Whether you want to achieve financial growth, improve staff retention or add new service and product offerings, now is the time to make sure your business New Year’s resolutions are on track, says Marcela Slepica, Clinical Director of AccessEAP.
Sadly, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions, so how can management and HR professionals inspire entire teams to find year-long success?
The most important aspect of keeping business goal setting resolutions is by turning them into SMART goals.
Tip #1: Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
“Organisational goals are like personal goals. They provide structure to help us move in the direction we want to take. Within organisations, it can be easy to come up with ‘big picture’ ideas or strategic direction. However, setting goals can be more challenging.
“The S.M.A.R.T. model is a great way of keeping your business goal setting on track and giving them the best possible chance of success,” said Ms Slepica.
- Specific: Goals need to be as specific, e.g. rather than ‘we want more business or to increase our revenue’, a specific goal may be ‘we want to grow revenue by 10 % this year’, or ‘we want three new customers per month.’
- Measurable: Keep track of numbers, e.g. numbers of cold calls, number of proposals, number of enquiries. Have a visual of numbers on a board so everyone can see it and see how it’s growing.
- Achievable: Is your business goal setting realistic? For example, is it realistic to achieve three new customers? What is involved in achieving the goal? Do you have the resources?
- Relevant: Your business goal setting needs to tie into the direction of your organisation, e.g. is it relevant to source new customers if the market is saturated? An alternative could be growing existing customers.
- Timely: Ensure that you set timeframes around your goals, e.g. do you want to have reached this goal by the start of the new financial year? Continually discuss the time frames and keep focus by celebrating milestones.
Tip #2: Flexibility and Review
It’s also important to include some flexibility around setting business goals and review them on a regular basis, explained Ms Slepica. “Unforeseeable changes may occur throughout the year which impacts on the relevance of your goals, or your ability to achieve them. Organisations are changing at a fast pace to keep up with influences such as new technology, so you can’t afford to take a ‘set and forget’ approach to goals.” Ms Slepica suggests reviewing the organisation’s goals on a regular basis and adjusting them if needed.
Tip #3: Clarity and Accountability
Having clarity around who is accountable or responsible for implementing different aspects of your organisational goal setting is another important aspect of staying on track, said Ms Slepica. “For the goal to progress from an idea to reality, you need key people taking charge and making sure that it happens. Part of your goal setting should be outlining who does what, and when, right from the outset.”
Tip #4: Find the Values in Goals
For goals to be effective, it’s important to help your team find meaning and purpose in their day-to-day work, said Ms Slepica. “Rather than concentrate on the end goal. A values-based approach helps provide the rationale as to “why” you are aiming towards the goal in the first place. The idea is that achieving the goal is a part of something bigger and is not in itself a means to an end.”
One way in which organisations effectively motivate their employees to achieve goals through values is to have a vision or mission statement that is developed in collaboration with the employees. Ms Slepica states, “If employees believe in what they are doing, they are going to be more motivated to achieve goals”. For example, many organisations now donate some of their profits to charity, as a values-based incentive for motivating staff.
Most organisations also now incorporate values in their day-to-day practice and code of conduct. Therefore, the way in which employees behave to achieve their goals becomes just as important as the end goal. Ms Slepica notes that “This cohesiveness between goal and values further reinforces for employees that they are doing the right thing, and for many people, this feeling is highly motivating.”