Aligning Personal and Organizational Goals

The impact of coronavirus on individuals and organizations has been both dramatic and rapid. Rarely have we seen such far-reaching changes to work practices occur so swiftly. The consequences for both employees and organizations has been substantial, often to the point of becoming overwhelming.

The changes have not only affected organizational structures and work practices however. Companies have had to quickly adapt their business strategies and shift their goals accordingly. Goal-setting for performance management post-coronavirus demands a complete rethink. Once management have determined the new organizational strategy, then this needs to be cascaded down to new goals, objectives and tactics. Even more importantly, it must be cascaded right down to the individual level so that individual employee’s own goals are realigned with the organization’s goals. Failure to achieve this, rapidly and effectively, will lead to a strategic gap between employee objectives and organizational objectives leading both to underperform.

Looking back at previous research from Kaplan and Norton, they found that only 7% of employees fully understand their company’s business goals and strategies and what’s expected of them in order to help achieve company business goals. This is a historic statistic taken from the pre-Covid era which in the current climate seems positively stable in hindsight. In the chaos that Covid had introduced this number is now likely far lower.

For your leaders to develop and thrive within your organization you will need to spend time helping them to re-imagine their goals in the light of the organizations new strategies. Ideally, everyone within your organization will trace the path from their individual goals all the way up to the broader company goals. Without this you simply have a group of individuals running in different directions trying (very hard) to achieve the wrong things, leading management teams to deliver poor performance.

How can you work with your teams to achieve realignment of goals? One of the first steps is to introduce effective performance management training and goal-setting to your organization. Training is always a strong starting point for creating change. It enables your team to think through their new environment in a structured way rather than going away and trying to reinvent the wheel on their own.

Once performance management training has been completed, you should then move to a structure similar to the following:

First, create a “Vision” and objectives for the team, ensuring that it aligns with your organization’s strategy and goals. Next, you will need to cascade these company objectives down to team and individual objectives. Then ensure that you are consistently communicating these goals and objectives to team members on an ongoing basis. Finally, confirm that all employees have goals that “roll up” into the organization’s strategy and objectives.

Coronavirus has introduced a whirlwind into the lives of employees and a strategic challenge to organizations. It is critical that management recognizes the importance of realigning employee’s performance management goals with those of the organization so that a new vision of successful performance is created for both the organization and its employees.

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