In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of setting corporate goals to help achieve long-term strategic initiatives. But, setting goals and achieving them are two different things. Here, we’ll provide some basic tips and strategies for setting and achieving corporate goals.
Set Challenging but Realistic Goals
Goals that are easily achievable by maintaining the status quo are essentially worthless. At the same time, a goal that sets the bar well beyond what is realistically achievable will only serve to demoralize and discourage those tasked with pursuing it.
When setting a goal, take past performance and current circumstances into consideration. For example, if sales grew by 8% last year, the goal of a 50% increase doesn’t seem realistic unless some other factor has changed. It’s also helpful to get input from key stakeholders.
Consider Tying Incentives to Goal Achievement
Achieving goals benefits the entire company, but achievement depends on the impact of individual contributions. Consider tying incentives, such as annual bonuses, to the achievement of goals.
Of course, you must keep in mind that it’s critical for specific employees to actually have the ability to contribute to the achievement of the goals they are being rewarded for.
It’s a mistake to wait until the end of the year to see how you did on your annual goals. Goals should be monitored throughout the year, on a regular basis, so adjustments can be made as necessary to current processes and activities.
“Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working toward meeting the company-wide goals,” says Brian David Crane in a piece for Forbes. “In addition to the weekly meetings, we also send out a monthly user activity report to all team members. The monthly report lets everyone see how their work and achieving our goals is contributing to the company’s success.”
Similarly, in the same piece, Mark Krassner recommends breaking up an annual goal into smaller 90-day sub-goals.
Have a Champion
A goal, like any other initiative, has a much greater chance of success if it has a sponsor or champion. This person doesn’t necessarily have to do all—or even any—of the specific work of the goal but is tasked with owning it and ensuring it gets accomplished by keeping tabs on the people responsible for the actual work behind it. The champion is typically someone at a management level.
Companywide goals are great for focusing the attention of the entire organization on certain strategic objectives. But simply setting a goal doesn’t mean it will be achieved. The tips described above will help turn your corporate aspirations into reality.