How To Set Team Goals in 2023 with Examples

January 4, 2023 Workhuman Editorial Team

How can you motivate your employees to work hard? How can you help them solve problems and overcome challenges?

The answer is simple. Set team goals.

In other words, establish meaning and purpose behind their work. And then give them the tools they need to succeed.

You can’t just have employees make personal goals and leave it at that. Team goals encourage everyone to work together. And collaboration equals success.

Review this guide to learn about energizing employees, cheering on teams, and boosting performance all around.

Benefits of team goals

strong team goals

The best team goals increase:

Satisfaction: According to an article from the Journal of Applied Psychology, setting clear goals leads to higher employee satisfaction.

Transparency: Team goals ensure that everyone on the team is working toward the same objectives when collaborating on projects.

Engagement: As the Harvard Business Review states, “The foundation of every great team is a direction that energizes, orients, and engages its members.”

Collaboration: When an employee understands how their tasks align with others’ work, it encourages teamwork.

Empowerment: The more employees are engaged in setting goals, the more committed to those goals they are likely to be.

How team goals impact performance

Team goals should be part of a continuous performance management process. The team and leadership should revisit and adjust the goals as needed. The process should focus on giving feedback to the team and coaching them on how to succeed.

Ask these questions in team goal-review sessions to facilitate coaching and feedback: 

  • Are we on track to hit our next milestone?
  • What wins have we had? 
  • What challenges or blockers are appearing? 
  • Is course correction needed? 
  • Is this goal still aligned with the broader strategy?

How to set team goals step-by-step

1. Follow the SMART approach

Outline the particulars of your goal by starting with the SMART approach:

  • Specific: Define the particular outcome you want to see.
  • Measurable: Choose a quantitative metric for success.
  • Attainable: Make sure the goal is realistic based on team capacity.
  • Relevant: Align the goal with the company’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Time-based: Establish a strict deadline for the goal.

2. Make it meaningful

Make your goal meaningful. This will instill in them the desire and resolve to reach it.

For example, instead of just encouraging the team to attract more customers, emphasize the importance of providing value. Highlight how your employees can help, engage, and inspire people with their work.

Give them a reason to be passionate about the project.

3. Clarify your role

As the leader of the team, if you’re not committed to the goal, they won’t be either.

Make your work transparent. Display your investment in the goal-setting process. A willingness to devote your time and energy to the cause is the mark of a true leader, and your employees will respect you for it.

4. Listen to the team

Get feedback from employees about goal ideas. Use interviews, surveys, or polls to do this. Keep things anonymous to allow employees to be truthful.

Listening to your team is just good sense. Data shows that organizations are 88% more likely to perform well financially when their employees feel heard.

5. Finalize the goal

Solve any final concerns people have with the goal. Then, make it official to everyone involved.

A psychology study by professor Dr. Gail Matthews shows that participants who sent weekly updates to friends about their goals were more likely to achieve them. The act of writing something down forces you to take it seriously.

6. Recognize progress

Don’t reserve recognition for the end. Recognize smaller milestones throughout the process. Reward behaviors like effort, persistence, and problem-solving to drive commitment.

Feedback about performance can enhance motivational levels in employees. Motivated employees will deliver better work products than employees who don’t care.

To learn more, check out The ROI of Social Recognition.


What are goals examples?

  • Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 90% or higher by the end of the year.
  • Complete 10 training modules on the new company software by the end of Quarter 3.
  • Increase social media engagement by 75% by the end of March.

How do you maintain your team’s focus on specific goals?

  • Communicate: Talk to them regularly. Give them reminders. Ask questions. Offer help.
  • Track progress: Recognize milestones throughout the project. Announce the halfway mark, for example.
  • Give recognition: Acknowledge their contributions.

Should a goal have a time frame?

A goal without a deadline is like a race without a finish line. It’s just not practical.

By giving a deadline to your team, you can make them feel proud of themselves for meeting it. And that translates directly into higher employee morale.


I hope this tutorial inspires you. At the end of the day, setting team goals is one of the most powerful ways to motivate people. Goals foster a culture of hard work, collaboration, and determination.

How did you like this article? Let me know in the comments. If you appreciated this guide, consider sharing it.

And consider getting a tool to help. Workhuman Conversations allow employees to check in with managers, share progress updates, and achieve goals, all within a super user-friendly interface.