How to Set Team Goals (With Steps & Examples)

Want to set up efficient team goals for your organization?

Team goals help your team improve their productivity and hit their targets. With well-defined team goals, you’ll have no trouble meeting project deadlines and getting things done! 

In this article, we’ll cover why goal-setting is so important and how you can easily create a team goal-setting process at your company. Additionally, we’ll highlight the best goal-setting solution to crush your goals. 

Let’s get started.

What Are Team Goals?

Team goals aren’t just simple aspirations for your team. 

Team goals are clear-cut objectives tied to your team’s performance that help your team identify an action plan and determine what constitutes a meaningful result. They’re also measures of productivity and efficiency; designed to get the best out of your team.

For example, if Captain America wanted to set a big picture goal for The Avengers, he could set something like “defeat 20 supervillains by October.”

With this big picture goal, The Avengers know:

  • What they have to achieve
  • What constitutes success
  • When they have to achieve the result

They can now focus less on trying to decide on a common action plan, and spend more time actually fighting their enemies!


What is a SMART goal?

A SMART goal is a specific action that can be measured in a relevant time frame.

Most successful businesses use the SMART goal technique to develop effective team goals. SMART is an acronym for the different characteristics an ideal team goal should have. 

The SMART framework stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Let’s break down the SMART framework:

1. Specific goals: 

All goals in the SMART framework must be specific. 

You must clarify the who, what, why, where, and when of every individual goal. 


Remember, goals are supposed to help your team focus on what they have to do. If your goals are vague, they’re going to confuse your team

2. Measurable goal: 

Every SMART goal must have a qualitative or quantitative criterion for measuring success. Without this, you can’t track how you’re doing to determine if things are on track.3. Achievable goal: 

While you should set challenging goals, it should still be an achievable goal. If your team’s goal isn’t attainable, you’re setting them up for failure. This could demoralize them as they won’t enjoy the positive benefits of goal achievement.

4. Relevant goals: 

It doesn’t matter if you set big goals or a smaller goal.

All goals set should be relevant to your organization’s goal and mission.  


This ensures that every common goal you set (and hopefully achieve) contributes to your overall ambitions.

5. Time-bound goals: 

Every individual goal must have a time frame attached to it to create a sense of urgency. Without a clear time frame, your goal could be put on hold indefinitely.

3 Benefits of Setting Team Goals

So what’s the outcome of using the SMART and OKR approach in 2023?

Here’s a look at the benefits you’ll enjoy:

1. Improved Work Performance

Defining goals helps your team understand what they’re working towards. With a clear goal, objective, and milestone in place, your team always knows what to do. 

This ensures that they waste less time figuring out what to do, and spend more time acing their different goals and objectives!

Goals also help your team gauge if things are on track or not. 

If a team member realizes they’re falling behind, they can kick things into high gear to ensure that deadlines are met.

2. Increased Motivation and Commitment

Informing everyone of their place in the wider company goal is a great way to motivate your team

By defining the specific value that each member contributes to your organization, you can instantly boost the team’s overall commitment to their shared goal. 

This increased job satisfaction and motivation will improve productivity as your team is now emotionally invested in the challenging goals they’re pursuing.

Read these teamwork quotes to get more ideas to motivate your team.

3. Efficient Teamwork

Effective goal setting facilitates teamwork.

As each individual knows everyone’s role, team members can easily coordinate with each other over a shared goal. 

A clear goal will also define specific roles and responsibilities – reducing the chances of any intra-team conflict happening. 

Nobody’s going to blame each other for unfinished work or disagree over what needs to be done over a common goal.

 How to Set Team Goals

Now that you know what team goals are and why you need them, let’s get into how you can get started with it:

1. Understand your organization’s goals

Before setting team goals, it’s important for leadership to take stock of what their organization wants to achieve. 

Is your company goal higher revenue from a specific product? 

Is your common goal increased sales? 

Perhaps your organization’s goal is lower attrition or increased employee engagement?

Defining this at the start is key as your team goals will be facilitating this overall objective. 

Building team goals with this top-down approach allows you to set an overarching theme before getting down to the details. This ensures that all your team and individual goals provide value to your overall company goal.

2. Collaborate with your entire team to develop a strategy

Once a team leader has an idea of what they’re looking to achieve, they can start to plan a strategy for these goals. 

It’s important for any team leader or goal owner to include the entire team when setting team goals


When a team leader includes input from the team, they’re guarding against setting team goals that are unreasonable and unattainable.

Remember, your entire team will be executing this strategy. 

They understand their strengths and weaknesses better than you do. By including their insights, a goal owner can develop a shared goal that’s reasonable and feasible.

Read more about team collaboration.

3. Set goals that are specific

At this stage, every team and personal goal is going to be fairly abstract. 

Always add a quantifiable objective and milestone to your team’s goal. Clarifying these priorities at the start will prevent hiccups over your achieving your challenging goals later on.

4. Tie personal goals to incentives

Tying personal goals and milestones to incentives is a great way to motivate your team. 

However, you have to be careful with the kind of incentives you offer. 

Setting team goals with unreasonably high expectations and incentives could develop a toxic atmosphere where your employees compete with one another. 

Ensure that the outcome of performance goals is cooperation, motivation, and productivity – not toxic competition like this:

5. Set deadlines

Setting goals with deadlines will improve accountability in your organization. 

As your team knows that these goals must be completed by a certain date, they’re motivated to get started on them right away. This pushes your team to avoid procrastinating over their performance goals.

Setting goals without deadlines always leads to stalling. Your team won’t be motivated to complete them as there’s no sense of urgency – thereby leaving tasks indefinitely unattended.

6. Track your progress

The only way to determine if you’re meeting your long-term goals is to track every individual goal. Once your professional goals are measurable, this process becomes easy. 

Checking in on your progress also lets you course correct. 

If things are going wrong, you can immediately recalibrate to stay on track. Alternatively, your plan is progressing quicker than expected, you can reallocate some of these resources to another task instead.

7. Review your goals

It’s always important to conduct post-project reviews to assess your employee goals

Ask your whole team for their opinion on the employee goals you set and what they’d like to be changed in future projects. 

  • Were the employee goals achievable?
  • Was every milestone clear?
  • Was the plan well thought out?
  • Did the whole team have the skills to cope with your goals?

When setting goals the next time, measure their recommendations alongside your expectations. This will help you set a clear goal that’s achievable while challenging.

How To Set Team Goals With A Project Management Tool

Remember how we talked about why tracking goals and OKRs manually isn’t a good idea?

You need a dedicated project management and goal setting solution to manage your goals instead.

Luckily, that’s exactly what ClickUp is!

What’s ClickUp?

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated project management and goal-setting tool.

It has all the goal setting and performance management features you need! 

Here’s a closer look at some of these handy features:

Goals and Targets

ClickUp gives you the most comprehensive goal-setting solution on the market. 

ClickUp Goals can be used for:

  • OKRs
  • Sprints
  • Weekly scorecards
  • Everything else!

ClickUp’s Goals are high-level containers that are broken down into smaller Targets. These Targets are measurable and, when completed, will also complete your own Goal. 

Splitting Goals into targets gives you in-depth customizability over what each Goal contains. You can set a goal with a number of different individual Targets:

Target in ClickUp
  • Number: track increases or decreases between number ranges. 
  • True/False: binary done or not done options.
  • Currency: track a financial goal in a specific currency
  • Tasks: automatically tracks the completion of tasks and/or lists. 

How to Set Goals in ClickUp

ClickUp is the perfect solution for anyone looking to set up some professional goals:

Step 1: Create a Goal

Remember, ClickUp’s Goals are high-level containers that are further broken down. 

To create a Goal, go to “Goals” in ClickUp, and click on the “+ New Goal” button:

Goals in ClickUp

Step 2: Edit that goal

ClickUp gives you all the customization you need to create a Goal that’s tailor-made for whatever you want to achieve. 

You can edit:

  • The team Goal name
  • The team Goal due date
  • Who owns the Goal (who’s responsible for it)
  • Who has access to this Goal
  • The Goal’s description for a detailed breakdown of what it’s about
Step 3: Set your Targets

Now that you’ve created your Goal, you can begin to set Targets for it. 

In the traditional goal-setting process, these Targets function as your objectives.

To add a Target, click on the “Create a Target” button after you’ve created your Goal.

Add a target in ClickUp

Step 4: Edit your Targets

Now you can edit your Targets like you edited your overall Goal.

You can customize:

  • The Target’s name
  • The owner of the Target
  • What each Target tracks (number, true/false, currency, tasks)

Step 5: Create more Targets

Repeat this process to create the right number of targets (objectives) you want to track.

Step 6: Track your progress

After you’ve created all your Targets, you can easily get started on your action plan and track your goal progress from ClickUp.

ClickUp will highlight:

  • Your progress for each individual Target. 
  • How your Target progress has contributed to your overall Goal outcome. 

That isn’t all that ClickUp offers you.

You even get features like:


Setting challenging yet attainable team goals is a great way to motivate your team toward success. 

But just setting goals isn’t enough.

You also need a way to monitor and achieve them!

Luckily, ClickUp has all the features you need to carefully plan and execute your goals. Whether it’s goal-setting, goal monitoring, or facilitating teamwork – ClickUp can handle everything you need!

So why not sign up for ClickUp today!

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