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Simple but powerful: Public goal setting in Objective cycles

Empowering your team to use the feedback they are receiving as a springboard into Objectives can be one of the most exciting ways to maximize the capability of Small Improvements. 

What better way to expand the potential of performance feedback, then to hold oneself accountable and transform these growth conversations into measurable action?

We provide a few options Admins can enable for Objectives structure- Update your progress via status or completion slider, communicate alignment via categories or priority via weighting, or measure results with rated goals. But one of the most effective Objective options HR can use to motivate their teams is simple:

Advocate for complete company wide transparency.


Currently, we have three options for visibility: 


At Small Improvements we believe is it always important to provide an avenue for 100% private objective creation. The most obvious reason being that drafting an objective before you are ready to share with your manager or team is best done in private.


The standard default setting if the Admin makes no changes to the Objectives cycle, “Protected” means: Visible to the objective owner, their direct manager, and their indirect managers (managers of managers)- All the way up the Org structure. 

Typical for organizations where managers are driving the goal setting process with their respective teams. 


Exactly as it sounds, Objectives would be visible to all in the company.  

Here is where you can really leverage the power of seeing everyone’s targets.. How they align with the broader company vision- And which objective specific conversations might connect to what you are working towards, kick of conversations of their own, etc. 

Advocating for transparency

At Small Improvements we still believe it is important to let the author of a goal ultimately decide it’s visibility, so this will always be an option.

But we also believe company wide transparency in goal setting can foster a spirit of community and shared responsibility. If you are interested in promoting this idea within in your organization, here are some benefits to consider- And some tools we provide to encourage your team to buy-in to this philosophy. 


While, as a support representative, I might not understand the technical details of an objective labeled “Spread Functional Programming within the Company” … Seeing my colleagues in development prioritize team growth will likely light a fire for me to make an impact in my team. And who knows? Maybe I’ll ask the author of that goal to tell me a little more over a coffee!

Thus the two primary benefits of public visibility are:

  1. A sense of shared purpose.
  2. Encouraging healthy cross departmental collaboration and learning. 

Another fringe, but important, benefit is: Adoption. Getting your team to buy-in to the use of a tool partially depends on how easy it is to build participation momentum. Since you can navigate all publicly visible goals in a visually pleasing and informative way- The more publicly visible goals, the more momentum. Check out a team member clicking through their company’s transparent goals in this gif:

Suggested Visibility 

When an admin creates an Objectives cycle, they have the option to adjust the default visibility setting to “Public”, easily promoting openness as part of goal setting. Here is how you would enable this as an admin:


When introducing a new tool to your team, we always recommend carving out a dedicated time on everyone’s calendar for training. And when you roll out the use of Objectives within Small Improvements, spending some time having a dialogue about the importance of publicly visible goals will be key for adoption and fine-tuning the process after feedback from your staff. 

Slack integration

Take the spirit of communal objective awareness to the next level with our Slack Integration! More information can be found on the dedicated Slack helpdesk article– But in a nutshell: 

You can define a dedicated channel where a notification pops up every time a publicly visible goal is published. If your team lives on Slack and you want to increase awareness (and positive reinforcement!!) around goal setting, this part of the Slack integration is for you,

Plus some Emoji thumbs up and party parrot reactions are always a treat for the objective author. 🙂

Updated on May 10, 2021

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