Ultimate Guide to Team Objectives: How To Set Goals as a Team

Setting goals and Objectives is a key component of being a team leader.

However, if you don’t know the difference between company Objectives and team Objectives, you might have a hard time knowing how to write business goals effectively and set your employees up for success.

For those who are confused by team Objectives or aren’t familiar with examples of team goals and Objectives, keep reading.

This guide provides a definition of team Objectives, plus some measurable Objectives examples to help you learn how to set them using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).

What Are Objectives?

Put simply, Objectives are things that people want to accomplish. However, the specific definition of Objectives varies depending on whether you’re talking about company-level Objectives or looking for team goals examples.  

Company-Level Objectives

A company-level Objective sets an overarching direction for the company’s business plan. It defines where the owners and higher-ups at the company want the business to be in the future.

Team Objectives

A team Objective helps the company achieve its higher-level Objectives. These Objectives are specific, measurable actions that the company’s teams must take to reach desired outcomes.

When they’re set properly, team Objectives will give individual team members a clear understanding of what they need to do — specific tasks and projects they need to complete — to help bring the company closer to achieving a given objective.

Company-Level ObjectivesTeam Objectives
Provide general direction for the entire companyProvide specific areas that teams and individual team members should improve to achieve company-level Objectives
Broad in scopeNarrow in scope
Usually intangible and difficult to measureUsually tangible and easy to measure
Take place over a long time frame Take place of a short or medium time frame
Team Objectives

What Are Team Objectives Examples?

Team Objectives are much more specific compared to company-level Objectives.

For example,  company Objectives example might be to make the business more inclusive or to expand its audience to include more international customers.

Team Objectives, therefore, provide more context to these high-level business goals. They define exactly what the company’s higher-ups mean when they say they want to make the business more inclusive. 

Let’s use the company-level Objectives to make a business more inclusive as an example. 

Here’s a list of team Objectives that you might set to support this high-level company Objective: 

  • Form a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) committee by the end of 2022;
  • Create and implement a DEI training program by the end of 2023;
  • Create and implement a mentorship program for BIPOC employees by the end of 2023;

As you can see, these team Objectives are much more specific than the company Objective. They include specific areas of improvement  — and would be broken down into even more measurable Key Results by relevant teams — and clear end dates.

How Do You Set Objectives for a Team?

The process of setting team Objectives and goals includes the following steps:

Step 1: Define Company Vision

The first step to learning how to write goals and Objectives is to define your company’s vision. Before you can set specific team Objectives, you need to know what the company’s higher-level Objectives are and what managers and other higher-ups want to accomplish in the future.

Summarize the company vision into a brief mission statement. 

Step 2: Define Strategy

The next step is to define and understand the company’s strategy. In other words, how is the business going to win over its competitors within the next couple of years?

Understanding the company’s strategy will help you set team Objectives that align with the company Objectives and increase your likelihood of helping the company meet its long-term goals. 

Step 3: Define Company Annual Objective 

Now, it’s time to narrow things down even more and define the company’s annual objective. In the next year, what does the company hope to accomplish?

Understanding this Objective provides a “theme” for the next 12 months and provides team leaders and team members with a better idea of what they need to focus on when setting their team Objectives or making quarterly plans.  

👉 A goal-setting template like this one can be useful when it comes to setting team Objectives according to the OKR methodology. 

Step 4: Use OKRs to Set Teams Objectives

Now, you’re ready to set team Objectives, and using OKRs can help. 

Your Objective should explain what your team wants to accomplish within the next 3 months — i.e., the next quarter. The Key Results will provide measurable outcomes your team will work toward to achieve the previously defined Objective.

Most teams set between 3 and 5 Key Results for each Objective. Remember, every Key Result should be measurable so you can see how much progress you’re making toward your team Objective. Key Results should have clear deadlines as well.

Step 5: Align the Company Objective and Team OKRs

Team Objectives and Key Results should align with the previously established company Objective.

It should be clear to everyone — including team leaders and individual team members — how the Objective and Key Results they’ve established help the company to achieve a particular goal.

For example, if the company had an Objective to become more diverse and inclusive, the HR team might create an Objective and set of Key Results around changing their hiring process or interview process in ways that invite more diverse groups to apply for open positions. 

Step 6: Use PPP for Weekly Plans

Team members should create weekly plans to identify what they want to focus on for the next 5 days and outline what they’re going to do to move the needle closer to meeting specific Key Results.

The PPP methodology is helpful when it comes to creating plans and evaluating past performance. PPP stands for Plans, Progress, and Problems.

  • Plans: This is what team members want to accomplish in the future — in this case, in the next week;
  • Progress: This is how much team members accomplished in the past week;
  • Problems: This explains the issues team members may have experienced in the past week that are preventing them from making progress.

The PPP methodology provides a clear template for team meetings and helps to keep everyone on the same page as they track their goals

Step 7: Track Progress via Weekly Check-Ins

Weekly check-ins are crucial to succeeding with OKRs. Team leaders should schedule weekly check-ins with their teams to monitor progress, provide feedback, and understand potential problems.

Weekly check-ins do not need to be very long. However, they should give everyone a chance to share what they’re working on, how much progress they’ve made, and what issues — if any — they’ve encountered.

Using goal-setting software can also be beneficial when it comes to monitoring progress and providing data during weekly meetings.

Step 8: Hold a Quarterly OKRs Review

Finally, teams should hold quarterly OKR reviews to evaluate how close they came to achieving their quarterly Objectives.

Quarterly reviews create opportunities for team leaders to evaluate progress, provide feedback to their team members, and establish new Objectives and Key Results for the upcoming quarter. 

Wrapping Up

Team Objectives are different from company Objectives because team Objectives are more specific and provide measurable steps to help companies accomplish their higher-level goals. 

  • Company goals and Objectives are broad in scope, whereas team goals have a narrow scope;
  • Company goals are often intangible and difficult to measure, whereas teamwork Objectives are tangible and measurable;
  • Company goals are long-term, whereas team goals are short- or medium-term;

The process of writing measurable goals and Objectives for a team includes understanding the company vision, defining the company’s strategy, and defining its annual objective. Once you’ve done these things, your team should use OKRs to set more specific Objectives, then align OKRs with the company objective.

Teams should use the PPP methodology and goal-setting software for weekly check-ins to track progress and make sure they’re on the right track. Teams should also hold quarterly reviews to understand their progress and set new goals. 

For teams who want to learn more about OKRs and use them to set team Objectives, here are some additional resources to check out:

Are you ready to use OKRs to set better team Objectives? Set your business goals using Weekdone’s OKR software.

Check it out for free today!