Set FAST goals

Virtual First | Effectiveness Kit

We’ve all got goals. But how do you set an effective goal? And how do you measure your progress against it? Use this workshop to develop FAST goals that boost your team’s performance and meet your corporate strategy. Do it as part of your quarterly planning cycle or whenever you’re feeling offtrack.

50 MINS | VIRTUAL TEAM WORKSHOP

Step 1 (pre-work): Review your team and company goals

Before your virtual workshop, share your team and company goals with your group. Since goals are often written in a jargon-y way, it’s good to make sure you really understand them. Ask everyone to spend 10mins reflecting on the following:

  • Our top 3 company goals are ______, ______, and ______
  • In my own words / plain language, that means ______
  • The main way our team helps our company meet its goals is ______
  • Something I don’t understand is ___________

Step 2: Learn what makes a goal FAST

After you’ve kicked off your virtual workshop, pull up FAST goals 101 (below) on your screen. Have your team read it together. When you’re finished:

  • Discuss FAST goals 101. Ask: “Does it make sense? What surprised, challenged, or confused you?” 
  • Review the pre-work together. Ask: “Can anyone tell me what our company goals are—in their own words?” “Can anyone explain how our team goals contribute to the company’s—in plain language?” 
  • Pro tip: If someone on your team is confused by what a goal means, chances are they’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to say “Can anyone translate that?” or “Tell me like I’m 10 years old.”
FAST goals 101

Step 3: Reset your goals

Now that you know what good goals look like, you can upgrade yours. Pick your team’s top 3 goals, and rewrite them using the FAST goals worksheet below. Unless you’ve got an agreed-on framework for goals (OKR, KPI, SMT), don’t get too hung up on structure. If your team goals are reasonably ambitious, specific, and tied to your company strategy, they’ll probably work. When you’re done, ask: Can everyone agree to this?
FAST goals worksheet

Speed up your team’s goals

Use this worksheet to transform your goals from “meh” to mega-effective.

Step 4: Decide on next steps

Before your meeting ends, discuss what you’ll do next (and when): 

  • Pre-schedule any goal check-ins you agreed to.
  • Do your team’s goals depend on another team? Decide how you’ll plan for that. 
  • Do your goals need a bit more zhuzhing? Decide who’ll edit them.
  • Don’t forget to centralize everything in an easy-to-find place!

More resources

3 easy wins

Build the habit

  • Tomorrow: Choose one personal goal and make it FAST.
  • Next month: Check in over chat or email. How’s everyone doing against their goals?
  • Quarterly: Schedule a virtual goal tune-up with your team.