Design

4 min read

User Goals Vs. Business Goals

Aligning employee goals and business goals for success.

Mariya Besedina

February 3, 2019 (last updated: May 14, 2019)

When it comes to what drives your users to use a web platform (often company employees) and what drives your business, those goals often look different. Yet the business benefits when users reach their goals, and the user benefits from business goals that help them realize success. So what might these goals look like and how can they align?

User Goals

Your users are just like you—humans with individual goals and needs. Users generally want to do their job faster and better, be more productive, and streamline their work. These are people who also have career goals and personal goals, and sometimes they just want to get home a little earlier to spend time with their family.

In a work environment, different user groups can also have different work-specific goals. A sales team will likely have goals pertaining to units sold or value per sale, for example. An IT team may have goals about turnaround time, while a customer service team may have goals about efficiency and satisfaction. Each user within those teams will primarily be focused on their own individual performance and the resources required to achieve their goals.

Business Goals

The business’ goals, on the other hand, are far more high-level that the typical user’s goals. While the user is focused on individual output and getting home at the end of the day, the business is focused on overall metrics and performance of the company. Business goals may focus on a social mission, the bottom line, employee work output, customer retention, and more.

Starbucks’ stated business goals are ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, and community involvement. Apple’s business goals are to leverage the ability to design and develop, enhance and expand, and be responsible to the environment. Business goals are more strategic and overarching.

Bringing User and Business Goals Together

The business benefits when users achieve their goals. Users are happier, more engaged, and more productive—which equals to employees more willing to help the business succeed. So how do we align user and business goals so that everyone is moving in the same direction?

For starters, make sure that the things you reward your employees for help in the pursuit of your company’s goals, match with the pursuit of theirs. If one of your business goals is collaboration but your compensation structure is set up on commissions (encouraging employees to compete rather than work together), for example, you may be holding your business back from true success. User reward should be directly tied to business goal advancement.

Next, in consideration of the primarily digital working environment, how does your software’s UX design helps achieve your user’s goals? In our last post, we talked about designing an effective user experience for platforms. Since user goal achievement helps advance business goals, it makes sense that you want systems to make those goals easier to obtain. A sales team that can seamlessly enter and manage their leads in the system will have more capacity to obtain additional leads. A customer service team that can quickly access customer accounts and provide resolution will be able to attend to the next customer much faster. Identify critical processes that your software may be making harder, and fix those gaps early.

By structuring your hierarchy, reward, and compensation structures to inspire individual user goals that align with overarching business goals, and then creating UX design that makes those goals easier to achieve, you’ll be ahead of the game from the start.

Ruthless Evaluation

Businesses fall short when they don’t aggressively and ruthlessly evaluate their structures. It can be easy to approach strategy from a place of bias and history—but what worked in the past isn’t necessarily going to set you up for success in this rapidly changing digital age. It’s important to take a step back and objectively assess what is working and what isn’t, and then dig into the root cause. If you’d like a strategy checkup, don’t hesitate to reach out to Motiv Studio for help! We’ll help you plan a seamless digital experience to help both the business and the user achieve their goals.