Setting goals for supporting functions helps link people’s roles and the work they do every day to your department’s larger goals.
It’s easy to focus on big departmental goals, but not everyone on the team can directly affect those numbers. Setting goals for supporting functions helps link people’s roles and the work they do every day to that broader departmental goal.
To do this, it requires you to break those big goals down into component parts. Assess which supporting activities make that big goal possible. With those activities identified, you can proceed to set goals for those supporting groups. That will help them drive departmental alignment around that bigger goal.
For example, I know one organization that was trying to reduce their costs by $100 million over a two-year period. Now, not everyone in the organization owned a budget, and they were asking, “How can I contribute to hitting that big number?” Everyone in the organization had to contribute something. They looked at those supporting functions and tried to understand what activities does that function do that drives that higher-level cost number?
The supply chain group understood that if they increased their inventory turns and improved their truck fill rate, it would make their operation more efficient, which would then allow the broader organization to take some costs out. The manufacturing team looked at their processes, and they understood that if they cut the line changeover time, it would make their process more efficient, again, contributing to reducing costs. The real estate team even chipped in. They looked at space utilization, and they deferred some new expenses to future years. Every group had a smart goal that linked their work to that higher-level $100 million cost reduction goal.
Something I encourage you to do is to take a big goal for your department or your business unit and think about the support teams that contribute to hitting that goal. Build out a process map and understand how the support teams’ work impacts that big number. Then be sure that their individual and team goals are tied to those drivers of hitting your larger goal.
When you pull everybody together and understand how they contribute, then make it clear to them how their goals drive that business unit goal, you’re going to get more alignment and excitement around the work they do and hopefully help you hit that goal more easily.
Want to learn more about setting business unit goals? How about taking an entire course on it? Check out the video below to learn more about the course and get started. Or you can go directly to the course and start learning how to set business unit goals. The entire course is available at LinkedIn Learning. Enjoy!
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