“Clear organizational goals can drive employee efforts throughout the organization. But if employees do not know what the organization's goals are, those goals lose the ability they have to energize employees towards their achievement. Communicating organizational goals to employees is essential for achieving those desired outcomes.” - OPM.gov
Organizational goals must be communicated to employees before they’re even employees. Yes, we’re talking in the candidate stage. A Harris Interactive survey of 23,000 employees found that only 37% understood what their employer was trying to achieve. Can you imagine how low the number is for the employees who haven’t even been sourced, hired and onboarded? That’s right.
Communicating goal alignment starts at the beginning of the talent lifecycle and it’s nurtured and developed throughout. Additionally, letting your applicants know what kinds of goals they’ll be working on and the problems they will be solving can do wonders for your employer brand. Research from PwC shows career progression is the top priority for millennials who expect to rise rapidly through the organization. Fifty-two percent said this was the main attraction in an employer, coming ahead of competitive salaries.
Understanding goals means management has communicated goals adequately, reinforced them via behavior and example and recognized and rewarded that behavior when employees model it in their work behavior. The sooner this information is communicated, the longer the employee will have to absorb it and put it to good use. Since we’re starting at the beginning of the talent lifecycle: recruiting, let’s look over some key strategies for integrating organizational goals into recruitment messaging and employer brand.
Revamp the Job Advertisements
The job advertisement may be the first impression your company gives to candidates, so make it an impression that shows you’re serious about reaching goals. Get future employees excited about working for your company with recruitment messaging that calls them to action. Try using action words instead of plainly describing tasks to make this happen. Then, use phrases that make strong statements regarding organizational goals.
The easiest way to add your goals into a job advertisement is...wait for it...by adding goals into a job advertisement by aligning the tactical to the strategic. Here’s how:
Say you have a goal of doubling 2015 sales, an already impressive number at $25 million dollars. In fact, that number was doubled from 2014 and your sales team is raring to do it again. But....you’re hiring a product development manager. So how can you align what she’ll be doing with the organizational goals in the job ad?
- Connect to past success: "Our product development manager will be creating even more demand for our fancy widget than we saw in our last year (which was a record breaker)!"
- Flatter your applicant.(This also has the effect of raising expectations): Product development managers at ACME corp are dedicated to the success of the entire company. You’ll drive success of the entire company by QA testing new models, building out the product roadmap to increase demand and managing a product team that continues to help our team break sales records.
- Build on the future: At ACME corp your work is more than widget development, you’ll be developing the people under you to create bigger and better products for the end user. Our goal this year is to double revenue with the most efficient and fanciest widgets out there. Are you the person for the job?
Still unsure your job ads are showcasing goals? Ask a friend or family member to read them and identify nuances to company goals. Can they specifically highlight instances that speak to goals? If the answer is no, then try, try again.
If you’re still struggling to communicate goals in your job advertisments, then enlist in the help of your team! Who better to understand how roles at your organization achieve goals than your existing team. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to give employees a refresher too.
Did you know companies who have employees revise or review goals quarterly or more are 45% more likely to have above-average financial performance?
Companies with employees like this are 45% more likely to achieve above-average financial performance:
Energize Your Employer Brand
Would a job seeker, client or customer ever know what your company goals are?
“The job market is full of candidates asking whether the company they are considering shares their values set; as such messages, channels and tools must be tailored to the audience companies are targeting, in order to be relevant. With this in mind, it is critical that the employer brand represents the organisations aspirations and goals, enticing and engaging the right talent.” - Neil Griffiths (@griffithsneil)
Organizational goals can be used to attract employees with similar values. Highlight how your organization is philanthropic or sustainable and infuse this messaging into your employer branding initiatives.
.@griffithsneil says employer brand should represent these traits in an organization:
Get Your Existing Team Up to Speed
If your current workforce doesn’t know your company’s established goals or how their individual or departmental roles work towards the goals, then a misfit cultural environment has been created. Implement a goal-centric performance management process immediately to begin effectively communicating and relaying information pertaining to organizational goals. When new hires are welcomed to the team, they’ll be influenced by a team whose “in-the-dark attitude” towards goals will rub off.
Creating a culture where goals are better understood, communicated and promoted will drive productivity and success like never before.
Have you seen our series on aligning and communicating goals through performance management?
Building a goal-driven culture makes it harder to drop the ball. Use some of these quick, actionable ideas to kick off a goal-driven culture:
- Create a visual goal board in an office space that receives a lot of foot traffic or is in a common place for meetings, lunch breaks, etc.
- Sign up for a team collaboration tool (try Yammer, Bitrix24 or Slack) where goals can be talked about and revisited daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly.
- Hold contests, trivia games and other friendly, yet HR-friendly office games where people compete to reach goals. Quiz employees on current goal plans and progress (and don’t forget to include incentives)!
- And of course, get a great performance management program that has goals built right in!
Goals are incredibly important to a company that wants to know where it’s going and just how it plans to get there. Start infusing your team with goals today!