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A secret weapon to motivate a team to achieve goals is setting goals but getting there is the hard bit and taking a team on that journey is even harder.

Themework is important because all businesses have a vision, a mission or a purpose and quite often employees don’t often see themselves benefiting from that, and that’s a real tragedy.

They might see that your vision is to become the most creative, the most loved, the most financially secure company and that’s great for the company and an employee can see how they can contribute to that but they might not see how they benefit from it and then you have yourself an engagement disconnect.

If you are a purpose driven company and people feel great about the work they are doing, congratulations! But the average tenure of someone at a business is probably 2-3 years and often people aren’t staying long enough for the purpose to come true, for example if your purpose is stopping climate change or helping refugees, in the few years someone is with the business they won’t be there long enough to see it come to fruition.

So we need to find something so people show up every single day and to help achieve the goals you want them to.

I always use the SMART goal format, which I have spoken about before and I think that it is incredibly powerful for goal setting. However, I like to make mine SMARTER by adding an ‘E’ and an ‘R’.


You must engage your team and they must be rewarded should they be successful.

From the early days of my business I have had a theme for my goals and the best part of themework and to make it truly engaging is to not only have a way that the team can see how they have contributed to the broader vision or mission but they can see themselves benefiting from it. So every year’s theme should be a win-win.

Should the goals be achieved the business will move forward but the goal should also relate to the team’s growth, not just the business growth. So then the individual can see and measure their progress.

How do you come up with the theme?

There’s a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. As the leader of the business you can create the theme
  2. Collaboratively the team can come up with a theme

If you do chose to do it collaboratively, there’s a tool that I like to use cleed the ‘fuck-o-metre’. At the end of the team meet/zoom/brainstorm ask the team which idea they give zero fucks about and which they would give all their fucks about. The team will then become clear and aligned on where their focus needs to be.

One example of a past theme is Grow With The Flow. We’re here to grow in flow, how do we grow parts of ourselves? We started strengths based leadership and ignored the team’s weaknesses. How could we make those individuals amazing? The learning and development plans for that year were all centred around Grow With The Flow.

If you start using themework when you set your (SMARTER) goals for the year and ensure that its a win-win, so the company and the team are growing you can be guaranteed of a deeper engagement from the team and everyone wanting to make the goals a reality.

A way to sense check your goals, playing on SMART is DUMB goals. Are they Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial.

Themework makes the dream work. I hope there is something in there that you can steal!

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