Organizational Objectives: Definition, meaning, and how to achieve them

Management by Objectives– a term often talked about during the process of setting objectives. However, how does the concept of objectives apply to an entire organization? 

Objectives are measurable ends for a set process. We identify goals and take action to make them happen. Organizational objectives help in setting goals in a way that all company-wide activities lead to one single direction. “It is the future results that an organization wants to achieve.” 

Simply having a plan doesn’t work. We also need to measure continuously and take actions wherever required. For example, a revenue target of INR 100,000 leads every month is a specific and measurable objective that can be estimatedverified and achieved 

What are organizational objectives? 

Every organization has short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. These are the goals organizations seek to accomplish and are otherwise known as organizational development objectives. Objectives play a significant role in determining policies and allocation of resources in the future.  

Before you start setting objectives, realize that it involves many factors.  

  • How many objectives do you want to set? Single or Multiple? 
  • What are the deadlines? 
  • Who controls the final decisions? 
  • Are the decision-makers committed to the objectives? 

It is why having a transparent system in place is vital. Otherwise, people will only focus on the objectives that are best suited for their own progress. Here the only thing that matters is the progress of the entire organization instead of individuals. 

Focus on different departments such as sales, research, and development, marketing, technology, etc. Take distinct factors into account that can impact setting and achieving objectives, for example, time, capital, resources, manpower, etc. 

image showing stats for objectives

Performance Objectives in Business 

Organizational objectives meaning can be different for every company. It can be achieved by creating a business plan with performance goals and objectives. Eventually, a business needs to make money, and all the parameters should focus on these outcomes. Despite the market fluctuations, pandemic, or any other roadblock, making the customer satisfied is the way to go forward on the path of success. Keeping the below parameters while setting up your objectives will really help your business. 

Quality 

To start, strive for quality. Whether it’s a service or product, quality will draw customers to your business through continuous recommendations.  

Speed 

Remember the time when you ordered food online, and it took forever to arrive. You couldn’t wait to give the delivery service a negative rating. The truth is the speed in business matters a lot. Swift delivery of products and services to clients leads to high customer satisfaction. Also, speeding up processes saves money as it allows businesses to provide the same service to more people in less time. 

Dependability 

Speed needs consistency to make any impression. For example, Dominos won’t be successful without their 30-minute delivery promise. All customers expect delivery as and when promised. If that doesn’t happen consistently, they’ll switch to competitors, even if that involves paying more money. 

Flexibility 

Flexibility is a competitive edge and need of the hour. Modern businesses must be flexible enough to go through the changes in the market according to customer requirements. For example, a local grocery store that built an app so people could order from their homes during the pandemic will thrive. Trust in a business is earned through innovation and customer service. 

Cost 

It is another aspect that affects organizational success. Externally, your customers expect you to keep your prices competitive. Internally, minimize the cost of operations, salaries, equipment, vendors, etc., to keep the business sustainable. 

Challenging yet attainable 

Challenging goals need to be solved innovatively and creatively. However, goals, though challenging, should be attainable. People work hard, so don’t set targets that are way out of everyone’s league. 

Deadlines 

Without a set timeline, there is no point in finally finishing an objective in months or years. Review and assessment are two major steps of making the process a success, and that can only happen if there is a specified period for all tasks and actions. 

Supportive 

Individual goals, team goals, and company goals should be streamlined in one direction so they support each other.  

Priority 

It’s okay to have multiple goals. But if all of them are a priority, then none is really a priority. Therefore, arrange goals in the order of importance and finish them one by one. It ensures consistency and efficient utilization of company resources. 

How to define your organizational objectives 

Many modern organizations are adopting the OKR methodology for goal setting as it takes care of the individual, team, and company goals together. By setting transparent goals, it’s easier to show employees a better sight of how their role is key to the company’s success. More clarity means motivated and engaged employees. 

Recommended reading list on OKRs: 

  1. OKRs vs SMART goals 
  2. OKRs vs 4DX 
  3. OKR vs EFQM 

SWOT Analysis

A thorough evaluation of the Strengths/ Weaknesses of the business will help you identify opportunities and eliminate major threats. Through this information, you can develop relevant strategies and action plans for your business. Identify industry trends and define your objectives based on the future, not on past or present. This framework is always a great way to start working on the company objectives.

Vision 

The vision of any organization should reflect in its objectives and goals. Objectives can be short-term or long-term in nature. The best way is to start with a big aim and work backward. Think about the strategies in the shorter term that help you achieve your grand vision.  

For example, in 5 years, you want to have 5000+ clients and 5 million dollars of yearly revenue. For this goal, you need to set yearly and monthly targets as well. Break them down to something that you and the team can start today. 

SMART Goals 

The SMART framework will help you set better individual goals that are aligned with organizational objectives.

SMART stands for:      

S- Specific   

M- Measurable   

A- Achievable or Attainable   

R- Relevant   

T- Time-Bound or Time-limited   

Managing the stakeholders 

Organizations with a flatter hierarchy can have difficulties in deciding stakeholders for a particular set of tasks. However, this is important to avoid any confusion. Define Who’ll: 

  • Contribute to the success of that objective 
  • Measure the success of that objective 
  • Track and assess the key results

Talk to your employees 

Many companies leave the implementation part of an organizational objective to their top management or managers. Don’t have clear communication with all employees involved in the process? It is likely things won’t work.  

Employee feedback adds insights to the strategies of the leaders. Customer Feedback, Information on internal and external processes are some of the specific areas where your workforce probably knows more than you. So, include them when you’re planning objectives for the company.

Finally… 

Setting organizational objectives is not easy. It involves stakeholders, elements that sometimes are out of your control. That’s why building a solid plan using the above framework can really help you set better goals and objectives. Measuring and reaching those objectives is more demanding than putting them in place. We suggest you have a consistent channel of communication for review and assessment. Keep your employees engaged towards the vision and mission of the company. Success is only possible with a workforce that cares.  

Get a free demo of Keka’s goal tracking software! 

Contributing Author
Anubhav

Sr. Content Writer

Anubhav is forever weird, but he’s a fun Copywriter and interview host at Keka. Anubhav figured out in college days that with COPY you can get a bunch of very-targeted people to come to your website, consume your material, and even buy. His focus is on making HR easier for professionals and anyone wanting to make a difference in the workplace. When he isn’t writing, he’s either traveling to the mountains, playing football, reading about Tigers, or doing nothing.