Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors own.
As important as setting goals with your team – and it’s important – goals are not the end game in itself. The process of setting goals is more important than goals. In my experience, however, the goal-setting process is somewhat disrespectful and not surprising, rarely leading to any interesting changes or behavioral improvements.
I once had a boss who set goals that he thought were hard to reach. But when I got them easily, he backed out of the promised bonus payment. His reasons for doing so were understandable, but now he had a high-performance employee who no longer trusted him. The poorly executed planning process left him looking for a new VP.
I had another boss who set out extended goals that were so high that the whole exercise was pointless. People rolled their eyes while reviewing the documents for which he was so proud. When goals seem impossible, what’s the point of trying?
Another company I’ve worked for has left the goal setting process so thematic that it literally motivates employees. At the end of each year they immediately bribe the supervisors.
Related: Smart tips for setting your business goals and actually achieving them
The system is the goal
What is important in the goal setting process is to make arrangements to achieve the goal. The path is more important than the destination. People need one as much as one needs. Goals, therefore, allow us to simply measure progress. They do not make progress.
Proper arrangements should motivate people to work together towards the same overall goal. It should be achievable based on the best efforts of each individual. This means that anyone who is not doing their best should be called by the system instead of pitting the players against each other. If the system does not invite unproductive team members, it will be up to the other team members to pass judgment on their teammates, which never ends well.
How to create a system
Design the system based on the expectation that each person on the team will do their best. I say best work because no one gets hired to do less than their best. People should do their best. They should bear the consequences of doing their best and be rewarded for doing their best. The best of the best implies that a person took it upon himself to improve his overall ability to perform his duties. A person who seeks additional education and training, for example, will increase their performance.
Step 1: Corporate Goals
The overall sharing objective of the team should be the success of the firm. So, the first step is to set an annual goal for the company. Corporate targets consider the strength of the team and ignore external shocks. Disaster is important to ignore because it eliminates the excuse that can lead to moderate efficiency.
There are several parts to corporate goals. The first part defines financial and success for the team. Success means that the company moves forward to create an economic advantage that the company’s staff does that meets or exceeds the economic advantage of doing other things. For example, if the company does not keep pace with the rate of return of an index fund, then perhaps you should invest in the market and find something else with your days. I understand it simplifies a little more, but make sure your team is not wasting their time. The incomplete collapse of the target could trigger a restructuring of the company. Exceeding the target will cause celebration next year and cause greater expectations!
The second part of the corporate goal is a momentum goal. Momentum implies that the company is not only meeting its goals but also doing it in a sustainable way. This helps to avoid excessive reward losses like huge government contracts which can put the company in danger if lost.
A corporate goal might look something like this:
- Financial: $ 10,000,000 in revenue
- Momentum: 1,000 new subscribers
This would be a logical corporate goal for a company that sells technology that averages about $ 10,000 per customer. Once the team agrees to the annual corporate goal, it is stoned. Corporate goals do not change!
Step Two: Individual Goals
With the corporate goal in mind, each person on the team will have their own role to play in making it happen. Therefore, each person should be responsible for the goals that represent their best work. Set this quarter so you can adjust the strategy over time. A timeline of annual goals is much longer.
$ 10,000,000 of revenue is broken down into smaller parts a year and ramping up. So, Q1 is probably 1,000,000; Q2 is 1,500,000; Q3 is 2,500,000; And Q4 is $ 5,000,000. A four-person sales team, therefore, each has a Q1 target of $ 250,000 and can have 25 new customers. If the goal is missed, the team will have to move further to the next quarter.
The sales team will definitely need leads, so marketing can be a hook for a lead generation goal of 250 new leads per salesperson which is expected to close at 10 percent. If the marketing person is responsible for generating lots of leads, the IT department may need to implement a new CRM program before the end of the first quarter.
And so it goes … Each team has its own role to play in reaching corporate goals. At the end of the quarterly planning meeting, each team member should have two to four goals that add to the portion of their annual corporate goals. The team should evaluate their progress every quarter and adjust the goals accordingly.
Now I’m going to make it interesting …
Step Three: Milestones
A milestone is a checkpoint, aka goal 7, on the way to a destination To create a system that calls for unproductive team members, you will need milestones. A milestone is a step towards a goal that can be owned by a person who does not own the goal. With the goal of launching a new CRM program in the first quarter, IT managers may need a sales process from a marketing person. Thus, the CRM sales process requirements can be a milestone owned by the marketing person. Other milestones could be the CRM budget for the financial person, the purchase decision for the CEO, the finalization of the contract from the legal department, and so on. A milestone is a measure of progress toward a goal.
Now, here’s the best part: If milestones are missing, you have an initial warning that a goal is likely to be missed. If a goal is missed, the corporate goal is risky. Everyone knows who missed the milestone so missing them is a humiliating experience – as it should be! If you are someone who habitually misses milestones, then maybe you should be replaced!
Even better is that when the milestone is hit, the team has reason to celebrate, slap the High Five and send a good vibe to the owner of the milestone. There is no such thing as a good, specific reason to celebrate a birthday or not a promotion. Doing the right thing at the right time is a good reason to rejoice!
Related: How to create a workflow that allows employees to reach you …
With a system that goes beyond the goal, a young company can ensure that it is on the path to success. Each person who is part of the system has the opportunity to be part of the planning process and discuss their own successes. They can all agree on what they can deliver and when they will deliver it. This type of shopping can be difficult with the traditional top-down goal setting.
Let’s keep it simple
A system-based approach to goal setting is more complex than a lone manager sitting in his office telling his underlining what to do. Complexity does this, where simplicity is often the fatal flaw of other methods.
Goals are good, but they shouldn’t be.
Related: Wrong way to set business goals