Setting Purpose-Driven Goals
Posted April 29th, 2021
Purpose-driven goals shifts a company’s objectives away from performance and financial targets and toward larger goals that help fulfill your company’s purpose. Don’t worry — we’re not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to sales, revenue, or new client acquisition. You absolutely should, we do too! But one way to ensure you reach those goals is to align them to your purpose.
Give your financials goals a purpose-driven WHY.
Why More Money isn’t the Goal
Raise your hand if your company’s biggest or only goal is tied to a revenue number.
Wrong idea. Put your hands down.
Why isn’t more money the primary goal? Because unless it is tied to something purposeful, more revenue doesn’t mean you will have more money or have power to improve your life, the lives of your team, or your larger community. For example, we talk to lots of business owners who have grown their company from $1 million in revenue to $5 million. They thought more money would lead to less stress and bigger paychecks but found that the opposite was true. They were working more and taking home the same paycheck with way more stress!
WHY was the money necessary? What was it supposed to do and HOW was it supposed to do it? A purpose-driven goal aligned to a top-line revenue goal would have helped solve that.
Growing your top line revenue from $1 million to $5 million will probably change your business, but it might not necessarily change your life or the lives of your team members unless it is profitable, sustainable, and rewarding. Rewarding is defined as tied to a specific purpose that you and your team are aligned to.
In fact, if your team is already feeling overworked and unfulfilled, more revenue only means more work to do and an even greater lack of fulfillment.
Why Purpose-Driven Goals are Good for Your Team
Purpose-driven goals are shown to inspire teams and improve performance. Money without purpose can drive short-term performance, but it can’t stop things like burnout and employee unhappiness. In fact, Harvard Business Review says that when money is the goal, burnout is more likely. The research was related to entrepreneurs, but we can all relate to feeling drained by work rather than energized by it.
You want to see your team jump up and hustle? Give them a goal they can care about. It might be directly related to your company — like building an outdoor lunch area or a company retreat — or it might be something external, like supporting a charity or organization in your community. Whatever it is, make THAT the goal, and draw a line directly from it to the team’s increased efforts. They’ll stay motivated and more revenue will naturally come from their inspired performance.
Making money is the thing that facilitates the goal. It’s the fuel in the car that is getting you to your destination. It’s NOT the destination.
Our CEO Scott Peper shared an example of purpose-driven goal setting at the Tampa Build Expo, in his class Building a Business with Purpose. He said:
We have a culture initiative at MF called “The One More email.” It is from a line in our core value LEADERSHIP THROUGH ACTION. It says, “Do one extra thing for each person you come in contact with each day.”
To encourage this core value and celebrate each other’s hard work, every MF employee sends out an email on Friday with one example of a “One More” that they did for someone else.
They also get to nominate each other for something extra. The winner each week wins a prize like a gas card, Starbucks card, or even an extra PTO Day.
I expect 100% participation. Here’s the interesting part: The prizes are not enough of an incentive. My expectation that they all contribute isn’t enough of an incentive.
So, I set a goal. The goal is not “100% participation.” The goal is “up to $600 for a charity you care about.”
See, leadership puts money toward the donation every week that we have 100% participation. The team selects the charity every quarter. It is always something they care about passionately. We have donated to K9s for Warriors, the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and a charity called A Kid’s Place, which works to keep siblings in the foster system together.
The team absolutely crushes it. Why? Because they rally around the CAUSE they are supporting.
Find something your team can believe in, something that will improve their work, their lives, or their community. Make THAT the goal. Then show them how increased revenue will help them achieve it.
Tips for Purpose-Driven Goal Setting
Set individual KPIs. Once you have a goal tied to a performance or revenue objective, you have to make sure that each team member understands the key metrics in their specific role that will contribute to the overall company goal. Work with them to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around their own work that show progress toward the goal.
Goals should be ambitious. They should motivate your team to work harder and collaboratively. But, setting goals too high can have the opposite effect; unattainable goals set by management can feel like a setup for failure. Make sure your goal stretches your team but doesn’t break it.
Milestones should be achievable. If goals are ambitious and lofty, the milestones you set to show progress should be achievable. Think of it like this — if you have a goal to run a marathon, your indicator would be “miles run daily” and your big milestones might be one mile, 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon.
Set a goal that is bigger than your business, defined by your Purpose Statement, and easily measured by a relevant indicator. Communicate the goal with your team, why it matters and how you will track progress toward the eventual finish line.
Join us in making 2021 your Year of Purpose. Subscribe to our newsletter and we will walk through this journey together.