The New Year is typically the time that we pause to reflect and review or set new goals for the year ahead. In business, goal setting and planning is a continuous cycle of reviewing, setting, actioning and tracking goals with everyone ultimately striving for success in its various forms.

As a business owner or leader, you’ll have clear goals for success, perhaps around profit, market share, growth, and importantly, around the people who will help you to achieve these. Goals related to your people may include reducing staff turnover, increasing skills and skill sharing across the team, or implementing new policies or systems to streamline HR management. Most importantly you’ll need your ‘people goals’ to centre around having your team effectively aligned to your vision.

So, how do you get your team on board?

We all want to succeed, whether in business, or in our personal life, so understanding what success means for your employees will help you to make connections between their individual goals and how these can be encouraged in meaningful and practical ways and ultimately leveraged to support your overall business objectives.

Collaborative goal setting

You’ve got a clear vision and you know what’s needed to achieve it, so it can seem straightforward to simply break down your business goals to an action plan and delegate to your team, setting the weekly, monthly or quarterly targets that are required.

Many employers overlook the benefits of having their team’s input into the process of setting targets and action plans. By sharing your big picture goals, and then being open to considering your team offering their ideas and thoughts, you’ll not only potentially gain new insights, but also have a more engaged team helping to achieve the same goals.

Setting goals with your team

Goal setting can be included as part of a performance appraisal system, included as KPIs within the role description or can be structured in other ways best suited to your business, industry and workforce.

A popular framework for setting goals is the SMART system. When identifying goals, ensure that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Aligning goals to the bigger picture

It’s important to share your bigger goals with your team, as well as work collaboratively with individuals to set goals specific to their role, ensuring it is clear to the employee how their efforts contribute to the business overall.

Monitoring progress towards goals

A big mistake many people make is to ‘set and forget’. Goals need to be regularly reviewed and having ways to measure progress is important for both individuals and managers. This may be in the form of reports providing relevant information or may be having action plans in the form of checklists completed. During the goal setting process, determining the roles the individual and manager each have in reporting on, and reviewing progress, and how often this happens, is critical.

Regular monitoring and reviewing of goals provides both the individuals and you as a business owner or manager the information needed to:

  • Manage outcomes and reassess targets, staying on track towards bigger goals
  • Work with teams to refine processes and action plans to more effectively achieve goals
  • Help the team understand how their efforts are contributing to bigger, long term objectives
  • Assess where time and effort are being spent and ensure your people are focussed on the most meaningful tasks that deliver outcomes

We work with businesses of all sizes to identify specific goals covering all aspects of the business and have seen again and again, the importance of having your team aligned to your business goals.

If you need help implementing meaningful goal setting in your business, get in touch with our team today.