Setting and cascading goals throughout the organization is vital to achieving company objectives. When defining goals, you’ll want to make sure they meet the SMART criteria:
Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
Attainable: It should be a stretch to reach the goal, but not so much so that it’s out of reach.
Realistic: What it takes to do to achieve the goal should be within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.
Timely: The goals should have a clearly defined time-frame including a target completion date.
Using the SMART criteria above, you should determine 3-5 goals that are tied to success measures of the company. Oftentimes they are financial, business development, process development or customer satisfaction measures.
Once the Company Goals are determined, they should be communicated throughout the Company and translated to departmental goals. Those departmental goals then become the framework that shape each employee’s individual goals. Hence the goals are cascaded as Company Goals down to Departmental Goals down to Individual Goals. These individual goals can play an important role in performance management, career development and employee rewards.