What Are Organizational Goals? (And Why They Are Important)

Updated November 11, 2022

Companies generally set goals to define its mission, vision, and targets regarding performance and profitability. These goals may take extended periods to attain or reflect in its daily operations. Understanding company objectives and goals can help managers and employees know how to use them for planning while improving performance. In this article, we define organizational goals, outline their importance, define the types, and list different examples.

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What are organizational goals?

Organizational goals are general targets that executives set for the company. They guide employee input and define the expected output. These goals outline these objectives, targets, and results they want to achieve in a given period. They guide operations and inform business decisions over time. Executives try to ensure that all the employees in the company understand these objectives and implement them in their duties and projects. These targets also help the company determine employee workflow, guide expected company outcomes, and ensure success.

Organizational targets ideally occur at different levels of operation and within specific time frames. For instance, organizational objectives may exist for individuals, departments, teams, or the entire company. Although companies usually focus their organizational targets around their growth objectives, these targets change over time. The reason is that at different operational stages, the company refines the growth parameters that influence its objective for that given period. A company may also build its targets around its mission and the growth factors it requires to achieve its mission. It's essential for companies to communicate organizational goals to employees through an effective presentation.

Importance of organizational objectives

Here are some of the benefits of having organizational objectives:

Define the company's goals

Managers set organizational targets to define its collective goals for a given period. These goals can help the company guide its day-to-day activities and achieve financial and business growth. When a company sets its goals, it can easily outline steps to reach set goals and measure performance over a period. Setting goals also helps increase productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

It's essential to ensure that these goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. While a company goal may meet these standards on a company-wide level, it's essential to ensure that this applies to individual departments. When a goal is practicable, a company can build workflow structures and maintain employee productivity and efficiency.

Guide employee effort

Managers set organizational objectives to communicate expectations to employees. Generally, when employees understand company goals and their responsibilities, it makes these goals more easily achievable. This is because employees become more committed when they know what they're working towards and may collaborate to find ways to achieve these goals better and faster.

Communicating these goals with employees also helps the company achieve its set goals faster and more efficiently, as it outlines the course of action for employees. When a department or team leader clearly understands the company goals, they can draft a mode of operations and assign tasks according to the set goals. Finally, it helps the employees determine the tools and resources they require to attain these goals.

Evaluate employee performance

By setting company objectives, managers set performance standards with which they can objectively judge employee performance in a given period. For instance, when a manager wants to determine if an employee or department is performing optimally, they may measure the individual's performance against set organizational goals. While a company can convey its goals through formal channels, it's advisable that it communicates them through team leads and supervisors. Implementing these goals through team or department leads helps ensure that the goals are operational at all company levels. It can also provide a personal effect when supervisors communicate directly with employees.

Read more: Performance Review Goals (Definition, Types, and Importance)

Track progress

When a manager defines organizational objectives, they identify metrics that can easily help measure growth over a given period. It also helps company leaders monitor their long- and short-term progress and evaluate how to achieve set goals more efficiently. For instance, a manager may evaluate employee workflow for six months, determine if there has been any significant positive impact on company growth, and define better methods for the future.

Types of organizational objectives

Here are the two basic types or organizational objectives:

Official goals

Official goals are targets that a company aims to achieve in the near or far future. These are overarching goals that may take a company several years to achieve. Companies usually publicly announce its official goals so the general public can anticipate them. These goals also help a company define its public image and reputation.

Operative goals

Operative goals are objectives that a company sets as prerequisites to achieving the desired goal. They're short-term secondary and actionable steps that a company adopts to achieve its official goals. These goals are usually internal to the company and guide employee workflow and action.

They're also actionable and quantitatively measurable steps that help a company achieve its overall purpose. They reflect the company's day-to-day activities and may change often. While operative goals primarily help a company achieve goals, they may not always achieve them, as some unique situations may dictate otherwise. Companies usually review operational goals frequently to help ensure they still achieve overarching goals.

Read more: Leadership Goals (Definitions and Examples)

Examples of organizational objectives

Some examples of organizational objectives are:

Community growth and empowerment

A company may decide to empower its community as part of its goals. This generally functions as an official goal, and the company can build processes and projects to help achieve it. For instance, an organization may decide to fund skill empowerment programs for young people in its community to reduce poverty. They can collaborate with skill acquisition organizations to provide free programs for a defined timeline. In addition, it may liaise with employers to employ participants at the end of the training period.

Improved customer service

Client-facing companies may decide to include improved customer support as part of its goals. This is an operational goal as it's continuous and requires short-term, actionable steps. For instance, a retail brand may decide to improve customer experience by ensuring customers have assistants to help them navigate aisles while shopping. It may also create loyalty reward programs where they provide discounts to returning customers. A robust return policy that allows customers to return or exchange defective products within a period after purchase may also be beneficial.

The company can hire employees who understand the product offerings and have client relations skills to achieve these. It can also create a database of customers to track repeat customers. In addition, it can adequately inform clients of the return policies and show them how to return products.

Time efficiency

A company may be more time-efficient with its processes to increase productivity. This goal may require that the company reviews its processes and sets strategies and business models to help manage time. For instance, a food and grocery delivery company may decide to reduce the length of time it takes to make client deliveries. The company may decide to use delivery bikes instead of vans and find shorter routes. In addition, they may introduce drones during peak hours to beat road traffic and significantly reduce delivery time.

Strategic social media engagement

Companies that require a strong social media presence can decide to implement strategies to improve social media engagement. Increased social media presence helps many companies reach a wider audience and can increase sales. For instance, a fashion brand can decide to open official accounts across social media platforms and hire social media experts to handle them. This expert can work with the marketing team to link these accounts with the company's website to ease conversion. They may also curate social media posts that increase interactions and direct customers to the website where they can buy products.

Read more: How to Set Team Goals at Work (With Examples and Tips)

Improved data security

One of the primary goals of a tech company may be to improve its data security to prevent breaches. The company can decide to implement this goal through a single department or communicate it company wide. For instance, a software company with a significant amount of user data may develop strategies to protect the data from third parties. It can do this by designing and implementing robust data security systems. It can also limit access and enforce authorization for accessing client data.

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