to accomplish. But thinking about how you will accomplish it, and setting goals on that front, is equally important – if not more – for successfully reaching your targets.

Charlie Gilkey, CEO and founder of the productivity company Productive Flourishing, says teams and organizations are better served by thinking about and working on team habits, which he calls workways (also the title of his upcoming book about team habits).

“Goals are the targets, but it’s a team’s ways of working together that improve our chances of meeting those goals, or that can sabotage them.”

According to him, there are a few categories of team habits you should be setting goals around in 2022: belonging and meaning, decision-making, planning, prioritization, communication, collaboration, and personal effectiveness. “Progress in any of these areas will help teams deliver against their most important goals for the year,” he adds.

Ready to set goals that will have a positive domino effect on all your other work ambitions this year? Make sure to cover the following areas.

1. Building versatility into your plans

That rigid plan? It doesn’t exist. Make building versatility into your plans one of your 2022 goals so you can be better equipped to handle whatever is thrown at you and thrive.

“Make plans that are meant to be rewritten. If we learned anything from 2020 and 2021, it was that we can’t count on things sticking with or returning to the status quo. We have to be flexible, and build that versatility into our plans,” explains Gilkey.

2. Prioritizing what matters the most

Regardless of your industry, chances are, you’re not prioritizing where you invest your resources ruthlessly enough. It’s just a natural tendency in teams and organizations. But you can change that with some clever goal-setting.

“Build upon the 10 percent keeping your lights on. Ten percent or less of the people interacting with your business will actually become your customer. We tend to direct our efforts towards the 90%, but growth within your current segment is worth more than you might think,” says Gilkey.

This can look like choosing to ditch product ideas that are not aligned with your strengths or going all-in on a marketing strategy that is already yielding positive results.

3. More belonging and meaning

“With many more organizations shifting to remote work, building a sense of belonging and connection is even more important with a dispersed team,” says Gilkey.

“Use both synchronous and asynchronous methods of communication and collaboration. Celebrate wins together. Provide time for teammates to be human beings, and share some of themselves with each other.”

If this sounds like a soft goal, think twice – The Great Resignation is in full swing and improving your team’s sense of belonging and meaning will also increase employee retention, productivity and profitability.

4. Outstanding communication

Gilkey also recommends setting goals around communication: Over-communicate, clarify, and practice active listening, he says. Areas to improve can include decision-making processes and employee communication tools.

Who should know about what when it comes to a decision that will impact the rest of the team? How should you communicate decisions and new developments? Set objectives that help your team achieve clarity and alignment year-round. This will help you move faster and more powerfully as a group.

5. Achieving sustained collaboration

Collaboration is something all teams want, yet so few of them set goals around the process of collaborating.

If your team’s collaboration efforts work properly then chances are a lot of other amazing, high-level work can happen too, says Gilkey. And the opposite is also true. “Celebrate successes, and try measuring your success in terms of the level of collaboration,” he adds.

“Collaboration can look like taking a moment at meetings to see where projects are stuck, and if any team member needs help.”

6. Ditching efforts that are out of integrity

Finally, whatever specific goals you choose to focus on in 2022, make sure that you stay away from efforts that are out of integrity. Think about this as any goal that puts profit over people or the planet, as Gilkey puts it.

“As leaders, we are stewards of both the planet and the people that inhabit it. Our role as leaders is to create environments (within the business or outside of it) where people can grow and thrive and do more of their best work.”

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