Effective Communication of Goals and Performance
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Communicating you and your team performance compared to your goals is a great way to align teams while being transparent about you and your team work.
The greatest challenge when communicating your team performance is knowing how to organize their results so that the team can understand the work that they have been doing.
Let's start off with communicating your goals. There are many ways to effectively state your goals with your team.
First, make your goals clear and easy to comprehend. You want people from all backgrounds within your team to be able to understand the work that you've done. Make it easy for them by using simple language. Also, be sure to include which metrics are attached to each goal as it will make your goals easier to understand. It's also a great idea to connect with your senior management to make sure you're all aligned on your goals and priorities.
Next, make your goals transparent. By sharing your goals across your company, you and your team will be held accountable for the work done towards achieving these goals. You can do this by publishing them internally so that your team as well as other teams know your goals and metrics and can follow along with your team's performance. Plus, when establishing or updating your goals, work with key stakeholders to determine and approve the goals you've set. This way, everyone will be on the same page when it comes to reporting and will make transparency even easier.
You can also rally your team around their respective goals. Work with the members of your team to establish which goals fall under whose responsibility. This will give the ownership of the goal to its respective person on the team. Empower your team to share regular status updates on goal attainment. You'll want to bake this into your team's weekly or monthly meetings.
Lastly, use all this information that you've created to communicate goal attainment to leadership within your company. Use your goal attainment documentation to point to all the hard work you and your team have done to push your business forward.
Communicating performance can be a little bit trickier than communicating goals. Here, you need to compare what you wanted to achieve to what you actually achieved.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, "What do I do if we fall short of our goals?" While this might seem like a bad thing, missing a goal can sometimes teach you more about your business than achieving goals do, particularly when you're early in the goal-setting process. Here are some ways to communicate your goal attainment.
First, own your performance. Whether your goal attainment is positive, negative, or on the line, the results are an outcome of your work. Use this information to inform others on what will happen next. Will you revisit your goals? Is there any issue that needs to be resolved first? Sharing your action plan will prove that you've learned from previous results and are taking steps to improve performance. Keep in mind, if you're working hard and not hitting your goals, then it's possible that you aren't focused on the right opportunities, or your goals aren't achievable in the first place. Be realistic and set you and your team up for success.
Consider tracking your goals on a weekly or monthly basis and evaluating them together as a team regularly. Reviewing your performance as a team is a great to improve alignment and help each other by having many people think about the performance of the entire team, not just their own performance.
If, from your reporting, it looks like your goals are far too ambitious, that's okay. Use your new insights to set more realistic goals for the following quarter. However, don't shy away from your ambitious goals right away if you don't see the results you want. Stick with it for a month or two and learn from your performance before altering your goals.
On the other hand, if your goals aren't ambitious enough and you exceed them by a large number, consider challenging yourself and your team with more aggressive goals the following quarter. Improving your goals over time will show your understanding of the business and desire to continually grow.
To find a balance between being ambitious and realistic when discussing your goals, set expectations by communicating a "realistic" goal and a "stretch" goal. A realistic goal is what you plan to achieve based on past performance, and a stretch goal is what may be possible with some innovative content that really takes off. This will show your leadership you're not afraid to take risks, but you also have a solid understanding of what is achievable.