This edition of Sparked was published and delivered on June 9th, 2023.

Sparked is Fired Up! Culture’s bi-weekly email newsletter focused on what drives culture and engagement in the workplace. This newsletter is for leaders who are ready to get intentional about bringing their team together, building engagement, and harnessing the power of culture to drive results.

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Ignite your Team by Keeping Goals Present, Meaningful, and Relevant

We’re weeks away from the halfway point of the year. Where did time go?

As the calendar sprints toward the end of Q2, you may find yourself coming back to your team’s goals and thinking about a couple of different things:

  • “We’re crushing it!” Very nice! 
  • “We’re on track.” Keep at it!
  • “We’re behind where we’d like to be.” How are you going to adjust your approach?
Or the all too common:
  • “The goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year aren’t the right goals anymore.” So…now what?

Through our work supporting leaders, we find that well-intentioned goals often go by the wayside for a couple of reasons:

  • Tracking progress is difficult or unclear
  • Urgent, tactical work takes priority 
  • Strategic priorities change
  • The goals that were originally set aren’t pertinent anymore
  • Performance misses by a significant degree and the originally set goals are then ignored
  • Personnel turns over 

For whatever reason, goals lose presence and/or relevance more often than they should.

As goals lose their presence, meaning, and relevance, leaders miss out on an opportunity to further engage their team.

Why Present, Meaningful, and Relevant Goals Drives Engagement

The presence of meaningful goals is a major driver in bringing your team together to do their best work.

In fact, team members are 3.6 times more likely to be committed to their organization when goals are set and applied correctly.

The presence of meaningful and relevant goals:

  • creates direction and vision
  • clarifies priorities
  • sets a bar for teams and individuals to aim for
  • shows progress
  • provides real-time feedback

Working to earn more buy-in from your team members? Consider how the presence of team goals are helping or eroding your ability to bring your team together.

Take Action to Keep Goals Present, Meaningful, and Relevant

How can leaders proactively work to keep their team’s goals present, meaningful, and relevant?

  • Ensure your Team has Goals: Goals can’t be present and relevant if they goals exist. A team without goals? It’s more common than you might think. If that’s where your team finds itself, get to goal setting. Don’t set goals for the sake of it, really work to identify the right goals.  
  • Connect Strategic Goals to the Tactical Work: This is a relevance play. Team goals should be relevant to moving the organization forward but should also be relevant to the people tasked with getting the tactical work done. As a leader, it’s your job to identify, communicate, and build that connection for your team members to make the goals come alive and stay relevant.  
  • Build Progress Rituals: Are these goals looked at quarterly? Monthly? Bi-weekly? Daily? Find the right approach for your team to come back to these goals on a regular basis. Coming back to them keeps them present and helps shed light on progress. 
  • Iterate as Needed: Things happen. Your team’s goals might need to change. Instead of letting them go by the wayside, communicate why changes are needed, iterate appropriately, and keep them present!

Further Exploration on Present, Meaningful, and Relevant Goals