With the New Year still fresh, we thought it a good time to talk about goal setting for 2013. As we assess the state of our business, and decide that we need to take action in order to grow our business, the first step is to establish well defined goals. Having quantifiable goals can be compared to having a target.
In less sophisticated times, if a hunter was burdened with seeking out the right flint for the arrowhead, straight and true hickory for the shaft, and just the right feathers for the vanes, and then spend time and energy to hand craft arrows, they’d want to be very careful not to waste any of them, lest they go hungry. That applies in many ways to the idea that if we’re going to invest our resources, money and labor on our “arrows”, we should be very clear on what our target is.
Goals are the targets that our teams can rally around. If the team is able to work together to determine the goals of the organization, they will be vested in them. Any new strategy, policy, process, or goal is far more achievable if the key stakeholders play a part in determining what those goals should be, and then fashion their personal goals so that the work they do each day drives results toward those overarching goals.
It is important to understand that all goals need to be in writing and remain visible to all team members throughout the year. They should be published and then provided to each team member, and be posted in conspicuous sight throughout the organization. Individual performance reviews would then start with articulating the performance goals of each team member that will drive the intended results. Team members must be partners with managers in determining their personal goals to assure buy-in, and any performance bonuses or raises should be tied to their personal goals. Finally, individual performance should be assessed against individual goals on a quarterly or bi-annual review in a one on one review. The key here is that each team member understands the importance of the role they play, are properly coached for success, and sees that their diligence will ultimately impact the organizations most important objectives.
Reviewing and measuring goals are a key part of achieving those goals. Once the year is completed, it will be a pretty straight forward process to determine whether the goals have been achieved as long as if you have been using a method to track them throughout the year. It should also be easy to determine if any performance bonuses or raises have been earned. Acknowledge individual and team successes publicly and celebrate success!
The process will enable you and your team leaders to assess the performance of each team member and rank personnel as to their overall effectiveness.
If an organization desires continual improvement, it is a good idea to consider a process of evaluating and rewarding the teams in each functional discipline so that the best personnel are retained and the poorest performers are either coached up or replaced. If this kind of evaluation is done each year, it stands to reason that, over time, the organization will build teams of high performers who are all working together for extraordinary results!
Consider these ten steps to success in setting goals and executing for success:
- Brainstorm goal setting with your team to promote buy-in.
- Identify three to five specific and measurable organizational goals.
- Have functional teams identify team goals in alignment with organizational goals. Encourage buy-in through participation.
- Align personal goals with team and organizational goals.
- Publish organizational goals, post them conspicuously in work areas, and measure results.
- Tie performance compensation to individual goals.
- Reinforce goals regularly in team meetings. Demonstrate progress graphically and on a “dashboard.”
- Conduct Individual Performance Reviews at least bi-annually. Coach individuals and teams for success!
- Reward success and hold individuals and teams accountable.
- Publicly and enthusiastically acknowledge exceptional performance and extraordinary results. Celebrate success!
Follow these steps and you’re sure to not only reach, but smash your goals for 2013!