Are You Pulling Teeth to Reach Goals?

Your organization’s yearly goals surpass the company standards, but is it working? Sometimes we become so captivated in the process of building a training program that we forget to keep tabs on what’s working and what isn’t from employee to employee.

Growth is an important aspect of any company – those that are high growth organizations provide a 5 times greater return to shareholders than medium-growth companies. What steps do companies need to take in order to reach (and sustain) upper-level success? How can we better manage our end goals?

Looking beyond the training process

The training program is in place, what follows? Ask team members to track their own progress whether it’s weekly deliverables via spreadsheets or sharing accomplishments through tools like Basecamp. This allows employees to take control of their own development so you can manage them without micromanaging.

While micromanagers have good intentions of keeping their employees on task, it can lead to sour results; of the 60% of employees who say they were micromanaged in the past, 55% say it decreased their productivity and 68% it dampened their morale. Don’t drain your employees in all the wrong ways. Allow supervisors and employees to visibly run through everything that was covered over the course of the week by:

  • Briefing the two parties on what was completed
  • Displaying whether or not time was prioritized correctly
  • Seeking alternative routes for the weeks to come for better revenue
  • Tracking progress through ongoing projects

Requiring employees to display what they have done in a week can be an eye opener and a motivator. Online documentation is also a helpful way to track progress when reviews come around. When they physically type their accomplishments they see what changes need to be made in the future and what goals need to be reassessed for following weeks.

Don’t be afraid to simply… ask!

Give employees an opportunity to speak on what they need – what resources they lack or what they struggle with for example – allows the employer to step in and offer alternate routes. Believe it or not, employees want your feedback; 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback from their employers at least once a week.

Each employee learns and develops differently which means each employee will need customized paces and tasks for their daily work. Give them the opportunity to assess themselves to see if they have hit personal goals or taken a role in completing organizational goals.

Setting reachable goals

At this point, the supervisor and employee can brainstorm new goals if past initiatives exceeded (or didn’t meet) expectations, or even find more effective tactics meet goals. This way, both have a solid understanding of short and long-term goals for that employee. It’s important to set reasonable goals for your employees that both parties agree on.

Don’t allow your employees to walk away with a new set of goals they know they can’t accomplish – but also be sure not to underset goals which can inhibit productivity. Joel Trammel (@TheAmericanCEO), author of The CEO Tightrope, said:

“One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is not taking the time to go through the process of identifying the business fundamentals with employees. It is crucial that managers engage employees in a mutual goal-setting process. At the end of the conversation the employee must take ownership of the goal and agree that it is achievable and worth pursuing.”
Creating comfortable, open relationships between employee and employer, discussing professional goals, requesting weekly deliverables and monitoring trends throughout your company are all steps that can easily be implemented into every company for reaching the highest potential goals. Reaching goals within a team can be a three-step process: Define, execute and trace. See if what you’re completing is matching your pre-determined goals and reassess as needed.