What are Cascading Goals & Why Use Them?
Carefully determining objectives and setting company-wide goals can make the difference between success and floundering failure. Every company will have different objectives, and there is no one-size-fits-all option, but a great strategy can be universal.
Executing goals consistently is a serious challenge for organisations, and cascading goals help organisations to establish common goals at every level of their hierarchy. This is so everyone can work towards the same goal in different ways, and individual actions can take your organisation one step closer to its vision.
What are Cascaded Goals?
Cascading goals are a graded framework that breaks down goals according to the hierarchical structure of an organisation. These are set at the highest level, and then those goals cascade throughout the rest of the organisation in clear and actionable steps and deliverables.
These cascaded goals help guide the team and individual-level goals so that the entire organisation is aligned towards the highest-level objectives. However, it is important to note that cascaded goals should not simply be a “big picture” goal with loosely-defined targets to reach it. Cascaded goals should be a clear set of objectives at the individual, departmental and company levels.
Filtered down, actionable objectives will enable individual employees to be effective in their roles, reaching the highest goal from the ground up.
Benefits of Goal Cascading
Cascading goals can have many advantages for an organisation and its employees. Here are the top benefits of cascaded objectives:
- Align business objectives with individual employee goals
- Creates clear tasks and deliverables for every level of the organisation
- Reduces conflicting objectives and unclear responsibilities
- Provides clarity on how an individual can contribute to the business’s overall success
- Builds a positive and proactive organisational culture
- Increases employee engagement and motivation
- Ultimately improves profitability and enables organisations to effectively reach their goals
How to Cascade Goals
Be SMART about your goals
Consider the three most important things you want to achieve, and be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) when you plan out how to achieve them at every level of your goal cascade.
Establish goals at the executive level
This is the stage at which your executive team decides your organisation’s goals and how to achieve them. They then also need to develop an understanding of how to communicate these goals to the rest of the company, so that everyone will interpret them in the same way, without room for misunderstandings and confusion.
Ensure the executive team are on board
It is crucial for the executive team to be fully on board with the goals and how you plan to achieve them. The CEO, managers and department heads will be required to keep everyone accountable, including themselves.
Check and double-check your alignment
One of the most important and beneficial elements of goal cascading is that it offers organisations a chance for all levels to be aligned. So when discussing goals with your team and expressing them to your company, ensure everyone understands the tasks assigned to each goal. Everyone in the company should understand the why, what, and when of each goal. Set up regular meetings, performance reviews or check-ins to follow up on alignment down the road.
Establish checks and follow up
For cascading goals to be effective, the end result of a small goal should be in line with the ultimate goal. Since this can be challenging, and departments deviate occasionally, it is always a good idea to check in regularly and follow up on your objectives and how they are being achieved. This can be done in performance reviews, at which point you can also find out if individuals have the training and feedback they require to keep moving towards their goals.
Set up an incentive program that reinforces the goals.
Lastly, we recommend that you set up an incentive program that rewards employees for achieving their goals. This will encourage everyone, at each different level, to be working more efficiently and effectively towards the ultimate goal.
If you’re looking for ways of intuitively tracking cascading goals throughout your organisation – Natural HR makes reporting, engaging and monitoring your employees easy. Download our infopack to find out how we can help you, or book a demo today.