Collaborative Work Management Guide
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What Is Collaborative Goal Setting?

Collaborative goal setting is a strategy to decide on and set goals as a team. This process typically includes identifying personal and company needs, prioritizing and allocating available resources, and evaluating goal performance over time.

The exercise encourages employees to take an active role in molding their contributions and responsibilities to achieve the company's goals, increasing engagement and commitment.

Unlike in top-down hierarchical companies where man­ag­ers decide employee goals and responsibilities, col­lab­o­ra­tive goal setting encourages observ­ing, dis­cussing, lis­ten­ing, prioritizing, and eval­u­at­ing goals and objec­tives togeth­er. It's a process that helps employ­ees feel heard and includ­ed in the company's broad­er work.

Why is collaborative goal setting necessary?

Setting goals col­lab­o­ra­tively improves employ­ee engage­ment and job performance and helps the company meet its goals. The com­bi­na­tion of a dead­line and clear­ly defined deliv­er­able drives employ­ees to work in a struc­tured and effec­tive man­ner. 

With col­lab­o­ra­tive­ goal setting, employ­ees participate in designing how their role con­tributes to the company's main objec­tives. This increases an employees' sense of purpose and develops deeper connections to the bigger com­pa­ny picture.

Advantages of setting collaborative goals

Collaborative goal setting creates an environment of alignment between employees and the organization. It furthers the company's goals while benefiting employee growth and development. 

Setting collaborative goals increases transparency and ensures employees' needs and concerns are heard and considered. A collaborative goal setting approach gives employees a sense of ownership over their work, which is vital for employee engagement and long-lasting motivation.

Tips for setting collaborative goals

Collaborative goal setting requires employees and managers to meet and discuss personal and company goals, listen to each other, and agree on their goals as a team. Here are our top tips to help you set col­lab­o­ra­tive goals.

  1. Link per­son­al goals to com­pa­ny objectives: Per­son­al career goals are mean­ing­ful when they are con­nect­ed to larg­er organ­i­za­tion­al goals. Employ­ees should understand how their efforts link to the broad­er com­pa­ny strat­e­gy.
  2. Avoid micro-managing: There's a line between hands-on man­age­r­i­al support and micro­manag­ing. Col­lab­o­ra­tive­ goal setting works better when man­agers give room for employ­ees to contribute and take own­er­ship of their goals.
  3. Keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion ongoing: Regular communication is essential to ensure collaborative goals are aligned and in progress as expected. Feedback survey forms and one-on-one meetings are easy and accessible strategies to maintain good communication between employees and managers.
Further reading

How to Measure Collaboration


What Are Collaboration Goals and Objectives?


What Is Collaborative Work Leadership?


How to Increase Collaboration Between Teams