In this article, we will look at a proven model which will help any group or organisation to achieve its goals. If you own a business or manage a team, then you will be no stranger to team goals and objectives. Whatever business you are in, success is the result of meeting or exceeding your targets. The more complex the business model, the more diverse the goals become. Without a defined plan, it is easy to start losing traction.
Most people have found themselves worrying about goals and objectives at some point in their working life. If you are wondering how to achieve business goals and exceed targets, then this guide will help to define your strategy in eight easy steps.
1. Set clear long term goals
What do we mean by long term goals?
Long term goals are generally measured in terms of years rather than weeks or months. Your business model is likely based around three-year objectives, so these are an excellent place to start.
Examples of long term goals could include:
- Increasing turnover by a certain amount by year 3.
- Relocating to bigger premises by year 3
- Achieving 5 branches by year 3.
Any goal, be it long term or otherwise needs to be both clearly defined, and achievable. When we look at the examples above, it is clear what the objective is, and none seem to be impossible. If your goals and objectives are not clear, or if they are unrealistic, staff will become demotivated and disengaged.
2. Build your long term goals by department.
In business, what is good for the goose is rarely good for the gander. Increasing turnover by "X" amount by year ten is an ideal long term goal for your sales team; however, the same objective is of little relevance to your facilities manager. It is essential to ensure that long term goals and objectives are only set for the staff that can make a difference.
Of course, you must encourage interdepartmental discussion wherever possible. If your long term goal is to increase gross profit, then your sales team, buyers, accounts, facilities and warehouse staff may all hold relevant information
When more than one department is involved, then precise project management is a must. Have a project leader who manages input from each department and cohesively builds the strategy.
3. Break each long term goal up into smaller stepping stones
When climbing a mountain, if you are focussed purely on the summit, the mountain will defeat you. Successful climbers concentrate their energy and attention on to what they are doing right now, and the next immediate challenge. Very often a mountain climber is fixed on the point they need to reach next, not the summit.
Achieving business goals and objectives is an endurance challenge. A long term goal must be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals to prevent teams from becoming overwhelmed.
These smaller goals are:
A midterm objective is likely to be any goal or project that needs to be achieved within one to three years. This is flexible, of course, and you must take each project on its own merit. If your long term goal is to move to larger premises by year three, then you may have mid-term goals including;
- Increasing turnover to "x" amount by year one
- Securing an architect and choosing a site by year two
- Having your full sales team in place by year 3
Short term objectives
A short term objective is any target or goal that can be achieved in the next financial year. If your long term goal is to relocate by year three, and your mid-term goal is to increase turnover to "x" amount by year three, then you have a clear strategy for short term goals over the next 1-2 years.
- Each year for the next three years, you need to build your turnover by increasing amounts, taking into account the number of salespeople and your market share.
- Existing sales and marketing staff need to be incentivised to help support the cost of recruiting more salespeople year on year.
- Profit margins need to be refined and maintained to help with the growth plans. Each year this can be set as a percentage increase of profit.
- Profit increase can be subdivided into profit at the point of sale, or bottom end profit through reduction of costs and increased efficiency.
By approaching goals in this way, it becomes clear who needs to be targeted for each goal or objective. By making a series of smaller goals, the larger goals can be achieved. On the converse, without the long term goals, there is little direction with short term goals.
4. Incentivise your staff and celebrate the victories
Humans love to be praised. We also like to feel that we are part of something. It is programmed into our genetic makeup. We are tribal creatures. When you incentivise your staff to achieve the short term goals every one wins.
Make sure your progress is visible. Share updates at meetings, in celebratory articles, newsletters, and on social media. You can even use visual charts and progress tools in shared spaces. Most important of all, have regular one to one sessions to keep individuals engaged and motivated. Failing to keep staff updated will result in project slip and disengagement.
5. Share best practice
Use the knowledge you have gleaned to streamline your goals as you go. Learn from your mistakes and re-calibrate goals if necessary. As your team grows, goals and objectives may shift. Ensure that your valued long term staff can share what they know with new staff members. Buddy programmes and best practice resources are a great way to help new staff members quickly integrate into your company culture.
Strategy X is an easy to use platform which helps you to build motivated and profitable teams.