Complete Guide To Setting Strategic Goals (With Examples)

Updated June 24, 2022

It is important to focus on what goals will move you closer to your vision or mission. Many businesses benefit from strategic goals as they are trying to make productivity decisions for their organization. Strategic plans come in different shapes, forms and sizes. No matter what goal you are working toward, you can find an actionable strategy to fit. In this article, we will define strategic goals, give examples of different types of strategic goals and explore how you can implement strategic goals in your workplace.

What is a strategic goal?

Strategic goals are visions for your business that have quantifiable or qualitative results. This means that achieving the goal must be something you can measure and track, using data like increased numbers, financial figures or improved productivity rates. There are many different types of examples for strategic planning goals and objectives that can be useful. Which goals you choose to work toward depends on what will be a greater benefit to you and your company.

Some businesses prefer to write detailed strategic plans for short or long-term goals, while others do not have specific approaches besides using a basic structure. Some strategic plans have simple goals, strategies, objectives and tactics, while others are more complicated and involved multiple layers. How the strategic goals are created depends on what level of accountability you are aiming for, what timeframe you want to complete them in and what the organization’s culture is. No matter which way you choose, creating the plan and committing to it is the most important part of setting strategic goals.

Read more: Ultimate Guide To Strategic Planning

Why strategic goals are important

Setting strategic goals can have a significant impact on the success and productivity of your team. Strategic goals influence how and where a team’s energy and resources are used. They also provide the team with concrete objectives that will keep them focused and motivated.

Here are some examples of the benefits of strategic goals:

  • Defining priorities

  • Guiding resource allocation

  • Directing the creation and maintenance of budgets

  • Influencing the formation of teams

  • Providing focus and motivation for employees

  • Informing the objectives of the marketing, public relations and human resources departments

  • Providing comprehensive data used to measure a team’s results

Read more: Understanding the Basics of Strategy Development

Strategic goals examples

There are several specific types of strategic goals. Which approach you use depends entirely on the individual needs and objectives of your team. The progress your team makes toward the goals you choose to implement should be simple to track, easy to record and have recognizable results. Here are some examples of strategic goal plans to consider before setting goals for your team:

Objectives goals

Objectives are measurable and quantifiable targets, which inform when goals will be met and by how much. Progress toward objectives must be regularly recorded. If the objectives are not measurable, they are simply task lists. Factors that objectives measure include targeted performance, baseline performance and date that the objective will be achieved.

Objectives are an important example of strategic goals that are created to promote success, as they are the foundation for planning. An example is to improve client satisfaction from 80% to 90% by the end of the year. That result would be easily measured and reported.

More examples of objectives goals include:

  • Increasing shareholder value by the next quarter

  • Lowering production costs by the next year

  • Balancing the company budget before January 1

  • Maintaining the current profit margins for six months

  • Securing five new client deals by the end of the year

Theme goals

A strategic theme goal is usually comprised of one to three words that are used to organize operational and strategic plans. Companies that have strategic themes may have an average of four to six different ones. Theme goals focus on uniting a team by choosing a simple idea that everyone on the team can understand and support. Because this type of goal is usually quite general, the individual tasks needed to reach the goal will need to be effectively communicated for the goal to be achieved.

Here are some examples of theme goals:

  • Customer service first

  • Excel

  • Optimize opportunities

  • Improve and increase

  • Grow

Goal statements

Goals statements are broader concepts that interpret the vision statement of the organization into something that is more time-sensitive and meaningful. When used in conjunction with strategic themes, goal statements translate a vision into a strategic plan. Goal statements typically take the focus of an entire company and make it actionable for an individual team.

Some examples of goal statements are:

  • Increase team productivity

  • Increase web traffic

  • Improve customer relations

  • Increase community outreach

  • Innovate new solutions

Related: 10 Tips for Being More Goal-Oriented at Work

Financial strategies

When it comes to financial strategic goals, a good way to measure success is going from the current state of X to the desired state of Y by a certain date. Setting a deadline makes it easier to accomplish your specific goals.

As an example, a strategic goal example is to enter new markets, so you would set a goal of getting into X, Y, and Z markets by a certain date. You could also set a goal of having 15 regional markets in total by a specific date. Another strategic goal example would be a 15% market share in every new market by a set date. These all have the same goals of entering new markets, but there are varying measurements that impact how you will execute your strategy.

Here are a few more examples:

  • Reduce financial waste by 10% in the next year

  • Increase revenue by transaction by 12% before next September

  • Reduce customer wait times from 20 minutes to 10 minutes in nine months

  • Reduce marketing budget by 15% before May 30

Read more: Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) To Achieve Goals

Communication goals

There are a variety of strategic goal examples that will improve communication in your business. This includes increasing internal communications so everyone shares information better as a team and accomplishes more. There might be more in-person and online team updates that you want to happen so the team is more informed of what is happening daily. A company might want more reporting tools used or created so it is easier to see the progress the team is making. A weekly newsletter can go out each week internally to update all teams on what the others are up to.

If your team needs to work on communication skills, several tasks can aid in that goal. Surveys can be sent out each month to make sure you are meeting the needs of everyone on the team. The company may want to start a reward and performance review system.

Other examples of communication goals include:

  • Increase employee satisfaction ratings

  • Simplify instruction materials

  • Streamline the new employee training process

  • Maintain a positive company culture

  • Prioritize team projects over individual tasks

Growth goals

If the business is doing well at the current location, it might aim to open several new locations across the state or the country. This is a big goal, so having set tactics and strategies with objectives is essential to make sure all deadlines are met and all tasks are checked off the list. One goal may be to figure out which locations are the best choice for opening up new stores.

The company may even want to go international, which will have its own set of tasks to follow to make sure all international regulations are complied with. Other goals related to this may be having a certain percentage of sales in local stores and a certain goal for sales in international stores. A business can also track how many exported products are made and shipped out.

Here are some more examples of growth goals:

  • Acquire two new companies with more than $500,000 in revenue

  • Open three new international locations

  • Hire 18 more employees to the production department

  • Increase brand value

Related: How To Set Development Goals for Work

Customer interaction goals

When thinking about strategic goals and plans, it’s important to have goals for customers when you work in an industry that interacts with them often. A common goal is to improve the rate of customer satisfaction, which is important for customer retention.

Social media is a huge market and vital to most businesses, so setting goals to improve your social media statistics is common. You may have a goal of getting X amount of followers on the Y platform by a certain date. You could also work on improving your likes per post by the end of the month. Content calendars can also be created so the company has a goal of producing better content.

Focusing on the happiness of existing customers is also important for a business—many businesses have a goal of improving the number of return customers that they have. They know these are just as important as new customers because they have a higher chance of sticking around and buying more products each time.

More customer interaction goals are:

  • Improve customer complaint response time

  • Decrease number of faulty/malfunctioning products

  • Improve net promoter score

  • Launch two new social media campaigns

  • Implement customer loyalty program

Business process goals

There are many strategic goals you can use for business processes. A company may want to improve its web traffic and create monthly and quarterly goals it wants to hit each month. The company may want to increase the number of publications it has or is in by the end of the year.

A business can also measure vendor performance or restructure its organization. These are all strategic goal examples that are easy to set and monitor over the year. A company can set a goal to increase the value of its projects and manage its growth. Maybe the company wants to decrease overall costs and figure out a way to lower production costs. There are different ways to do this so the company can track whether its goals and plans are working or not.

Some examples of business process goals are:

  • Increase number of quality control employees by 10%

  • Record 5,000 volunteer hours by next quarter

  • Decrease unit costs before production begins for the holiday season

  • Complete and introduce new product development software

  • Settle all vendor accounts by the end of the calendar year

Setting strategic goals for your team is a smart way to change aspects of the company in a positive way. When a company has set goals, everyone can work as a team toward a common objective. Having goals that are weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly are also important so you can see if the team is on track to meet each goal and adjust accordingly if not. Do some research, assess your team members and decide which strategic goals will the most beneficial for you and your team.


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