As Human Resources (HR) professionals, one of the biggest challenges we face is getting our workforce better organized and aligned. Many fall into a trap of what we call “operational haze” by working hard at it every day and just making money. Sometimes the profits mask numerous operational issues that if corrected would yield significantly greater returns for the company.
One of the most missed opportunities is failing to develop and use strong, realistic, measurable, and attainable goals or objectives. Goals are a critical component in an organization’s key driver set that creates the strategic azimuth for the entire team to work toward.
In simplistic terms, the three components of the key drivers are mission, vision, and goals or objectives: The mission is what you get up every day to accomplish. The vision is what you eventually want to become. The goals are the specific items that you HAVE TO DO to accomplish your mission and become what your vision is.
Here are 5 reasons strong goals can make a difference for you:
- Help support and reinforce the strategic direction of the organization. The leaders of the organization MUST get the three components of the key driver set right for organizations to be all that they can be. Goals are what provide the glue that holds strategic plans together and make them successful.
- Help achieve your mission. The mission should be succinct and well versed to give everyone in the organization a reason to come to work each day. The goals that are established to achieve the mission should be broken down from the top of the organization all the way down to individual level. This enables employees to have some ownership and more interest in their contribution.
- Help achieve the vision. Many visions fall short of meeting the mark either because they do not reach out into the future, lack clarity, and/or is not communicated to the masses. Workers want to be part of an organization’s future. They just want to know what that vision is and how they fit into the future of the business.
- Establish a baseline for metrics. Many organizations fail to understand how metrics should be built and the importance of making them personal for each and every individual employee. Show me someone without goals and measurements and I will show you someone that has little or no direction or purpose.
A paycheck is not a realistic goal for an individual, but many times it is their only goal for working. Goals are a means for establishing metrics for a work group as well as the individuals in that work group. With the right mission, vision, and goals measurements become better, more realistic, and more meaningful.
- Improved PEP in your organization. PEP is productivity, efficiency, and profits. With poor or lacking goals, we see organizations suffer higher turnover in their work force, lower productivity, and consequently lower profits. Organizations that focus more on stronger goals will experience workers that have more of a purpose for coming to work, producing, being efficient at what they do, and bring more in profits for the cause.The best goals are realistic, achievable, measurable and capable of being owned by someone. Goals that are far-fetched (improbable) or soft balls (easy) don’t get your people serious about having goals or the attendant metrics. Someone needs to be the champion for each of the organization’s goals. Ownership makes it real and involves teammates working as a team to meet their goals. Everyone in the organization should be able to see what part they play in the goals of the organization. An example of a good goal would be: “Increase sales for product line XX by 25% in all geographic areas for FY 17 by using our new technologies acquired from YY organization. Bob M. will be the champion for the organization who will identify all contributors to achieving this goal.”
Whether you have a small team of five to 15 employees or a billion dollar business, goals are the bridge that links each of the individuals to the strategic direction of the organization. Having an organization that is linked, synced, and integrated from individual to the key drivers is monumental and will give you an edge over your competitors.
Major General Michael J. Diamond, US Army (retired) served a combined 35 years on active duty and in the Reserves. He brings this wealth of experience in military, manufacturing, retail, consulting, IT, and many other sectors to help improve performance in organizations. His new book, The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People, co-authored by his son, Capt. Christopher R. Harding, presents the Diamond Process Model referenced above. The book is available on DiamondStrategyGroup.com, Amazon, and other fine booksellers. For more information, visit DiamondStrategyGroup.com.