“Organizational goals are the overall objectives, purpose and mission of a business that have been established by its management and communicated to its employees. The organizational goals of a company typically focus on its long range intentions for operating and its overall business philosophy that can provide useful guidance for employees seeking to please their managers.” - Business Dictionary
After reading the business definition of organizational goals, it seems common sense for leaders to ensure their workforce is fully informed and moving in the same direction. You might be as surprised as I was to find that only 37% of employees understood what their employer was trying to achieve and why, as revealed in a Harris Interactive survey of 23,000 employees.
Doesn’t that seem absurd? The exact information that provides focus, direction, and vision is the information that your workforce probably doesn’t possess. Let’s work on fixing that. As the saying goes, the beginning is a very good place to start. The beginning of the talent lifecycle happens to be recruiting. By infusing your recruitment messaging with organizational goals, employers can ensure a full understanding of the company vision and culture. Only 37% of employees understand what their employer is trying to achieve and why.
Like the people within them, there are countless variations of company cultures. The culture can revolve around any number of things, but the ideal culture will ultimately drive productivity and organizational success. Goals will always be at the core of successful productivity-centric cultures.
Ensure your current workforce knows the organization's established goals and exactly how their individual roles fit in. When new hires are started in an environment where no one knows the macro or micro goals of the organization, that’s a mindset and cultural trait that is tough to break.
To begin this entire process, implement a goal-centric performance management process. In this manner, goals are consistently revisited, and dialogue is created around how to get there. Whether you’re aware or not, your current company culture is a big part of your recruitment messaging. The messages that candidates receive aren’t always intentionally crafted – this one should be.
Look at your current job listings. Can the organizational goals be seen or felt at all? Assess the current state of your job descriptions to see what you’re missing and where. Remember that a candidate/employer fit isn’t a one-way street. Employees need to be given the necessary information to either opt out of the application process or get really excited about your company for the right reasons.
A Brandon Hall study asked employees how accurate their job description is; 41% said, “It’s inaccurate – my duties have evolved considerably.” While duties and job requirements are vital, they will always evolve. Organizational goals are more of a constant, and they are what those job requirements evolve to achieve.
Again, start by taking a look at your current employer branding efforts. Would a job seeker or even a customer (because employer branding doesn’t happen in some magical job seeker vacuum) have an idea of the organizational goals? 46% of workers in a CareerBuilder study said a company’s employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organization, and another 45% say it plays somewhat of a role. So, they’re paying attention.
A popular and positive organizational goal that many companies are adopting is to be increasingly environmentally friendly. You can highlight how you support this goal through paperless systems, offering work-from-home options that reduce your human capital carbon footprint or corporate volunteer programs that support this initiative. Infusing goals into your employer branding will also positively impact your consumer branding, as candidates and customers are often the same people.
Hiring the wrong person can affect the bottom line more than many leaders probably realize. A bad hire can cost the organization up to 30% of the worker’s yearly earnings, as estimated by the US Dept. of Labor. Companies can’t afford the revolving door of these poor hires.