Team Goal Setting
Defining meaningful results
Defining meaningful results
Team goal setting enables a team to clarify what constitutes meaningful results for them.
The more team members are involved in agreeing what results they want to achieve the more committed they are likely to be to achieving them. Gaining ideas and commitment at an early stage pays in the longer term.
In our article Teamwork Theories – The Star Team Model we introduced a model to develop teams using individual strengths combined together with effective teamwork in the pursuit of meaningful goals. Here we discuss the results element of the model.
Teams come together as an effective unit much more quickly when they have a challenging and meaningful goal they are committed to achieving. So it’s important to frame the team goal setting so that the results the team commits to are challenging, clear and are goals that the members value and recognize as important.
The advice that emerges from the research of Edwin Locke and others on goal setting theory is a helpful way to clarify how you might set goals. Two of Locke’s observations are particularly interesting:
Firstly goals should be demanding. We are far more motivated by challenging goals than by moderate or mediocre goals. That is of course provided they are not set too high and seen as unachievable.
Secondly, goals should be specific. General unclear goals are not motivational: clear specific goals are. It’s also worth considering that goals perhaps shouldn’t be so specific that they don’t allow flexibility to achieve things differently as the context and situation may change over time.
Typically this involves a number of steps:
Involve your team in adding the detail to these steps. The more they’re involved; the greater their sense of ownership and commitment will be.
Finally in the context of team goal setting we have stressed the importance of meaningful results. The emphasis on “meaningful” emerges from an understanding of happiness: that people tend to be happier when they are using their strengths to engage in activities.
This is especially so when those activities are considered significant and meaningful: when they are of value and worth doing. We have talked more about applying happiness to workplace performance in our articles what causes happiness and finding ways to be happy at work.
If you do have the time to read more on this topic, why not go to our Teams Knowledge Hub. A good place to start might be to think through why is teamwork important, or you may want to think about how you define teamwork or reminding yourself of the benefits of teamwork.
This is one of ten articles in our teamwork series. But for some practical tips on team goal setting, look at our great-value guides (below), or at our Team Building Exercises for all team stages teams…
This is one of the articles in our teamwork series. But for some practical tips on teamwork theories, look at our great-value e-guides here, or start with our Team Building Exercises for all team stages teams…
The exercises in this guide are grouped according to our team stages model. Remember, each team is unique and needs to be led through several developmental stages. These include:
Creating a new team or taking over an existing team
Developing a team
Performing and achieving results with a team
Sustaining team performance