When we talk about goal setting in the workplace, we often refer to setting quarterly or annual performance targets. However, this type of goal setting doesn't always get employees to work together to better the brand.
In fact, in some cases, it actually draws deeper lines of separation between departments, teams and employees, as each person focuses on their own objectives, performance and outcomes.
That doesn't mean we can just do away with workplace goals, though. After all, they're a powerful catalyst for progress and achievement.
So how do we make workplace goal setting beneficial, not just to individual people and teams, but our brands as well? Simple. We set brand objectives.
What are brand objectives?
Not unlike other types of goals, brand objectives are all about providing people, namely employees, with something to work toward.
However, brand objectives do differ from other types of workplace goals in one major way: Rather than giving people or teams a specific goal to track their performance, brand objectives provide a shared set of goals for the entire organization. These objectives exist to keep everyone focused on the big picture (i.e., the brand) while they work, so that all projects add something positive to the brand image.
Put a little more simply, brand objectives keep people from just aimlessly producing digital assets. When implemented properly, they give teams (including cross-functional teams) a framework for creating content, code, designs and products that move the brand closer to its ideal.
How do you set brand objectives?
Despite being a different type of goal setting, brand objectives are actually quite easy to set. In fact, for the most part, the process for setting brand objectives is the same as setting other types of goals.
However, there are always tips and tricks you can use to max out your effectiveness. So here are our top 3 tips to absolutely nail it the first go-around.
1. Work Backwards
When people set goals, they start by thinking about where they want to end up. The same goes here – except, instead of looking at an individual, isolated outcome, you start with the big, overarching objective. In other words, you focus on where you ultimately want your brand to be.
This might mean pinpointing the perception you want people to have about your brand or determining the optimal (but still realistic) level of brand awareness. It might even involve borrowing from your business goals and focusing your attention on capturing a specific market segment or bringing in a certain amount of revenue. There is quite a wide range of options. The point is to have a target, or targets, that the entire company can work toward.
From here, you can start to work backward, looking at specific things that need to be accomplished on a departmental level to reach your overall brand goals. Then, you can focus on goals for different teams that will help the department reach its goals. This is also a great time to look at cross-functional team goals, as these feed directly into your brand objectives as well.
Once you’ve set goals at both the department and team levels, you can encourage your employees to set their own goals that will propel them (and by extension the team, department and organization) closer to the desired end result.
Together, these goals layer into a nuanced set of goals and objectives that support the overall brand objective. Just make sure that, at each goal setting level, you keep the ultimate objective in mind. This will keep you from drifting away from it, as you dive deeper into each department, team and person’s contribution.
2. Set Deadlines
Deadlines inspire motivation. That’s one of the big reasons why we use them. They keep people moving, encourage time management and (if all else fails) light a fire under people to get their work done.
On the flip side, when there are no deadlines, procrastination can creep in. People push things off and essentially fall into the mindset of “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
That’s why it’s crucial to have deadlines when setting your brand objectives. It keeps everyone focused and progressing toward a long-term, company wide goal.
However, there is a caveat. In order to be effective, these deadlines must be reasonable. If they’re too close, your employees will face burnout and discouragement. And if they’re too far away, you can end up with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
So what do you do? You get your deadlines as close as you can to being “just right” for the long-term brand objective you set, and you use departmental, team and individual goals to give your employees something short-term to work toward.
3. Keep Everyone Accountable
In order to combat the difficulties of sticking to long-term goals, like dieting or exercising, people often turn to accountability partners. These accountability partners are responsible for making sure the goal setter follows the plan and doesn't skip leg day.
And often, this pays off tremendously. In fact, according to Entrepreneur, people are more likely to accomplish their goals when they share them with others – 65% likely to be exact. And if they’re actually held accountable by their accountability partners, via different types of check in meetings, that likelihood skyrockets to 95%.
Why mention this? Because it’s applicable to brand objectives as well. By sharing their brand related goals with others and finding people to keep them accountable – like managers – your employees are much more likely to achieve them. The same goes for teams and departments.
And since all of your employees are really working toward the same end goal, each person should have a stake in the success of other employees, teams, and departments. After all, you ultimately win or lose as a company.
Getting your teams to work together to build a brand can be challenging, especially since people are more inclined to focus on their own work and goals. However, this isn’t a permanent condition. By setting brand objectives, you can get the goals and work of your teams aligned, while also getting their mindset in sync.