Do you ever feel that your employees aren’t very productive? That your team comes to work each day but doesn’t accomplish a whole lot? That you’re barely making progress towards your goals as an organization?
I get it! That’s a common issue that most entrepreneurs struggle with. And there are a number of different reasons why that could be the case.
But one of the most common problems actually has little to do with your employees – it’s your problem, not theirs. And that problem is the failure to set the right type of goals for your team. It’s your job, as the leader of your organization, to set goals that keep your team motivated and accountable. Here are a few key principles to consider.
Set goals that are specific. Entrepreneurs like to think big-picture – I understand! But it’s important that you translate your big-picture vision into specific steps for your team to follow. You can’t just ask them to increase sales, break into a new market, or make production more efficient. Challenge your sales team to increase their conversion rate by 10% next month. Ask your operations team to audit a specific process and provide detailed recommendations. Whatever the goal, make it specific so that your team has clarity and understands what you want from them.
Set goals that have a deadline. If you don’t set a specific deadline, your team will assume that they can get to the project whenever they feel like it – and that’s a recipe for disaster. When you assign a task, give it a deadline, and if the project is longer than a weekly, you should have weekly check-ins to discuss progress and help keep the project on track.
Set goals that are realistic. If you give your team a goal that seems impossible, they’re going to give up on it quickly. Set realistic goals and make sure that your team has the resources they need to achieve them.
Set goals that are measurable. Finally, define what success looks like on any given project. Create goals that can be measured objectively, not subjectively. Measure leads generated or cost-of-acquisition from your marketing team. Or production time from your operations team. Or set financial goals at a departmental or organizational level. The bottom line is that you should have clear, objective data which you can use to measure performance.
Setting the right goals is half of the battle as a leader! These tips will help you get better performance out of your team and help you make progress towards your overall goals and priorities.