CAREER TIPS - How To Help Your Team Set Goals—And Crush Them
In business and in life, good things start with goals. Setting difficult but achievable ones helps teams unlock their true potential. Without them, development and progress are haphazard, if they occur at all.
Goal setting is one of the most difficult parts of management. Here’s what I’ve learned about setting goals effectively for my team:1. Start Small
While you want your team to accomplish great things, the best way to set goals is to start small. Biting off more than you can chew is discouraging.
If your team’s ultimate goal is to double revenue by the end of the year, break that goal down into smaller ones. If signing four new clients would boost your revenue by 10%, make that a monthly goal. Do that month-over-month, and you’ll have 120% more revenue by the year’s end—a healthy 20% beyond your annual goal.
Writing down your goals helps you commit them to memory. Post them in a visible location to keep them top of mind.
Don’t be picky about how or where your team does this. Maybe someone prefers to line their desktop monitor with Post-it notes. Perhaps others want to write down their goals on a whiteboard. Make sure they have the tools they need to work how and when they want.
A goal won’t do much for you if you don’t have a way to measure your progress. Saying that your goal is to have a successful month may be true, but how do you measure that?
Make sure your goals can be quantified. Does “having a successful month” mean hiring two new team members? Converting a certain number of users from free to paid accounts?
Chances are, the goals you set with your team can’t be accomplished in a day. Long-term goals require frequent check ins. Touch base with your team at least once a week to gauge their progress.5. Offer Incentives
While it certainly feels good to achieve your goals, putting together the right incentive structure can promote progress through rewards. What the “right” incentives are will vary by your goals and team dynamics.
Some teams benefit from the competition.
Other teams benefit from collaboration.
Often, the best reward is simple recognition of a job well done. Praise each team member who achieves their goal.
This is best done among peers. A little bit of praise from you goes a lot further if the whole team hears it.
Hold a short team meeting each month to review what goals were met and to recognize who achieved each of them. Ask them about what they learned that they can pass on to the wider team.
Once you’ve accomplished one goal, don’t stop there. Think of each goal as a mile marker toward an even bigger goal. The moment you stop setting them, you begin to stagnate in your pursuit of that greater goal.
As you watch your team grow, be sure to keep track of the goals they’ve knocked out. You’ll be shocked at how far they—and you—have come.
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