Global Employment & Expansion 17 min

How global businesses can establish clear company-wide goals

April 24, 2024
Preston Wickersham


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When you run a global business, it's easy to lose count of all the tasks you have to juggle. Establishing clear goals and working toward them often comes second to keeping the company running smoothly. 

Goals are crucial in aligning every employee with the company’s unique mission. Done right, setting company-wide goals can provide direction to workers at all levels, increase productivity, and boost revenue. Aligning your team with these goals ensures that everyone in the company is working toward the same thing.

Setting and communicating goals can be tricky for global and remote teams, where employees may be spread all over the world. But these situations are where goal-setting and alignment are the most important.

Many companies use outdated and ineffective goal-setting methods, struggle to implement goal measurement standards, or aren't aware of the right goal-setting strategies and how to put them into practice. 

This article is designed to give global businesses, particularly those with remote teams, a clear roadmap to setting company-wide goals in 2023.

Read on to discover how establishing company-wide goals can help you achieve your desired growth and how to structure your goals for your global remote team. 

We'll cover:

  • The importance of company-wide goals 

  • How to set effective goals for a company 

  • Strategies for defining company-wide global team goals 

  • Strategies for achieving goals in a cross-border environment 

  • How to monitor compliance and maximize performance

Why do you need company-wide goals?

Effective goal-setting unites global teams, giving them a common direction and a clear set of priorities. If your employees can connect small, seemingly insignificant tasks to the company’s big picture, they’re less likely to give up when they encounter challenges. 

A company-wide goal is a broad target or outcome your business aims for. Every project, action, and task within the company should funnel toward this common goal. 

Company-wide goals sit one step below your mission statement (who your company is) and vision statement (who your company aims to be). 

Because company-wide goals are often broad, it can be difficult for employees and managers to understand how their work fits into that big picture. To guide your team toward achieving company-wide goals, you need to outline your business objectives. 

Business objectives help define how your company will reach its goals. They are clearly defined results that your company aims for in order to reach the end goal. 

Setting effective company goals benefits your company in the following ways:

  • It provides direction and context for projects and tasks. 

  • It fosters collaboration within teams and between departments.

  • It helps define priorities. 

  • It increases productivity. 

  • It boosts revenue. 

How to set effective goals for a company

Organizational goals are strategic objectives set by the company to achieve measurable results. They might relate to strategy, tactics, or operations, and they can range from high-level, long-term goals to daily, short-term ones.

Different goal-setting techniques or frameworks help companies structure their dreams and organize their vision into actionable steps. 

Here are three of the most popular frameworks to use during your goal-setting process that’ll help push your company toward success:

SMART goals

One of the most famous goal-setting techniques is the SMART framework. It states that effective goals require the following five qualities: 

  • Specific goals: What are you aiming for, exactly? Who is responsible for each step? What steps are required? 

  • Measurable goals: How can you and your employees measure and track success? What level of success is sufficient? 

  • Attainable goals: Is your goal realistic? Does your goal take into account restraints or challenges you might face?

  • Relevant goals: How does your goal relate to the company’s mission statement? How does your employees’ work fit into the big picture?

  • Time-bound goals: What is your time frame for the goal? When is the deadline for achieving your goal? 

Objectives and key results 

The objectives and key results (OKRs) framework is a simple goal-setting technique that divides the process into two factors: the objective and the targeted results.

Your objective is the goal itself. An example of an objective could be to increase your profit margin by 20% in December or to boost customer satisfaction levels by the end of the year.

Your key results are the measures of success you’re looking for. Some examples of key results include taking on five new clients or increasing your customer retention rate by 30%.

Goals pyramid

A goals pyramid contains a hierarchy of small goals that build up to form consecutively larger goals. In a company setting, your largest goal is typically your mission statement. The level directly below that could deal with 10-year goals. The level below that reflects your 2 or 3-year goals, and so on. The lowest tier contains short-term goals that your employees achieve weekly or daily. 

The great thing about this method is that it encourages every employee and manager to hold the big picture in their minds.

All three of these goal frameworks keep your teams motivated and driven. 

Strategies for defining company-wide global team goals

When creating goals, it is vital that you focus your attention on the right areas of your business. It can be hard to analyze your opportunities and identify what your goals should be, particularly with a remote team. But don't worry: we will provide you with simple and effective techniques to establish a foundation for setting your company's goals.

1. SWOT analysis

Performing a SWOT analysis is a great way to clarify your company's goals. A SWOT analysis breaks down what is working, what isn't, and what could work better, so you know which aspect of your business is most in need of attention.

SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths

  • Weaknesses

  • Opportunities

  • Threats


Here, you should identify the things your business does well. Which parts of your internal business, tangible or intangible, are strong? What are your assets? What are your advantages over the competition? What adds value?

As an international business, an example of a strength is the ability to offer 24/7 support to your clients and customers because your teams work asynchronously. 

When creating company goals, aim to do more of your strengths


Here, you need to take an honest look at what isn't working internally. What parts of the business detract value? What do you lack? Where are you limited?

For remote teams, a common example of a weakness is time spent managing data security and compliance in multiple countries. 

When creating company goals, aim to improve these weak areas.


Here is where you look for external opportunities that can help your business prosper. Are there growth opportunities in the industry? Are there changes in the market you could capitalize on? Is there an opportunity to build your company's reputation?

If you’re hiring internationally, an example of an opportunity is the global talent pool filled with skilled and knowledgeable potential hires.

When creating company goals, plan to move toward these opportunities


Here, you should identify external factors that could threaten the success of your business. Are there troubling trends in the market? Competitors making big acquisitions? How are consumer trends and behavior patterns evolving?

An example of a threat for a remote company could be a competitor with access to the same talent pool but with more employee benefits to offer. 

When creating company goals, plan to combat and navigate these threats

Once you have identified these critical items, you can use the insights gained to guide your goal-setting exercises based on simple facts. Keep these details in mind as you brainstorm ways to do more of what's working, improve weak areas, move towards opportunities, and combat threats.

Once you nail your company's high-level goals, it becomes much easier to break down the process and create smaller goals aligned with your company mission.

SWOT for remote teams

Having remote employees radically alters company dynamics, mostly for the better. When doing your SWOT analysis, you’ll need to consider the benefits and challenges of having a globally distributed team.

For example, remote-first teams can often be strong at developing new ideas and innovations through their access to top talent around the world. The challenge is figuring out how to maintain communication and bring employees together to make the most of this asset.

A remote-first team might struggle with communication delays between workers in different time zones. The answer to this might be setting a company goal to move toward an async work system, allowing workers more autonomy and responsibility in their work. 

Embracing the post-pandemic trend of workers desiring remote positions, a remote company might choose to create, outsource, or optimize systems like payroll to facilitate easy employee management globally.

With more remote jobs available today than ever before, it is easy for employees to change jobs frequently, so employee retention may be difficult to achieve. An interesting goal could be to build a close-knit, communicative, and positive remote work culture that encourages employees to stay with the company.

2. Soliciting employee input from a global team

Another way to get genuine data to help guide your new strategy is to ask for employee feedback across all departments. Employees have great insights to share, but you’ll never hear them if you don’t provide a platform to receive employee feedback.

For remote global teams, asking employees for feedback has never been easier or more effective. A simple survey can help you gain important insights into every aspect of your business. 

At Remote, for example, our People team regularly conducts internal feedback surveys to capture employee sentiment and identify areas for improvement. (Remote is particularly proud of our consistently strong results related to employee belonging!) 

Your employees feel heard and more connected when you ask them to take an active role in defining company goals. Doing so may also help them understand their roles, embrace their responsibilities, and take pride in their contributions toward shared business goals.

For a global company to make this happen, having the right tech stack is critical. Easy, instant, and efficient communication is essential to keep remote employees active and engaged. Slack is one great tool, but remember to let employees work asynchronously! Tools like Loom (for async video communication) and Notion (for company-wide documentation) are great resources.

3. Competitor analysis

Checking out the competition is another way to gain important strategic insights that can help you define your goals.

First, you must identify who your main competitors are. Then you can evaluate their strategies, determine their position in the industry, and see what they are doing right and wrong. You may even discover that a company you thought was a competitor has substantially different long-term goals than your company.

Performing competitor analysis is a great way to get some clarity on defining your goals. However, don't let the actions of your competitors drive your mission. Listen to your customers and their needs, then build solutions for them. Understanding the competition is important, but it can't be the foundation of your company.

Companies with remote teams that have a wide global spread can use this to their benefit. Global reach will give your business an edge over competitors, as you will have:

  • Regional expertise 

  • Strength in local markets 

  • More trust and assurance as a global brand 

  • Access to a diverse pool of talent 

Armed with this knowledge, you can look for ways to capitalize on the opportunities this brings. Things like:

  • Round-the-clock service 

  • Access to top candidates 

  • Greater operational efficiency due to fewer fixed expenses 

  • More innovative working methods 

The same logic can be applied to the other unique aspects of your business and guide how you translate your insights into actionable goals. When you go global, your remote team really is your greatest strength.

Strategies for achieving goals in a cross-border environment

We have looked at a few methods you can use to define your company goals. Now, let's look at strategies to achieve those goals for global companies.

Leaders of globally distributed teams face a number of unique challenges different from those of a fully in-house business, including:

  • Communication challenges 

  • Technological challenges 

  • Feedback and support challenges 

  • Company culture challenges 

Therefore, the setting and achieving of goals needs to be intentional. Global company goal-setting may require the use of structures and technologies that aren't necessary for fully in-house businesses. Keep in mind that managing remote teams is not actually more difficult than managing in-office teams — it simply requires you to be more deliberate about some things you took for granted.

If you want to achieve your business goals, you need to do the following: 

1. Establish benchmarks

Once you have defined your company's high-level, long-term goals, you need to find realistic ways to execute them

Breaking big goals down into smaller, incremental benchmarks can help you define your implementation strategy. Assigning tangible metrics to your goals also makes it easier to track work and results in a clear, digestible way.

2. Assign responsibilities 

With remote teams, there is no leaning across the desk to ask your boss or colleague what you are supposed to be doing. Because of this, remote teams depend on clear assignment of duties and transparency in execution.

Make sure employees all understand their specific tasks and how their work is connected to your company’s larger goals. Assigning tasks comes with several benefits for employees and contractors, including:

  • More impactful work toward larger goals 

  • Greater work satisfaction through connection to the company's mission 

  • Clearer responsibilities and communication 

Once these responsibilities have been assigned, how can employers track the output, performance, and results of employees’ efforts? 

Tracking can be difficult with remote employees. Many managers fall into the trap of micromanaging workers and lose trust in their workers to keep control of their tasks. It’s important to not allow yourself to think that over-analyzing your employees' time online, or tracking their mouse movements, is a good idea.

Micromanaging is the worst thing you can do for remote teams. Not only is it ineffective and a waste of your time, but it also reduces employee trust. Instead of having their productivity boosted, people who are micromanaged quickly lose autonomy and pride in their work. The smarter solution is to give your employees more trust and measure their performance based on output instead of time.

3. Identify the resources and people required

Remote teams have greater flexibility than in-office teams, but that does not mean you can leave your resource planning on the back burner. Companies must be ready to set up new and improve old processes to effectively run and scale.

When you know your long-term business goals, it’s imperative that you spend adequate time planning resources and determining the effort each goal requires. 

Businesses hiring remotely, for example, need to set up operational processes in advance. This could involve opening a legal entity in the country they wish to hire in or using a global payroll partner that offers employer-of-record services.

When you can't see each team member every day, it's important to keep on top of hiring and managing staff with care. Leaders must be able to budget and forecast effectively to eliminate bottlenecks (slow processes) and bloating (over-hiring or mismanaging talent).

Hiring plans are critical to deal with HR administrative tasks and can snowball fast, especially when hiring employees in different countries. Leaders may consider streamlining HR processes like onboarding, compliance, and payments through an employer of record service that can manage global hires all from one platform. If you want to hire in other countries, you need to consider all your options when evaluating employers of record.

Some businesses may work with international freelancers and contractors. This can be an attractive solution for many employers, as it allows them to onboard new workers quickly and easily. However, working with remote contractors could run the risk of misclassification, which could have serious legal and financial consequences. A global contractor management company can help you navigate your risk and convert contractors to employees should the need arise.

4. Maximize productivity for remote employees

Maximizing productivity in globally distributed teams is key to being able to implement your company-wide goals. But this, too, can be a challenge if you don't plan ahead.

Watching employees over their shoulders is not an option. Employee tracking tools are invasive and counterproductive. No matter how smart your tool may be, employees will always find a way around it, wasting time and energy in the process. There are plenty of better, kinder ways to engage your workers and boost productivity.

This is where async work, which is a great productivity booster, really shines. Asynchronous work, as opposed to synchronous work, allows workers the freedom and flexibility to work according to their own schedules. After all, if your employees create great work, does it really matter when the work happens?

Done properly, async leads to better results for your business. Async is perfect for remote teams where micromanaging is not an option, because it allows workers to make progress on their tasks without waiting for meetings or for other colleagues to come online, which is a huge timesaver when your team is scattered across different time zones.

Of course, some teams will always need to have some level of synchronous work, like customer service or sales. However, this is an easy fix. Simply establish minimum coverage standards and allow the team to adjust their individual schedules to find the best way to meet demand. If you need more coverage, you can always hire more workers from different time zones!

How can you help your global teams work efficiently using async work?

  • Ask workers to create documentation instead of sending direct messages to answer questions.

  • Host discussions in public channels instead of emails or direct messages.

  • Encourage employees to decline meetings that would be more effective in the form of asynchronous collaboration.

  • Respect the boundaries and “interruption-free” work slots of your employees.

  • Be considerate of others to create an inclusive and respectful work environment.

How to monitor compliance and maximize performance

When you manage a global team, there are a number of legal implications to consider in the countries you hire in. Even temporary noncompliance with regulations could derail your company’s goals or threaten the security of your data and intellectual property.

Once you start hiring workers abroad, you need to consider factors such as:

  • Permanent establishment risk: Permanent establishment is a tax designation referring to companies doing business in another country. Hiring workers abroad does not necessarily mean you will owe corporate taxes abroad, but if you're not careful, you could accidentally trigger permanent establishment and incur penalties or end up paying double tax.

  • Misclassified employees: Are you hiring an employee or a contractor? While contractors are more flexible and straightforward to hire, if a worker is misclassified, you could end up with expensive fines and serious legal issues.

  • Loss of intellectual property: If the classification or contract of a worker is unclear, or if you use an employer of record that relies on third parties instead of in-house IP protection, it can be hard to protect your intellectual property rights abroad.

But how can companies monitor their operations, ensure compliance, and allow their workers to focus on achieving company goals?

By enlisting the services of a global employment expert. 

Using a global payroll provider is a simple, straightforward, and effective way to ensure total compliance across the company, no matter where your workers live. Remote offers a number of helpful global HR services, including employer-of-record services, payroll outsourcing, and remote employee onboarding. Our legal entities in 60+ countries, local HR specialists, and automated payment systems protect your business from risk when you hire abroad. We even offer global contractor payments and management to help you scale all around the world.

Remote ensures total data security and protection, keeping your employees' personal information and your company's data safe and secure.

Smart goal-setting and clean communication help global teams scale

Establishing ambitious goals for your company is exciting. Goals can help focus your business at all levels and achieve extraordinary things.

However, setting goals comes with challenges for global teams with remote employees. So, if you are struggling to define and implement goals at a company-wide level for your global business, remember to follow these steps:

  • Do your research: Use SWOT analysis, ask employees for feedback, and assess the competition to define the right goals for your business.

  • Create measurable strategies to achieve your goals: Determine ways to break down and track your goals into small, bite-sized pieces.

  • Stay compliant: Make sure you are compliant with all legislation wherever you hire, and choose the right tools to streamline this process.

With the right processes, the right people, and the right tools, your company can achieve any goal. Ready to start hiring abroad? Sign up now with Remote and start onboarding employees around the world in minutes.

Hire and pay your global team with speed and security

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