Goal Vs Objective
Goal Vs Objective
Do you use the terms objective and goal interchangeably when you outline your company’s plans? Both terms refer to the desired outcomes that a business or individual wants to achieve, but there is a significant difference between both terms. Defining your business goals and setting clear objectives are the strategies that help your company to achieve more success or increase your career growth. In this goal vs. objective guide, you will learn the difference between objectives and goals, their attributes, and benefits in the workplace.
However, these two concepts are linked with each other but yet separate.
You can’t achieve your ultimate goals without objectives, while objectives without goals will not get you where your company wants to be. Using both goals and objectives can enable your organization to do what you want to do and maximize your bottom line.
What is a goal?
A goal can be defined as a short statement of the desired result you want to achieve over a long time period that is typically 3 to 5 years. It is a broad statement as compared to the objective that focuses on your desired outcomes. The methods are not described to get the intended results. Some common examples of business goals include growing revenues, increasing efficiency and profits, becoming eco-friendly and industry leader, and providing the best customer service.
In our childhood, we decide what career we will pursue in our lives and strives to achieve it. The goal is that point when you envisage yourself after a particular time period. People usually put a timeline to achieve their career goals. This way, they can reach their goals in record time. However, they are usually long-term.
What is an objective?
Objectives are the actionable targets that are specific in nature to achieve identified goals within the smaller time frame that is typically one year or less. Objectives describe the activities that are involved in achieving your ultimate business goals. For instance, to achieve the goal of maximizing profits, a company can have an objective such as introduce new products by the end of the current year. A company wants to increase its revenue by 50% in the next 6 months, and when it hits the targets, sales figures can measure it. Here are some examples of objectives:
- Earn a minimum of 20% ROI in a fiscal year
- Increase 10% of market share of the company by the end of fiscal year
- Reduce the operating costs by 10% within 12 months.
- Reduce the initial response time for sale inquiries to less than 24 hours by the end of the next six months.
What is the difference between goals and objectives?
Goals are the intended outcomes you want to achieve. However, objectives are the measurable steps and certain actions that you need to achieve your ultimate goals. To achieve success, objectives and goals work in tandem that means if you have not clear objectives while creating your company’s goals, you run the risk of not achieving your goals. There are some major differences between objectives and goals:
- Alignment and order
Any organization sets the goals to achieve its mission, whereas objectives are set for goals’ accomplishment. So, you can say that goals are higher in order as compared to objectives.
Goals have a broader intention; that’s why they can’t be measured in quantifiable units. On the other hand, objectives have narrow scope than goals, but they can be described in terms of specific tasks.
Goals are what you want to achieve, but they don’t describe the specified tasks that are needed to perform to accomplish your goals. Objectives are specific actions that you take within a specific timeframe.
Goals cannot be measure, and they are intangible. Objectives, on the other hand, are tangible targets. For instance, if your goal is to provide world-class customer service, which is not tangible, but if your objective is to reduce the initial response time, which is tangible and help you achieve your ultimate goal.
Goals require time and planning, so they are set to be achieved over a longer time frame while objectives are meant for a shorter span of time. In short, the goal is divided into numerous objectives that are spread over different time frames.
The more focused and conceptual language is used to describe the goals. However, when you used it for objective, it will be more on the creative side.
What do goals and objectives look like if they are different?
There are some examples of goals and objectives that will show you how these terms are different.
Examples of Goals and Objectives
- I want to be the best neurosurgeon in my city
- We will be the number one telecommunication network in the next five years
- We will buy 3 more units by the end of the year.
- I will gain public speaking experience.
- We will automate lead qualification for the sales team.
When you agree on the goal’s direction, it can be seen as emotional, engaging, and softer, helping you narrow down the actions into certain SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-Bound) objective.
Businesses and organizations use the SMART goal setting method to define specific objectives to accomplish their goals. Whether you are an entrepreneur, self-employed, or an employee of a large organization, you must have a precise objective to support your goals. This method breaks down your goals and helps you make them more achievable. You delegate the tasks to your team members who will do what and when will do. For instance, if someone’s goal is to become a published author, you can use this method for your goal planning to outline the main objectives towards reaching your goal like this:
Specific: I will create a book series about organic diets and publish one book in a year.
Measurable: I will write about 15 pages every day. I will work with my publishing agent for at least 4 to 5 hours a week.
Attainable: For reviewing my non-fiction organic diet book, I will hire an editor before my book is published.
Relevant: I will establish myself as an influencer in my industry by publishing a book series. Moreover, it will create awareness around healthy living, wellbeing, and nutrition.
Timely: I will publish at least one book in a year for 3 years, and I will prepare each draft in 10 months.
Benefits of setting workplace goals and objectives
Here are some benefits of setting goals at the workplace:
Effective use of time
When it comes to setting workplace goals and objectives, time is a resource and needs special consideration due to its importance.
Peace of mind
We all have too many things on our minds that may not let us focus on a specific task. If you write down all of your plans and ideas and prioritize them. It will motivate you to take action.
The clarity to make informed decisions
When you know what you are trying to do, then you can ask yourself, does this activity help me towards reaching your goal or not?
Measurement of what you do
Either you set SMART or SHARP goals; you can easily measure how much you are getting close towards achieving your goals.
More freedom of thought
When you set your goals, you can focus on what to do and how to achieve them, which releases your creative energies and give you peace of mind. You will start looking for ways that can help you accomplish what you want.
Goals motivate you to act
It’s true that when you have meaningful goals in mind, it galvanizes you to take action. It keeps you motivated and thinks about the ways to make it happens. You focus on the progress rather than hoping to do something in the future. The happiness of achieving your goals motivates you to perseverance.
Here are some major benefits of planning objectives for your business at the workplace:
Measure your progress
Objectives are measurable means you can measure your progress that you made to achieve your long-term goals. If you don’t break down your goals into objectives, chances are you may not achieve them.
It offers a sense of achievement
When you meet your objectives in record time, it creates a sense of achievement and motivates you to keep working.
Confirm your confidence in the strategy
Defining your objectives lets you confirm that your strategy is formulated appropriately and can successfully achieve your goals.
Help in making difficult decisions
If you face a difficult situation while accomplishing your goals and are not sure what to do, you can refer to your objectives to ensure that you are moving in the right direction.
As you see, there is a difference between objectives and goals; objectives are the steps that are involved in accomplishing your goals. So, you can say that objectives are part of a goal. On the other hand, goals are a broader term with lifelong ambitions that describe the destination where you to see your organization after a specific time.
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