When setting goals for your team, be clear about what you want to achieve, advises Feargal McCormack.
At the start of the new year, many business owners set goals for their business, their teams and themselves. When properly implemented, this process improves focus and helps everyone achieve better results. But goal setting will only add value to your business if goals are aligned with your overall business strategy. So before you set goals for your team, it’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve. Take the time to assess where you are now, where you want to get to and what you need to do to get there. Only when you have clarity about this, can you communicate what needs to be done and empower your team to get on with it.
Leadership and communication are very important in this process. You must be able to clearly articulate expectations and have the listening skills to take on board feedback from team members so that valid objections can be heard and acted upon. Unless you can secure your team’s buy-in, your goal-setting exercise is unlikely to achieve meaningful results.
Many organisations today set SMART goals. These goals are:
SMART goals are more likely to achieve success than general goals which are often vague. For example, in a restaurant business, an individual goal that says, ‘I will help to increase sales by ten percent in the next three months by offering the dessert menu to every table that I serve’ is likely to achieve better results than a vague goal which says, ‘I will help to increase customer profitability’.
Remember to put in place a system to keep track of the goals that are set so that you can measure results by monitoring key performance indicators and ensuring that your managers hold regular meetings with their direct reports. Building transparency and accountability into your goal setting and performance management in this way will help improve overall business performance. Given the challenges that lie ahead, this will be more important than ever in the coming year.
If you found this article useful and would like more information and/or advice, please contact a member of our business advisory team.
Feargal McCormack l Managing Director