Setting company goals is an essential step to starting and running a successful business. Without outlining your business goals, you may find that you are floundering in your business with no direction, and your company and team may suffer for it.
Just like anything in life, having a target based on intelligent, actionable goals can help you fail fast and learn faster while keeping your eyes on what matters. Ultimately, being smart with company objectives and business goals can keep your eye on the prize and help you get where you want to be while helping you create an easy, straightforward plan for getting there.
We know that it can be tough to know what the best goals and objectives to set are, but we’re here to help you get there. Here are nine impactful goal-setting steps that will help you bring your company and your team to success!
- Break down your and your company’s goals
Setting goals doesn’t need to be an arduous task, but we get it. It can be tough to get going. To make an effective plan for setting, the first step is to understand overarching company goals and vision. Your vision and overall company mission will help keep your team guided towards the right path, whether the smaller or mid-range goals pan out or not.
From there, break it down further. Business goals should be long-term and require quite a bit of strategy, work, time, and effort. By breaking down your goals into manageable action steps, it is easier to focus on what you need to do in the now or over a shorter time (maybe 2-3 quarters ahead) to avoid getting stuck in the weeds, even getting overwhelmed by the process.
Examples of business goals can include:
- Increase efficiency.
- Provide better customer service.
- Increase profit margin.
- Capture a more significant market share.
- Improve employee training.
- And more.
Our tip? Break down each business goal by creating an action plan made up of individual, more bite-sized tasks that each singularly includes one clearly defined action to take.
All of these should feed into the larger, overarching goal. When you break it down in this way, with smaller steps to get to the bigger picture, making progress and having small wins can be easier. Great news: this system can also help you become a better decision-maker.
This approach lends itself further to department and team settings.
- Stronger together
Having trouble keeping to company plans and goals? Avoid failure later on by building out a robust support system for your company. Doing this will help you keep on track and reach your goals. Here’s how:
- Having the power of a team behind you had strong psychological motivations.
- You can learn and grow from having a diverse and experienced team supporting your overall business endeavours (to make sure this works, you have to consider things through a lens of diversity and inclusion when choosing your team and support system).
- When you have a diverse group of people in your support system, you will be equipped with a different perspective and way of approaching things.
- You have a safety net for when things go wrong, or you go off track.
- There is a lot to be said about having a cheer team to help you face any challenges you may come across.
- Accountability matters. Your team can be that guiding force for you as you head in the direction of your goals.
- A robust support system can help you get up quicker and shift course faster when things fail.
- Once you get to the finish line, your team can help you celebrate your successes.
A support system doesn’t only have to consist of team members. As a business owner or a leader, you can find support anywhere in your life. A strong network can comprise friends, family, mentors, colleagues, or anyone that is rooting for you and your success.
- Tap into your employees and colleagues
Leaders, if you have already outlined your overall mission, values and built goals around them, from here, go to your employees and colleagues. To grow your team effectively and learn how to make a stronger workplace where everyone succeeds, we suggest you ask your people what they want to do and achieve. This can be built into your overall goals and help create a dynamic and collaborative workplace. It can also aid in creating a space where your employees have regular, effective feedback and performance reviews.
To get started:
- Take some time to sit down with your team and get a sense of their professional goals.
- Understand how these can fit into your overall company goals.
- Find ways to provide structure and help to your employees for success.
- Work to uplift, amplify and sponsor the voices of members who are traditionally underrepresented.
Putting in this time for your employees will help with creating a culture where your employees can thrive. It can help with attracting, engaging and retaining your best talent.
- Accountability matters!
Setting objectives and goals does not simply end with you proclaiming your goals. This is where accountability comes into play. As a leader, you can possess the greatest ideas and plans in the world and be overflowing with all that exciting talent and ambition, but until you go forth and put those plans into place, you will never know what you or your team can do. Success is dependent on consistency and accountability.
That’s why it’s essential for you as a leader to find ways to hold yourself and your team accountable. Accountability supports your endeavours and \keeps you trending towards success. It can accelerate your company’s performance by helping everyone make consistent, steady progress.
By working with your employees to take ownership of their own tasks/goals, you can help them achieve their tasks, ultimately helping you achieve yours. Put systems and checks in place to review and manage goals and employee performance. Doing so can help take the burden off the manager and employee and make the experience more collaborative.
Need more help with employee performance reviews? Check out our blog on The Dos and Don'ts of Employee Reviews.
- Make objectives and goals public.
Speaking of accountability, building out in the open can help keep people on track! Provide your team, and yourself, with increased visibility into tasks and goals. This could be done through building dashboards where anyone can review tasks, bringing up goals and progress made during all-hands meetings or even sending out weekly updates via internal communications (i.e. newsletters or team updates).
Many tech companies opt for doing daily stand-ups, which can help each see their growing contributions.
- Make goals quantifiable
As you build your objectives and goals, keep them as concrete and straightforward as possible. If the goals you set for your team and company are vague and insubstantial, it is both challenging for them to meet these goals and difficult for you to track their success.
- Tie it back to the bigger picture
We believe that the way to success is to break down bigger goals into bite-sized and manageable chunks. This will help lessen overwhelming feelings but also help you tackle tasks day-to-day. But simultaneously, you should be considering how these all fuel larger goals.
Big picture thinking helps teams and individuals stay both motivated and focused. As a manager, find ways to help your team see how their work, goals and objectives help underpin the company’s overall growth and bottom line. This will help them understand their role in the company’s progression and hopefully help them get out of the weeds and support them as they bring their innovation and ideas to the process.
- Remember: nothing is perfect
Sometimes, as leaders, our perfectionism gets the better of us. As we build and set objectives, we may have to push past any (totally) normal feelings of perfection and fear of failure. These things can subtly hold our team and us back from success. Our tip? Keep the process going instead of getting stuck in a space where you’re trying to get things right all the time. Mistakes happen, but the goal is to keep moving versus trying to find perfection.
Further, mistakes and failure are good! They offer a powerful learning experience, providing opportunities for more growth and change as you find ways to overcome hurdles.
- Keep retooling and adjusting.
A huge, important part of successful goal and objective making is the continual process of reevaluation. Creating a scenario for you to re-evaluate and understand how your company can grow. Be open to changing course. To move forward, you may need to move backwards or revisit things. That’s okay!
One way to make sure you are continually course-correcting is by tracking your progress diligently. You can do this by conducting weekly, monthly or quarterly goal and objective check-ins. As we mentioned above, building in the open can help increase visibility and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Through this method, be aware of keeping a steady balance and not to micromanage your team.
Offer a space where people feel free to challenge current methods and can bring their unique perspectives to the table to meet your goals. Creating milestones can also be a powerful way to tell if you're on track for reaching your goal.
Above all, stay flexible. Very few things happen exactly as we plan, both in business and life. It's essential to be flexible and adjust to any changes and modify your plan as necessary to find success.
While it's vital to have a clearly defined plan for accomplishing your goals, you should avoid rigidity and narrow-minded thinking. The more agile you are, and the quicker you can change directions when you need to, the easier it will be for you to keep progress steady in the face of the unexpected.
Regular performance reviews are crucial to helping your employees, and your company grow, and essential to fostering a successful company culture. Simplify the process with Knit People's automated performance management software. Administer year-round reviews, set objectives, and track employee performance — all in one place. Interested in learning more? Try Knit free for 30 days.