How to Use Cascading Goals to Improve Productivity

Cascading Goals: Why and How to Use Them to Improve Productivity

Companies and start-ups are increasing with the current growth and mammoth expansion rates of all industries and organizations. There has been colossal business and economic development. The numbers of employees are also increasing. 

And with everyone doing their 100% and more, it is imperative to ensure that each minute spent working on something contributes to achieving the company’s objectives. Plus, are the right people rewarded for their efforts? 

The best way for an organization is by cascading goals and objectives across all the levels in the organization. That way, you can make every employee aware and ensure their contribution to each goal.

So, keeping the first things first,

Is Cascading Goals in Performance Management Possible Today?

Cascading goals in performance management systems have been around in one or the other form for a long time. 

One of the most significant performance drivers is “A sense of purpose.” Also, cascading strategic goals to every last person in the organization spreads the company’s purpose and objective across employees. 

What are Cascading Goals?

Indeed, if you are learning about the term for the first time, these cascading goals are the objectives translated from one level of organization to the next. Usually, cascading goals happen from top management/organization goals to department and functional purposes, and then it layers down to individual goals.

Indeed, It is Synonymous with Cascading Objectives!

Also, through proper alignment of individual and team goals to the company’s objectives, each contribution made by an employee is visible. Thus, it contributes to achieving the company’s objectives, and employees can realize their importance when they see their efforts find utilization. 

Cascading of Organizational Goals and Objectives

Indeed, when employees see how their objectives contribute to the organization’s growth, they feel motivated. It also keeps employees engaged. Here is how cascading of organizational goals and objectives empowers the employees.

The best companies give their employees just one sheet page, listing organizational priorities at the enterprise level. It can also be a functional unit or a business level. This single sheet acts as a reference for the employees and their managers to use as employee goals.

If it is preemptively aligned — from employee up-, higher-level, and lower-level goals — cascading organizational goals and objectives will save managers time conducting the traditional top-down goal cascades and you can use one-pager templates to build them which will help you save time as well.

Examples of Cascading Business Goals

Remember that just setting the goals and forgetting them will not work! For instance, let us understand the scenario with a cascading goal example.

If performance management is taken seriously in an organization and is well-led by the senior members, this will undoubtedly tend to cascade actively through the organization. Whereas in companies where all the processes are HR-driven, the senior management is often not committed to performance management, exhibiting a bad sign for cascading business goals.

To sum it up, we have listed,

The Importance of Cascading Goals

Seeing its most simple facet: cascading goals is when all teams and individuals strive to accomplish a similar strategy. In the process, they add an essence of ownership and purpose for all the members. But, the best fact is the individuals work, regardless of where they fall in the company’s hierarchy.

  • It increases employee engagement.

By creating an aligned system by cascading goals, employees are engaged and connected to a collective goal, which considers their individual growth also. The cascading goals and objectives are best when discussed regularly in team meetings.

  • Transparency

Employees should understand each level in the organization where they are working. And, also how does it impact their job. Cascading goals are an excellent method to increase awareness and effectively establish links between executives, employee job functions, and managers.

How to Set Cascading Goals?

  • Drive better organizational performance by setting cascading goals.
  • Set transparent organizational goals.
  • Align and measure goals.
  • Repeat the processes with individuals and teams.
  • Manage the goals (already set) effectively.
  • Check-in regularly and revisit goals.
  • Finally, ensure you participate in performance development planning.
  • Next, it is time to set bigger goals!

Two Sides of the Same Story: Pros and Cons of Cascading goals

Cascading goals break down your organizational vision into actionable chunks. But, it may also fall prey to the bureaucratic workflow. 

Here are the pros and cons for you to follow:


  • Effectively aligns the company’s objectives with employees’ goals
  • Increases accountability and transparency
  • Drastically reduces workflow redundancies and resolves unclear responsibilities


  • May blanket diverse departments
  • Sometimes becomes a time-intensive red-tape exercise, with muddled goals
  • Become outdated and rigid after some time if not tracked regularly

So, the best way to avoid the cons in your company’s cascading goals and objectives structure is to ask your people if they are getting the right resources.

Move forward, grow together!

Springworks Team

Building products and tools to simplify the life of an org's HR function in terms of recruiting, onboarding & retention!

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