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Have you ever worked in an organization, where C-level set some organizational goals without including you? Where you felt no responsibility or connection to the goals? Most people have. If you haven’t set the goals, and you don’t think they are connected to your daily work, you won’t feel any motivation towards reaching it and  the goals will be ineffective. This is why we have made this article as an argument of setting goals that are differentiated across the organization, and connected to the daily tasks that employees actually have.

Most companies have company wide goals such as; increasing revenue or growth expansion. However, only C-level can directly have a chance to change these numbers. To a worker in marketing, making social media posts, these goals are so distant that it is quite hard to see how their actions could help the company reach the goal.

One way to make sure the goal is relevant, and accessible for everyone in the organisation, is to differentiate the goals. By this we mean to ask each department, group or individual “What can we do to help reach this goal?”. In this way, the strategy will make sense for everyone, no matter if you are in marketing or production. The company wide goal stays the same, but each department set their own goals that make measure the way they can help reach the goal.

Below is an example.

# Case: The Box Company

The company called The Box Company produce and sell boxes. They wish to increase their revenue over the next year. To measure the progress on this goal they decide to use a key performance indicator (KPI) that adds the sum of all revenue during the last year. This is the main strategic goal for all of the company, but this might not be engaging for the average worker.

Annie works in the production of the boxes and, though she understands that producing more boxes might make a difference, it is hard for her to see the direct impact of her actions on reaching the company’s goal. It becomes too unmanageable and she decides that the C-level can take care of reaching the goals and goes back to working as she has always done.

The Box Company sees that Annie, and many others, are not connecting with the company’s goal. They choose to create separate goals for the production department and the sales department – their two major departments.

The Box Company researched and decided that their boxes already had the price they wanted and therefore they had to sell more items to increase the revenue. In the sales department, they decided to ask the salesmen what they think is an attainable, but realistic, target. The sales team decided to aim for 5% more sales over the next year.

In this case, the sales team succeeded in selling 5% more boxes, and the company would run out of stock if the production department did not keep up. The leader of the production department asked the production workers if they thought it would be possible to produce 5% more over the next year. The workers all agreed, although they felt they would have to work hard to achieve the new production target. The Box Company therefore set the overall goal to increase revenue by 5% over the next year. For The Box Company this means to go from a revenue of $8.147.998 a year to a revenue of$8.555.398 a year.

The Box Company set a main goal, that everyone agreed to and work towards, but also set goals that made sense in each department. By setting the goals in co-operation between all affected, they made sure the goals made sense for every single employee. This ensured they were motivated to reach the goal and could see a realistic way to do so.

# Differentiated goals

Using KPIs you can get a common understanding of what your goal is and how far you are from reaching it. This sets a specified standard so you can all see where you are going, and where you are now. You can read more about KPIs and goal setting here

Using differentiated goals does not mean having each department work on their separate thing, but means offering transparency on how each person, or department, might help in reaching the shared goal. This shows how departments work together to achieve the company’s goals, while also showcasing how individuals within each department can contribute to the company’s success.

To sum up, differentiation goals are paramount to motivating all the employees in your organization to work towards a shared company goal.