Connecting With Long Term Business Goals is the Key for Success
Long term business goals sound like a scary undertaking – they’re a lot of work, require a lot of patience, and necessitate the right level of engagement. But it’s hard to keep up the momentum over a long period of time, and seeing the forest of your mission through the trees of daily work is difficult, especially if the long term goal is a company-wide one. But there are some easy ways to stay engrossed in your work no matter how far away the finish line is.
Read on to check out these long term goal tips from Kevin Eikenberry, an expert on leadership development, the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, and the author of The Long-Distance Team: Designing Your Team for Everyone’s Success.
What’s a long term business goal?
Though goals might be a part of your usual workday, long term goals are a whole different animal. Rather than being achievable in a matter of days or weeks, long term business goals are worked on over months – for instance, large yearly reports, huge launches, or new integrations.
“While the specifics will vary by organization, vibrant growing and successful organizations will have long term goals around mission-critical parts of the business,” Eikenberry says. “Beyond revenue or profitability, these often include goals around external impact (related to mission), internal impact (related to employees), as well as research and development, quality, or service.”
Long term goals can be the responsibility of teams, or they can be set by executives or managers interested in expansion, such as reaching a certain number of sales or releasing a product. Ideally, these company-wide long term goals will have a significant impact on teams. Reasonable long term goals should trickle down to everyone in the company and influence how they think or how they work. If they don’t directly relate to the dynamics, responsibilities, or daily work of teams, the likelihood that the goal will be accomplished is slimmer.
“If goals don’t impact teams, it is unlikely that the goal will be reached,” Eikenberry says. “In order for this to happen, though, it is critical that team members understand the goals and, more importantly, the purpose for them. While goals are often defined by a target to reach, the why or purpose of the goal is what will drive people to reach the target. When the why is explained and translated to the needs and work of the team, the long term goals are more likely to be reached.”
Common long term goal mistakes
While the context matters, Eikenberry says, a bad long term goal is less about the goal itself and more about how they are understood, analyzed, and broken down into manageable tasks. Ultimately, teams must see the goal as a vital piece of their work puzzle that gives them a reason to engage.
“If you want to engage your teams in your long term goals, they must see a reason why reaching that goal will make a difference for them, the team, the organization, and their customers or communities. If the goal isn’t seen as an improvement, engagement will be harder to create.”
Setting yourself up to succeed with long term business goals
The most important thing to keep in mind when goal-setting, Eikenberry says, is that goals need to have meaning for everyone they impact. Buy-in is essential when it comes to long term goals, and employees lose faith when they get lost in the weeds and forget that they’re doing something important. Research shows that those whose long term goals resonate on a meaningful level are more likely to be more engaged and happier at work.
“Goals that capture ways the organization will make a positive difference externally (societally or culturally, for example) or ways that the organization can improve the culture, situation, and development of the team itself are likely to create greater engagement.”
Another thing to remember is that goals should be clearly defined, with SMART objectives and reasonable expectations – something Hive’s new Goals feature can help with. By making individual and trackable sub-goals that feed into a more significant long term goal, employees always know what their part is in the bigger picture. You can also review progress as milestones are hit to optimize and streamline workflow, making the expedition to your long term goal even more straightforward as the journey progresses.
“Clear goals, with a clear purpose and clearly communicated, will increase the likelihood of team engagement in both the goals and the work required to achieve them.”
Eikenberry also says that long term goals should match the value systems in place within a company. An organization’s “North Star,” or its guiding purpose, unites all team members with one shared mission, like members of an adventuring party. Slow and steady wins the race, but teams should have a reason to be running the race in the first place – which is why value-defining conversations are important, even if the goal is assigned to your team.
“In fact, values should be a filter all goals are run through before they are finalized,” Eikenberry adds. “If the goal or target isn’t aligned with our values, why would it be one of our goals? If teams or individuals question a long term goal in relation to organizational values, take this question seriously – because until understanding and alignment are reached, the confusion and lack of clarity will severely hamper progress towards that goal.”
Examples of long-term business goals
- Diversify product portfolio to 1,000 items in the next 5 years.
- Become the industry leader and most-awarded organization in the field in the next decade.
- Become a carbon-free organization by 2033.
Using Hive To Reach Your Long-Term Goals
Are you ready to start setting goals with your team? You’re in luck — Hive’s newest (and most exciting) feature is Goals. Everyone wants to know how they’re moving their organization forward, and your team is more than just a project. With Goals, you can set various goals, visualize progress, and keep everyone aligned in one centralized dashboard. You can also:
- Create one, ten, twenty, or more goals for your team, so everyone understands what they’re contributing to.
- Centralize and automate your goal tracking and reporting.
- Pull data from other systems into Hive to streamline operations and reporting.
- Share your goal or goals, assign the goal to relevant teammates, track activity, and give yourselves a deadline.
- Understand how your team and organization are pacing towards an individual goal or a set of goals.
- Color-coded designations allow an easy understanding of “on-track” items.
- When it’s time to review progress, accomplishments, and achievements, easily export all relevant information.