If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein
Earlier this year I focused on symptoms of a sick sales floor. Dealers around the country worked with us to self-diagnose their processes and honestly look at their management/sales staff dynamic in a different way than they were used to.
Looking back at those sessions how do we now continue to evaluate ourselves as we approach the half-way point in the year?
Take a Step Back
In one way or another we all review our own efforts however, it’s usually granular. We take too tight a focus on specific aspects of our efforts instead of ensuring that a pre-determined set of goals (usually set at the beginning of the year) across all departments is reviewed.
Your peers can tell you stories of their own organizations, how they disconnected from their goals early in the year, and they found themselves wondering where things got off track so quickly. It’s not hard to do. People get busy, departments disappear into silos, and markets change and impact how you need to operate.
These factors are common and touch every business. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that, at the very least, your organization does a thorough mid-year review of its goals.
Your organization is approaching the mid-year mark but hasn’t had (or made) time to assess progress. To keep this as simple as possible let’s break it out into 8 steps to tee up a productive review and help your leadership team be as successful as possible.
1. Review Company-Wide Goals – At this point in the year it’s important to honestly assess what project tasks are lining up to the goals identified by a department or the organization as whole. Are your teams contributing the necessary amount of effort and input to attain the goals? Has the goal been defined thoroughly enough to ensure that all parties involved can have success?
2. Measurement & Tracking– First things first, what criteria of measurement did you put into place when you originally set your goals for the organization? If this is in place you “should” be able to measure early returns the progress of each goal being realized. Based on your measurements can you see if a goal is not on track? If not, try this…
- Set a schedule to review goals on a regular basis. Early in the week is naturally a great spot to get everyone together. Keep the meeting short and concise. Perhaps there is software you are using that can be leveraged more by the team to input weekly and daily progress towards company goals?
- Encourage all staff to review goals (large and small) daily. Logging their own progress inside software (see above point), journaling, or publically posting insights are great ways to stay on course.
- If you see that teams are struggling with a certain goal, try to break it down into smaller tasks that can quickly get some quick wins back for them. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the big picture. Work together to focus on the “in the moment” executables and block out the rest.
3. Schedule EVERYTHING – It’s critical to establish goals company-wide. But it’s equally important to build work-back schedules that line up against everything posted by your teams. It will help you identify issues and easily see if goals aren’t being met. Make sure, as a group, you build your timings and give all parties ownership of achieving the goal in a timeframe that works for the organization.
4. Research & Resources – In your review, ask your teams if the amount of research time (at the onset of working towards a certain goal) was adequate. Would they need more or less next time if the ask was similar? Also make sure that all aspects of resourcing are being audited. Are any aspects of briefing, time, money or staff holding anyone back from achieving your goal?
5. Recognize the Wins – Continue to motivate your team’s pursuit of their goals by identifying the areas where they are making progress or having success. Share these with other departments as there may be insights that they can apply to a goal they are working on.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure– It’s going to happen. The long-term benefits of addressing our failings in an honest manner helps teams to not repeat the same mistakes. Encourage open, constructive dialogue amongst the team when addressing spots where they’ve fallen and help each other improve. Look at areas where you bring in can someone internally to a project. Doing this can add a fresh perspective or help you to see a positive way to remove hurdles for the rest of the team.
7. Update Where Necessary – After an honest, thorough review, update any goals where the summit may have been too high or key pieces in attaining it were lacking. In another 6 months rerun a broad review and adjust again as needed. Progress over perfection.
Just like Mr. Einstein said, tie things to goals, your organizational happiness depends on it.
Here’s to your continued success.