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Should you have an individual or should you have common goals? What should one think about these types of goals? Here, questions about individual and common goals are answered.


There is usually a form of common goal for the entire business in general. And most of the time there are different goals for the department and maybe down to the work team. But what can be good to keep in mind, is that a goal should affect an underlying dimension around which we have formulated a goal. And basically, it's about a goal influencing our behavior. We do more of what is good for us and for the business, which makes us feel good and contributes to the business. And then it can sometimes be the case that you need to think a little bit, for example in a work team, if we are to have goals formulated for the work team as a whole or if we are to have goals formulated for the individuals.

You can have both individual and common goals. But what you have to keep in mind is that if it is about tasks or projects where there is a big gain or even a requirement that we need to cooperate. We need to communicate, help each other, coordinate our efforts, exchange information continuously, keep each other updated, relieve each other continuously and so on. In that context, it is said that a team or a work team has a high degree of interdependence. And when there is a high degree of interdependence, research shows that it is wise to formulate goals for the work team as a whole. You can then also formulate goals at the individual level.

To the extent that there is no mutual dependence, where each individual does his job and my performance is not so much affected by what the other individuals in the team or department do, it is better to formulate goals at the individual level, that is. that you may formulate goals for your tasks. They will have a much greater impact on how much effort you put into trying to reach these goals.

So in the case of a high degree of interdependence, formulate common goals. At low levels of interdependence, formulate individual goals.

About Stefan Söderfjäll

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Stefan Söderfjäll has studied our human behavior for over 20 years. Stefan wants to bring out research-based knowledge, above all about how we behave in working life. Stefan Söderfjäll is one of the owners of the Swedish digital tool for goal control, GoalEnvision. GoalEnvision is a powerful tool for you who want to set goals together in the company. GoalEnvision provides tips on successful goals and a simple methodology to get everyone to get the right things done.

About By Stefan Söderfjäll, author and PhD in psychology

Stefan Söderfjäll is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and has spent more than 20 years bringing out research-based knowledge about how we behave, especially about how we behave in working life.

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