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Aligning the goals of the individual, the team, and the organisation

Learn how to apply a framework to align goals between the organisation and the individual.

At this point, we should consider applying a framework of goal alignment between the organisation and the individual. We should also think about the nature of the goals themselves and whether they are achievable. We’ll explore SMART goal-setting more next week.

Individuals and teams who are included in the goal-setting process are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than those who are not (Gallup, 2021) [6], as it gives them purpose in their daily work. They are motivated by their tasks, have faith in their company, and identify with the goals it is pursuing. Simple goal alignment:

  • clarifies expectations for teams and how work is done together
  • aids individuals in imagining what success in their position would look like
  • explains to everyone how their contributions affect the company’s bottom line.

Let’s explore the following framework, which will help with goal connection. It’s important we understand the link between these components before we begin the task of rewriting the goals themselves. Consider this a system for goal setting! We’ll start with the left-hand side of this goal alignment framework (we’ll explore the right-hand side in Step 1.13).

A hierarchy shows company goals above team goals above actions. Team goals split into three different types: personal, operational and stretch. Goal alignment framework

What are organisational goals?

The broad objectives set by an organisation’s leaders are its organisational goals. To reach a given level of success, these organisational goals are frequently used to inform the desired organisational direction and lay out systems of work for other managers and teams in the organisation.

To develop organisational goals, think about:

  • official (or visionary) goals, such as broader company mission, values, and contributions to society
  • operative (or concrete) goals, such as ways in which priorities are met, including targets for production, profit and company size, or geographic operation.
Now, for your own organisation, or the organisation you have recently worked for, write down two examples for each official and operative goal.

What are team goals?

These are sometimes framed as KPIs (key performance indicators) or OKRs (objectives and key results). The best way to view team goals is with a simple categorisation that considers these Ps:
  • Product (or service): What are you trying to build, and how is your team helping this improve? What needs to be done for improvement?
  • Process: How do you want your team to work together to get to the product/service idealised state? What are the operational goals to get there?
  • People: Who is involved in the process? Who needs to be? Does the team composition make sense, and are they working together in harmony? Sometimes, this is referred to as ‘Cultural or connection goals’.
  • Policy: Do we have the right frameworks and procedures in place? Do we need more guidance and requirements for success?
Now: for your own team, or the team you have recently worked in, write down two examples for each of the Ps above to describe your current team goals.

What are actions?

These relate to the core competencies and decisions your organisation needs to address in order to be effective. Sometimes, these relate to key departments or decisions to be made by leadership or the owners of the company. They could be HR decisions, marketing decisions, and so on.
Now: for your own organisation, or the organisation you have recently worked for, note down two actions that would allow for the above organisational and team goals to be met more clearly. That is, what two actions made by senior leadership tomorrow would help these goals be easily achieved? Remember to anonymise the information you share for privacy reasons


6. Gallup. Re-engineering Performance Management [Internet]. Gallup; 2021 [cited 2022Dec7]. Available from:

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