Now that we are in mid-year, this is a good time to review the goals you and your company set at the beginning of the year. Has your company reached some goals but abandoned others? Have you gotten off track? Has your company made any progress on long-term goals? Now that the glow of the new year is long gone, it is time to assess if your company’s 2017 goals were feasible or if you were caught up in the promise of sweeping change that January 1 often brings.
Sit down with your management or goal-setting team and review both your business plan and the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Which goals have you met? Which goals are on their way to being met? Which goals have you yet to address? Are you on track to meet your marketing, sales, partnership or product-creation goals?
Step 1: Review goals
Objectively assess if your actual work tasks and goals are in alignment. Did employees contribute the appropriate amount of effort to reach the goals? Was the work targeted enough to reach the goals? Some goals, by their very nature, take longer to achieve so it is important to review your progress from time to time to make sure that you are actually moving forward and not just going around in circles. Set mini objectives at various intervals to keep you on the path to your larger goals.
Step 2: Measure goal progress
Goals need to be measurable and quantitative so that you can monitor their progress. If you established measurement criteria for your company’s goals (e.g., ranking system, actual measure such as weight, etc.) at the start of the goal-setting process, you now have a clear comparison to measure where you are in your progress toward your goal. Does your current measurement indicate that you are on track or ahead/behind schedule? If you are not on track or are behind schedule, identify problem areas and create a solution to fix them.
Step 3: Set up a method to effectively track organizational goals
If you are finding that your company is off-track from your goal progress, create a plan to regularly track and review where you are at so you can fix issues as they arise. There are several ways you can approach this:
- Set a regularly scheduled meeting to review goals. This can be during a staff meeting or a weekly check-in.
- Remind yourself of goals by reviewing them at a specific time each day, either right when you get into work, right after lunch or at the end of the day. Make it part of your daily routine. Write all your goals in a notebook, pin them to a bulletin board in your office or store them on your computer desktop.
- Break each company goal into actionable steps. Many people get overwhelmed by all the things they need to do to accomplish a goal. Overcome this by breaking a big goal into small steps.
- Find a measurable aspect of your goal and assign that measurable aspect a number. As long as you know this number, you will always know your progress.
- Track each goal by the amount of time spent on it. You may identify areas where you consistently stall or spend more time than you initially allotted. Tracking this will help you better set goals in the future.
- No matter what type of goals you set, track their progress. This will let you know if your efforts move you closer to your goal. Then adjust plans until you have found the right way to do things that will eventually achieve your goal.
Step 4: Review your action plan
Are you achieving the deadlines on your action items? If not, why? Deadlines exist for a reason. Were your deadlines unreasonable or did processes, budget or staff resources not adequately support the deadlines?
Step 5: Review resources
Is your level of resourcing (money, time, information, support) adequate? Is a lack of resources holding you back from achieving your goal?
Step 6: Praise progress
Reward yourself for achieving mini goals and milestones to keep you motivated. Review the goals with your team, communicate progress toward achieving those goals and praise employees for their achievements toward goals.
Step 7: Examine failures
Review with your team the areas where progress has not been met. By examining failures, you can learn and ensure you do not repeat the same mistakes the rest of the year. Of course, be careful not to damage morale in this process. Failures are a fact of life. Encourage your team to learn from mistakes and improve.
This is also the time to determine if you are making the best use of the skills and talents on your team. Changing the teams assigned to projects can add new perspective, remove roadblocks and allow your team members to step into roles where they can succeed.
Step 8: Update goals
Determine if the goals you set for the organization are still attainable. Did you set the goals too high or are you lacking key pieces needed to reach the goal? The next several months should be enough time to identify if you have made progress on goals or if you need to modify or abandon goals so you can achieve other milestones. Goals that may have made sense at the beginning of the year may not be as important or even relevant now. After you have assessed your progress, update goals that have gotten off track or add goals to replace those that have been completed.
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