organizational goals

Contributor(s): Francesca Sales
This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Project management strategies that transform businesses: A CIO guide

Organizational goals are strategic objectives that a company's management establishes to outline expected outcomes and guide employees' efforts. 

There are many advantages to establishing organizational goals: They guide employee efforts, justify a company's activities and existence, define performance standards, provide constraints for pursuing unnecessary goals and function as behavioral incentives.

There are two main types of organizational goals: official and operative. Official goals detail a company's aims as described in their public statements, such as the corporate charter and annual reports. They help to build the organization's public image and reputation. Operative goals are the actual, concrete steps a business intends to take to achieve its purpose. A company's operative goals often don't parallel its official goals; for example, while a nonprofit volunteer organization's main official goal may be community service, limited funding might mean that its operative goal of fund raising will take precedence.

Organizations should clearly communicate organizational goals to engage employees in their work and achieve the organization's desired ends. While an organization can communicate its organizational goals through formal channels, the most effective and direct way to do so is through employees' direct supervisors. This allows managers to work with their staff to develop SMART goals that align with the organization's goals.

Key organizational goals can also include employee and management performance goals, productivity goals, profitability goals, innovation goals,  market share goal and social responsibilitygoals.

This was last updated in June 2014

Continue Reading About organizational goals

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What methods do you use to inspire your employees' performance toward achieving organizational goals?
Remuneration is the most important method to inspire employee's performance towards achieving organizational goals and they should be acknowledge for good work done to increase their morale.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by: