Seven Effective Ways Leaders Can Track Department-Specific Goals

Many companies set goals for the year, but can often lose track of them as other problems and priorities arise. Ensuring each department has its own goals to work toward is one way to help prevent this issue. But how can a leader figure out if each department is on track with its goals?

Leaders need to determine the most effective way to track department goals and ensure each unit is working in harmony with the others and helping to achieve the company’s overarching objectives. To provide some guidance on how to do this, seven members of Young Entrepreneur Council share valuable advice for leaders who want to track department-specific goals throughout the year, as well as explain why these methods are so successful.

1. Make Goals Impossible To Ignore

Goal setting is a major cornerstone to success for all businesses, and putting them front and center for all to see can help everyone get on board in trying to achieve them. Put up a dashboard in a place that everyone can see, talk about goals and key performance indicators every day and encourage everyone to work toward achieving something together. The more you make it a team activity, the easier the goal will be to achieve. – Steven Knight, Mosaic Home Services Ltd.

2. Create Shared Goal Documents

It’s important to create specific documents for tracking goals and to refer to them on an ongoing basis. Create a spreadsheet, add clear KPIs and assign them to the right team or person. This works well because there’s a clear goal for everyone laid out in black and white. Once you’ve set up a single document for your goals and use it often, it will simply become a regular practice at your work. –Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

3. Use SMART Goals

Though it’s not a new concept, using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals is a great way for a company to track each department’s progress as the year progresses. This is because it breaks the goals down into smaller, bite-sized pieces that make it easier to focus and follow through. SMART goals have helped us improve project management, increase sales and more. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms


4. Give The Responsibility To Team Heads

It may not be possible for a leader to track the goals of every single department within the business. Instead, it’s important to give that responsibility to the team heads in each department. What you can do then is communicate with your team leaders about whether their department is on track. Offer them advice, help wherever needed and step in if there are any critical issues. But otherwise, it’s important to delegate the responsibility of managing department-specific goals to the department heads. In this way, you’ll ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed and lose track of sub-goals within the company. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Use Goal-Tracking Technology

Resources like Trakstar, 15Five and Weekdone are all focused on tracking goals. Encourage your department heads to avail themselves of these resources and check in from time to time to monitor progress. These resources work well because they essentially automate the process to where no one will lose track of their goals as other priorities arise. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

6. Set Up Weekly Check-In Meetings

I suggest setting up personal meetings every week for each team. These sessions should give everyone time to go over goals, get questions answered and look to the week ahead. The key to reaching your goals is small steps and attention to detail. By allowing each team to hold their own meeting, you’re giving the departments a chance to look at the details. At the same time, the weekly schedule allows the team to reach their goals one step at a time. –Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

7. Keep The Goals Front And Center

When what you are working toward is in your face, you cannot ignore it. This is the same for your company—everyone needs to see the goals. Also, make it a part of the conversations. Everyone is going to have a different path to reach those goals, but as long as everyone ends up at the same destination, that’s OK! Talk with your people about what they need to reach the goals and then step up and provide for their needs. –Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

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