The goal setting process provides a strategic direction for a business and works as a guideline for improved performance and use of resources. Goals also serve to increase passion, energy, and motivation in members of the business, including human resources at every level. Use the twelve steps of goal setting for an annual process with checks and balances during the year to begin a new and better future for the business.
- Brainstorm a list of possible goals. Be sure to create the list of ideas that relate to business priorities and focus on paper
- Evaluate and reduce the goals list. Do this based on the reason or need for the goal by asking questions about potential benefits and pitfalls.
- Go for challenging goals. Choose ones that allow people to stretch their capabilities but will not overwhelm them or be too easy.
- Select the few important goals. These will be the significant ones that match company values and purpose while allowing for realistic expectations.
- Clearly define the goals. This step will require using something like the SMART goals format or the 4 C’s of team goals.
- Determine methods for tracking goals. Decide how to measure the goal performance and when to check for improved performance.
- Plan by breaking goals into manageable steps. Work backwards from the target date to determine what small steps need to be taken in order to make progress towards target goals.
- Develop an action plan for goals. Include tasks and assignments with interim deadline dates to insure commitment and achievement.
- Determine goal milestones and potential celebrations. This aids continued motivation, but don’t forget to consider barriers or environmental conditions that may delay or restrict goals when planning.
- Communicate and work your plan! Get going as soon as possible on the established goals with enthusiasm and momentum to increase motivation and participation.
- Set at least quarterly dates to review goals. Review progress, assess problems, and adjust goals based on current situation and evaluate lessons learned.
- If goals are to be changed, communicate the reason for the change. If the change is because the goal was met early, be sure to celebrate and acknowledge the people who helped with accomplishing the goal before or during the change announcement.
From the twelve steps for goal setting it is obvious that this annual process is more than just noting what the business desires are for the future year or as a potential company dream state. Instead it is an organized and defined strategic plan to create actions for accomplishing better performance that lead to the desired results. These goals and the planning of them will motivate team members and leadership to direct their energy toward the desired path.