How to Set and Reach Department Goals?

A departmental goal inspires teamwork towards a shared mission and vision, clarifying its purpose and how it aligns with the company’s objectives. It promotes collaboration and supports overall organizational success. Are you confused about how to set department goals? Or is it that you have set goals but do not know how to go about reaching those goals? It is common to set a goal and forget about it until reminded during performance reviews. Working toward a deadline can make it challenging to achieve one’s full potential.

Research says 92% of people cannot achieve the goals they set. Though the setting is just the initial step, it is crucial. 

Per surveys, visualizing goals can make one more confident in achieving them. You forget them until the day of the reviews and again set the goal for the next cycle, thus getting stuck in a loop.


If goals are forgotten or not achieved, it can result in failure and stagnation in development, which can have a negative impact on the entire company. This can lead to a lack of interest in the department and a reluctance to set and achieve goals creatively. To avoid this, it’s essential to set reasonable goals that can result in better employee performance reviews and ultimately contribute to the success of the organization. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher employee engagement, and improved retention rates.

Also Read: 7 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important

How to Prepare for Department Goals?

Setting goals is not enough; one needs to track their progress in achieving them at frequent intervals. When setting reasonable goals, it’s important to consider the necessary resources to achieve them within the given deadline. Any previous failures in meeting department goals should be taken as examples, and efforts should be made to make them effective and achievable in the next attempt. Goals serve as useful tools to make informed decisions, prioritize efforts, and ultimately achieve the company’s mission.

How to Set SMART Goals?

SMART goals are ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Now, how to do it right with efficient use of resources and time? Let us find out.

SMART goals

  • Specific: Your goal should be clear and specific. Avoid vague goals like “improve performance” and instead aim for something like “increase sales by 10%.”
  • Measurable: Make sure your goal is measurable so you can track your progress and stay motivated. Use numbers, percentages, or other metrics to make your goal tangible.
  • Achievable: Your goal should be realistic and achievable given your resources and timeline. Set a goal that challenges you, but don’t aim for the impossible.
  • Relevant: Your goal should be relevant to your overall objectives and priorities. Don’t waste time on goals that don’t align with your bigger picture.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal. This will help keep you on track and provide a sense of urgency.
  • Break it down: Break your goal down into smaller, manageable steps. This will make it less daunting and easier to tackle.
  • Get specific: Determine the specific actions you need to take to achieve your goal. This will help you stay focused and make progress.
  • Write it down: Write your goal down and keep it somewhere visible. This will serve as a constant reminder and help you stay accountable.
  • Share it: Share your goal with someone you trust. This will provide support and accountability.
  • Celebrate: Celebrate your progress along the way and don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve your goal. Positive reinforcement can help you stay motivated and on track.

Also Read: How to Implement SMART Employee Goal Setting in Your Company

Strategies to Define SMART Business Goals

Now that you have a clear idea of setting smart business goals, know the strategies to establish them right. Create objectives that focus on critical business areas. Analyze the opportunities well, identify the goals that can be challenging, and align with the business goals. One of the effective methods for setting department goals that are smart is:

SWOT Analysis 

SWOT Analysis

Conducting a SWOT analysis is an excellent way to analyze business performance and work on the area of improvement effectively. SWOT stands for:

  • Strength: Identify the areas where the business performs well. Identify the components and assets that are strong and can help to get an edge over the competitors. 
  • Weakness: Analyze deeply to understand what’s not working for the business. Look for the components that tend to decrease the value. 
  • Opportunity: Examine the external opportunities that can be helpful for the business. Look for business growth and the market change you want to focus on.  
  • Threat: What are the external factors that can threaten the business? Are there any troubles that can impact business operations? As consumer demand changes, a business may face new challenges and threats from competitors.  

Set and Achieve Goals per the Department

There’s nothing better than planning over-achievable goals that equal your business success. Setting objectives demands focusing on what a business needs to tackle in the current year. 

Achieving realistic goals

The main thing lies in picking the goals that hit realistically and help drive the business to the next level, even in economically challenging situations.  

Ensure the following to set achievable department goals:

    • The goals should align with company objectives 
    • List the goals per employee and department to set the priorities 
    • Use KPIs that can boost the accountability of the goals
  • Invite the employees to set their goals so that you can review them together during their performance reviews
  • Break big goals into smaller ones to bring consistency 
  • Set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, time-based, and set in real time 
  • Foster a healthy dynamic in every department 
  •  Identify the workers falling short and help them achieve success in the future 

90% of studies show specific and challenging goals can trigger better performance than easy or try-your-best goals. It requires motivation and persistence to achieve positive goals compared to vague ones. 

Also Read: 7 Steps to Setting Workplace Goals and Making Them Happen

1. HR Department Goals

If you are in an HR department, you must know how hard it is to set goals that align with workforce trends, budgets, and others. Check the means available and set short-term goals to achieve. The goals of the HR department should set an example for other departments, which may find it challenging to set goals. You can also check performance reviews to set the right goals for this department. 

Some HR goals are:

  • Speeding up the hiring process using the latest tools
  • Increasing the current employee retention rate to reduce employee turnover
  • Trying to increase the number of upskilled employees by 20% in the coming months 

2. Marketing Department Goals

The marketing department’s goals are to increase company leads, boost brand awareness, and try unique and innovative things to launch a new product. Marketing has many facets, from technical to creative, in setting goals. It is often challenging to set goals for a creative department. A few samples of goals that can be set for the marketing department are:

  • The marketing department should set goals to drive website traffic by almost 50% with quality blogs
  • Redesigning landing pages can earn more click-through rates for the website 
  • There should be an increase in the sales funnel and more use of targeted email to reach the potential group of customers 

3. Sales Department Goals

Setting clear and measurable goals is essential for the success of any sales department. The goals should be tailored to the size of the department, the products or services being sold, and the most effective ways to generate leads.

For example, a sales department might set a goal to increase monthly revenue by 15% by implementing strategies such as cross-selling and customizing sales, as well as learning more about the products to better serve customers.

Another goal could be to limit the number of deals per unit over the next few months, which could help focus efforts on more profitable sales.

It’s important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members when setting goals and to ensure that everyone is motivated and working together toward a common goal. By encouraging healthy competition and collaboration, sales departments can achieve both individual and team success. 

Key Points to Note Before Setting Goals

Setting Achievable Goals for Work-Life Balance

work life balance

Incorporating workplace goals into daily activities can be a challenging task. It’s important to set clear and specific goals, prioritize tasks, and allocate time to turn goals into achievable actions. This can help maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Get Clarity on the Team Structure

Team structure

Understand the capabilities and interrelationships of your team before setting work goals. Identify the support that can be provided to measure goals and process them to run projects smoothly. 

Focus on Coordination Among the Team

Team work

For every goal, there are things that are in your control; you have to plan for the rest. It is the skill and collaboration of a department that will help in achieving goals. Better coordination can prevent the team from missing deadlines. This is how you can set smart business goals.

Consider the Big Picture 

Professional development

Efficiency and productivity in the workplace are crucial for career progression and success in the long term. It’s important to focus not only on immediate tasks but also on gaining valuable experience and skills that can be applied to future opportunities.

Also Read: How to Set the Right Employee Development Goals

Continued education and training are key to expanding responsibilities and advancing in one’s career. Seeking out such opportunities can help individuals stay relevant and competitive in their field, and increase their chances of getting promoted.

Compare Goals with Your To-Do List

To-do list

Setting clear and measurable goals is essential for the growth and success of any business. However, it can be challenging to stay focused on these goals when urgent assignments and client demands arise.

For example, continuing professional education is crucial for boosting proficiency and experience, but it often falls short due to time constraints and competing priorities.

To overcome this challenge, it’s important to align annual goals with daily to-do lists. This can help ensure that daily tasks and urgent assignments are moving the team toward the larger goals and targets set for the year.

By prioritizing and balancing urgent tasks with long-term goals, businesses can achieve sustained growth and success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do SMART goals help in professionalism?

Ans. SMART goals can be summarized as follows:

  • They help achieve professional goals
  • They are measurable, achievable, specific, time-bound, and correct 
  • They give a framework to track progress and mark the required revisions 
  • They help one stay focused to achieve business goals

Q2. What is the need for the strategy for goals?

Ans. After you set your goals, don’t try to achieve them together, as it can be overwhelming, leading to failure. Instead, analyze the objective, evaluate the sources available, and plan on how to tackle it considering the priorities.  In other words, you need to have a proper strategy in place.

Q3. Which strategy can help in achieving business goals?

Ans. SWOT analysis can clarify business goals. It helps analyze what’s working and where the business can improve more to yield better. That way, you understand which aspects of the business need attention and bring in more opportunities for the company.

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Top 5 Employee Goals And Objectives In 2023

Setting employee goals and objectives is a common practice among organizations worldwide. To get the most out of your employees, you must give them goals they can work towards. This not only keeps them motivated but also maintains high-performance levels. 

Here are the 5 Examples of Professional Goals For Work 2023

Goal#1: Bring More Creativity To Work

As the corporate world continues to become more competitive, creativity keeps on gaining more significance among employers. Creativity can impact how well your employees can implement their tasks. Because it contributes to the development of the company, organizations are increasingly showing interest in cultivating employees’ creative thinking. And you don’t want to fall behind. So this year, creativity should top the list of your employees’ goals and objectives.

Though creativity is not something that can be taught, few proven practices can make your employees think out of the box. Interestingly, some of the practices are as simple as walking, learning a new instrument, and even just sitting at a place doing nothing at all.

Here is what employees need to do:

  • Go for a 30-minute walk, 3 times a week, after work. Don’t listen to music or be on call while walking. The primary focus would be the surroundings
  • Pick up a new hobby or learn to play a new instrument. Dedicate at least half an hour to it in a day
  • Every day, spend some time away from technology. Read a book or just do nothing

Make sure your employees develop these habits by the end of this quarter.

Remember, everyone is creative in their own ways. So, putting some effort into nurturing your employees’ creativity will eventually pay off.

Goal#2: Learn People Management

Employees goals: Learn people management

Every organization has employees of different age groups, backgrounds, and ideas. That means, every employee’s way of working is different. To ensure everyone in a team is collaborative and a team player, organizations must include people management skills in their employees’ individual goals and objectives.

People management skills include strong communication, the ability to motivate others, patience, problem-solving, positivity, and honesty.

Some examples of practicing people management skills are:

  • Provide teammates or peers with feedback at least once a month until the end of Q4
  • Recognize one colleague’s work effort weekly by sending them an encouraging email for the next 6 months
  • Encourage inclusive work culture by involving everyone in a monthly brainstorming session till the end of this year
  • Involve employees in a monthly problem-solving session where every employee will solve one critical problem, given by their team leads or upper management, for the next six months

By improving people management skills in your employees, you build effective future leaders within the workforce.

Also read: Your Guide to Performance Management

Goal#3: Hone Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skill is vital for every individual in a business. It helps in reaching common ground in case of any confrontation and improves relationships in the workplace. Negotiation is also important for career growth.

Some of the characteristics of negotiation skills are- knowledge of the subject matter, listening skills, ability to express thought verbally, general intelligence and judgment, and patience.

Developing negotiation skills in employees must be a priority for 2023

To develop this skill, your employees need to:

  • A negotiation course
  • Find a good negotiation coach and have a monthly or biweekly meeting till Q4
  • Every month, keep an hour aside to try out new negotiation skills with a peer, until the end of this year

Coursera provides negotiation skills training “Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills”. In this course, your employees will learn about and practice the 4 steps of negotiation: Prepare (how to plan negotiation strategy), Negotiate (how to use key tactics for success), Close (how to create a contract), and Perform & Evaluate (the end game). Coursera also provides a Course Certificate on the successful completion of the course.

Goal#4: Practice Decision Making

employee goals in 2022/2023

Decision-making is a critical skill for anyone in an authorized position. So having a workforce that can make quick yet good decisions is something that makes an organization stand out. That’s why your employee goals and objectives list for 2023 should have decision-making in it.

Though it is a difficult skill to develop, if your employees actively involve themselves in the process, they can achieve significant long-term results.

What your employees need to do to improve decision-making skill:

  • Invest at least an hour every week to learn some basics of probability. It helps in improving one’s decision-making skills
  • Do not postpone any difficult decision that you require to make for the next 3 months

Udemy offers an excellent course named “Decision Making: Mistakes, in Probability and Statistics,” which can improve your employees’ decision-making skills. This course is specially built for leaders and managers.

This course offers learnings on- common mistakes made in probability for everyday judgments and decisions, the psychological biases and fallacies that make us conclude wrongly, and how to use probability effectively while decision making.

Also read: Here’s Why Your Employee Rewards & Recognition Fails

Goal#5.: Focus On Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one’s capability to recognize, manage, and use their own emotions in positive ways to empathize with others and overcome challenges. It helps you build stronger relationships at work and achieve your career goals. As a result, emotional intelligence becomes a critical skill for collaboration and working effectively in a team. 

The skills involved in emotional intelligence are- self-awareness, motivation, social skills, and empathy.

To improve emotional intelligence, your employees:

  • Need to practice self-awareness thrice a week through self-reflection, noting down feelings and experiences, and reflecting on behavior throughout the year
  • Must practice active listening and pay attention to non-verbal cues when communicating with others
  • Must use an assertive style of communication (communicate opinions and needs without being aggressive) for the next 3 months

Many organizations are now switching to performance management software to automate and enhance setting up of employee goals and objectives. These tools provide real-time data on goals achievement and further help to increase employee accountability and transparency in the system.

Learn how Engagedly can help you set employee goals and objectives. Schedule a free demo!!

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Tips To Setting Effective Employee Goals And Objectives

Employee goals and objectives are not just mere numbers for an employee. They are something to work towards, a milestone representing growth and accomplishments that motivate us. Of course, when we achieve these goals, it also benefits the organization.

Essentially, workplace goals provide employees with a purpose and job satisfaction, and for an organization, they also grant results and success. Therefore, workplace goals are integral to an organization. For a manager, here are a few useful tips for you to follow, to set goals for your employees.

Personal Improvement Should Also Be A Focus

One of the main motives behind creating goals for your employees as a manager should be personal improvement. Employee goals which help them improve and gain new skills become a good goal by default. Personal improvement is a part and parcel of an employee’s development. Employees cannot remain static.

Also Read: 7 Video Conferencing Etiquettes To Follow

Goals Should Be Attained Through Teamwork

One key to setting good employee goals is that they should be slightly unreachable. However, managers should not go to the extreme and set completely unreachable goals. If your goals are causing your employees to pull countless all-nighters or are stressing them out, they are completely missing the point. You don’t want your goals to burn out employees. You should aim for motivation.

Employee goals should ensure that employees do not work as individual contributors, but work with others to ensure the completion of goals. Goals that employees can easily meet are not challenging them enough or even engaging them. Contrarily, a goal that forces an employee to step out of their comfort zone is a goal that is challenging. And even better if the goal in question forces employees to engage with other employees.

Measure the Impact Of Goals

If we only counted goals in terms of numerical progress, then by that logic, it would be very easy to declare a goal as a failure or success. For setting employee goals, one thing you should keep in mind is measurability. It’s good if you can measure a goal in terms of numbers and even better if you can measure the impact of the goal. The impact of a goal is always a better indicator of success than the numerical status.

For example, an employee is given a goal where he needs to convince 50 other employees in the office to use a new software. In terms of numbers, if 50 employees have downloaded that software and used it even once, then the goal is successful. However, if those 50 employees stopped using the software after a period, then has the employee really succeeded at the goal?

Align Them to Organization Goals

We cannot tie all goals to team goals and the organization, that is true. However, when setting a goal for an employee, it is important to remember that as much as possible, a goal should contribute to the overall team and organization goals. If employee goals are not directly contributing to the team’s or the organization’s success, it should at least account for their personal development. If the goal is not even helping the employee improve professionally, then the goal shouldn’t exist in the first place.

Also Read: What To Look For In A 360 Feedback Software?

Keep Employee Goals Flexible

Ideally, you should be able to modify employee goals in the long run. Because, in the process of achieving a goal, the employee and manager might suddenly find that the objective of the goal needs to change. Or that they might need to add other objectives to the goal.

Make Employees Set Their Goals Themselves

Harvard Business Review, in their report, found that 14% of people who set their goals are 10 times more successful than their counterparts.

Last but not the least, this is one of the most important factors to consider when creating a goal. Does your goal match with what the employee has in mind? If it does, great, you can go ahead and set that goal. If it does not, you’ve got to find a way to meet in the middle with the employee. A goal that is set for an employee without an employee’s input is one that is doomed. If employees are not invested in a goal or even motivated by it, then they will not be able to pursue it.

Measure Their Overall Impact

This is one other thing you need to take into consideration. How does the goal you set for your employee affect you? Does it tie into any personal goals you have? And if it does, how do you measure the goal? How much is the employee contributing towards the goal? These are a few of the questions you should ask when creating goals for employees.

Want to know how Engagedly can make your goal-setting process simpler? Request for a demo!

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How To Use SMART Goals For Employee Engagement?

What Are SMART Goals?

Measuring performance is one of the many important aspects of every business. It is a continuous process that involves collecting and analyzing information regarding the performance of individual employees or a specific department.

Continue reading “How To Use SMART Goals For Employee Engagement?”