How to Align Your Goals to Fuel Your Growth What are your organizational goals and strategic objectives? That’s a loaded question which requires a lengthy answer, and it’s different for every organization. However, one common goal between all organizations is the goal to grow, whether that means expanding the business or increasing revenues. But there is a catch: to grow, everyone needs to be on the same page. This means every single employee has to be aware of the organizational goals and mission, so they can contribute effectively. How is this done? By aligning your employees’ personal goals with your business’s strategic goals. When that is accomplished, it can actually increase your revenue and retention. Here’s how to get it all started. Align Your Goals Clear and purposeful alignment of an employee’s job goals and the organization’s strategic objectives is the most efficient route to future growth and success. To begin, ask how can employees’ personal goals contribute to the organization’s objectives? The more direct this link between your employees and your objectives is, the more fulfilled the employee will be when they complete their goals. Once you’ve answered that question, invest time with each employee to strengthen the goal connection and clarify the appropriate steps necessary to achieve your employee’s goals. Get the Big Picture One way to align specific employee goals with the organization’s goals is to understand the big picture. Look at your whole organization and determine how the employee contributes to his/her co-workers and the organization as a whole. Then, come up with goals to reflect that. For example: If you have an organizational objective to increase revenue, then an employee goal can be to grow his/her job skills and improve to help bring in more revenue, or other goals that would correlate directly with revenue growth. This is just one example, but it shows you how these types of goals can work. Feed the Feedback Machine When we ask for feedback, we usually don’t want to hear negative things. We dread “constructive criticism” and don’t want to be told that we’re doing something wrong. However, negative feedback can be turned into a positive thing if you do something about it. There’s always room for growth in every organization, because no one is perfect. With that said, one way to align your business goals with personal goals is to listen to your employees, whether they have positive or negative feedback. Through performance evaluations, employee surveys, and verbal feedback, genuinely asking for employee insight is beneficial and can help align your goals and give a better look into what your employees think about your organization. The Benefits of Goal Alignment This may sound all well and good, but how does it impact your organization? First off, it keeps your employees engaged in your organization. Because their goals are in sync with your organization’s goals, they feel like they are contributing to the overall success and growth of your organization. That, in turn, keeps them active and involved in their job and in your organization. Second, it helps with retention. If your employees are engaged as a result of aligned goals, then they’re going to feel wanted, satisfied, and happy at your organization. Thus, they aren’t going to be actively looking for other jobs, and your retention rates will increase. Investing in your employees’ goals allows them to invest in you. It’s a win-win. Third, it gives you the opportunity to define and establish your organization’s overall goals, if you haven’t done so already. Goals can easily be put off, but chances are if they aren’t made a priority, they’ll never actually get put into practice. This goal alignment lets you focus on your organization’s short-term and long-term goals, and fully communicate them to your employees. Think about what you want your organization to accomplish in the next several years, and come up with ways to get there. Lastly, all of these benefits and impacts indirectly correlate with increasing your revenue. When you retain your employees and keep them engaged because they are part of the goal planning and feedback, that, in turn, benefits your entire organization. Research from the Hay Group shows that organizations with high employee engagement scores generated 2.5 times the amount of revenue. In addition, when you retain and engage your employees, it saves you from dealing with high turnover costs, allowing you to save money. Align Your HR Strategies With Your Business Strategies Aligning your employees’ goals with your organization’s goals is not enough. You also need to align your HR strategies with your business strategies. If you want your organization to gain more revenue, you have to allow your HR department and strategies to grow and develop, too. Whether this means implementing new HR software, changing reward programs, or finding new ways to attract, retain, and engage employees, you should always be striving to improve your human resources programs. Goals can be hard to generate and even harder to implement, but taking time to align employee, organization, and HR goals can benefit your organization and provide everyone with an ultimate goal to succeed and grow. How do your employees’ goals currently align with the goals of your organization? Christy Smith As SVP of Corporate HR for Aureon and SVP of Aureon Staffing, Smith is responsible for developing and implementing world-class strategic and operational human resource systems. These attract and retain the top talent in our industries necessary to ensure that Aureon delivers its service delivery promises to its clients. She has more than 20 years of experience developing and leading HR strategies and systems, yet she joined the Aureon family since 2014. She is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, a member of the 2004 Des Moines Business Record 40 Under 40 Class and a member of the Society for Human Resource Professionals. Christy earned a degree in journalism with emphasis in public relations from the University of Kansas. She also received a Juris Doctorate Degree with Honors from Drake University.