From Idea to Success: Cascading Goals


Organizational goals are about outlining what the organization deems important, and thus creating a vision for the company. Organizational goals often include increased production, customer satisfaction and raising employee morale, for example.

When everybody in the organization – from the bottom to the top – is aware of those goals and is on board with them, they can work toward reaching them.

When it comes to formulating organizational goals, leaders must focus on the critical success factors for the company and clarify their targets. Clearly established goals let employees know is expected of them, set standards and establish if there is room for variation. The goals should be aligned among all departments within the organization so that every unit is working toward the same end. Aligning goals has the added benefit of boosting collaboration among employees and business units.

It is important to stress on the measurements of success when it comes to articulating company goals. Instead of using ambiguous language such as, “increase sales,” leaders should be specific, for example, saying, “increase sales by 5 percent for each department.” That leaves little room for interpretation. Leaders should be sure to invite questions on their targets, and to keep an open ear to team leaders who may think the targets are too narrow or unattainable.

Next comes communicating the goals to the employees and departments within the company. Leaders must cascade their goals from the top down to each individual who works in the company. Goals must be clearly communicated and become part of every employee’s job accountabilities.

Also, when cascading their goals, organizational leaders must make sure to do so in a consistent manner. Each department should get the same or a similar email or memo. Department heads should be instructed to cascade the goals among their employees in the same manner. This way, different groups of departments or employees will not feel that they are being ignored or targeted with the new information.

In order to achieve their goals, organizations must first articulate them. By making sure the goals are clear and aligned, and that they are cascaded thoroughly, every department and individual employee has a common vision to work toward.