10 Ways Leaders Can Effectively Track Department-Specific Goals In 2022

Knowing how to manage and track department goals can help leaders ensure objectives for the wider company are also being met.

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A new year offers businesses the opportunity to set both company-wide and department-specific goals. As each department works toward achieving set objectives, tracking progress can help ensure short- and long-term goals are on the right track and moving in the right direction for the entire organization.

Though knowing how to manage and track the goals of each department alone is difficult, the challenge also lies in how leaders can do those tasks efficiently while also balancing the achievement of goals set for the wider company. To help, 10 Newsweek Expert Forum members share recommendations on effective methods companies can adopt to better track department-specific goals in the new year.

1. Align the Functions and Goals of Each Department With Other Departments

An approach is needed to support and align department goals with the overall objectives and goals of the company. If leadership is able to align the functions of each department and set its goals to align with other departments, we will then have harmony in transition and open the flow of communication between the departments. In doing so, we are also able to track each department's specific goals. - Dr. Abraham Khoureis, DrAbeKhoureis.com

2. Create Detailed KPIs

Create at least five KPIs that are specific, measurable, attainable and trackable. Then make sure that there are weekly reports on progress. This will help keep people on track, as well as enable you to see what areas are strong and weak. This helps goals become more bite-sized while also creating more focus within each department. - Chris Tompkins, The Go! Agency

3. Make Goal-Setting a More Collaborative Process

Giving each department its own goals is the easiest way to evaluate whether every department is delivering what is needed or expected of it. These KPIs should be created in partnership with the department leads or even handed to them to create for themselves with your input. When there is mutual buy-in on what's realistic or achievable, it ensures they are not only trackable, but also within reach. - April Margulies, Trust Relations

4. Hold Regular Meetings

Start with an energizing New Year's kickoff meeting. Explain the departmental goals and how they relate to each person. Encourage questions and discussion, and make it something employees look forward to. Schedule weekly or monthly meetings to track status updates. Regular meetings will help leaders see where there are opportunities and issues so they can be caught and fixed before they become bigger problems. - Robbin McManne, Parenting for Connection

5. Simplify Everything

Companies are more effective when they simplify their mission, vision, values and top 10 metrics to a single page. Displaying this as an infographic in offices, on screensavers and on company IDs can create attention density around what is most important. Leaders can provide clarity by showing that if employees aren't spending 100 percent of their time on that one page, they are working on the wrong things. - Sonja Wasden, The Gap Press

6. Make Them Trackable and Compulsory

Make goals easy to track and make them required. This not only helps highlight collective performance, but also fosters teamwork and support since goals can directly connect from the individual to the group based on an enterprise-level goal or metric. Tracking ensures you celebrate success and recognize meeting and exceeding goals, which in turn increases engagement and alignment with your mission. - Jacob Kupietzky, HCT Executive Interim Management & Consulting

7. Have Teams Actively Participate and Share Feedback

Have the department lead reach out to his or her people by saying, "Going forward, I'd like your help. What must I always do and what must I never do to make sure we meet or exceed expected goals from our department?" Collect the answers, share them with your people and have them select the best answers. If they participate in how you hold them accountable, they will become more accountable. - Mark Goulston, Mark Goulston, M.D., Inc.

8. Adopt the OKR Methodology

I would recommend each department use the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology each quarter. Each department will publish their objectives, the results they are hoping to achieve and how achievements will be measured so that everyone in the organization can see and align with these goals. This transparency and rigor can substantially impact focus and collaboration across the entire organization. - Matt Domo, FifthVantage

9. Use or Create Project Management Tools

There are so many project management tools that can be used for goal-setting! ClickUp is a great example, but there are many others. Employees who have been working from home during COVID have no doubt added many apps to their mobile devices and laptops. They've also been using Twitter and Instagram because they're so "sticky." Why not create an app for your team that becomes sticky too? - Kim Estep, Branig Capital Markets

10. Keep Goals Prominent

It is important for companies to keep the goals front and center for their team members. Breaking down the goals into quarterly and/or monthly objectives will help to track the department's progress toward the bigger initiative and to celebrate its successes along the way. It will also allow adjustments to be made if the team gets off track or if the goal seems unrealistic. - LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
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