Do You Know How to Achieve Goals in Business?

Goals drive an organization’s direction.  Without them, a business would simply wander in the darkness, accomplishing nothing, and failing quickly due to its complete lack of purpose.  Businesses with well-established goals, though, may reach unprecedented heights.  Follow the steps below to establish goals, achieve them, and grow your organization.

Achieve Goals in Business
Photo Credit: Kim Carson

Establishing Goals:

  1. Identify the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG): What is your organization’s ultimate purpose?  As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, Elon Musk’s goal for SpaceX is to colonize Mars.  From the very beginning of Microsoft, Bill Gates strove to put a personal computer on every desk.  These are good examples of the kinds of BHAGs your company could have.
  2. Identify the micro-goals needed to accomplish the BHAG: Every large goal can be broken down into smaller goals.  What steps are needed to accomplish your BHAG?  Work backwards from your endpoint, figuring out each micro-goal along the way.  Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory provides excellent advice on what these goals should entail.  Among other things, they should:
    • Be clear
    • Be difficult (but not impossible)
    • Be measurable
    • Have employee buy-in
  3. Leverage your most valuable resource: Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization.  All the strategy in the world accomplishes nothing without the minds and bodies creating/implementing your product or service.  Those same employees also know many of the intricacies of the organization that management may not.  Factory workers, for instance, may understand the quirks of an individual machine, or have an idea to remove unnecessary steps from the manufacturing process.To not understand these insights is a missed opportunity for efficiency, engagement and growth.

Therefore, it’s important to consider your employees’ opinions when setting your micro-goals. 

There are three reasons why this is important:

  1. Employee buy-in is crucial:  Employees work harder for something they believe in.  How would you react if your bosses forced you to spend forty-plus hours per week working toward a goal you viewed as futile?
  2. Employee input means engagement:  Who doesn’t love being heard?  Employees contributing to the goal-setting process report feeling more committed to achieving the goals, as well as higher levels of self-efficacy.
  3. Creativity abounds: A single individual possesses the capacity to formulate game-changing ideas.  Entire teams of individuals, either acting together or separately, can only increase the chances of someone devising a brilliant idea.

Achieving Goals:

Once you know your strategy, the rest is fairly simple.  Managers should monitor employee performance and provide their employees with frequent feedback.  Reward excellent performance with positive reinforcement (kind words, awards, or some sort of bonus).  If an employee isn’t performing up to par, explain your expectations in a professional manner.  This is important: do not use personal language when critiquing an employee’s performance.  Employees are far more receptive to negative feedback when it’s presented in a non-confrontational manner.  Be objective and provide specific examples of behaviors (i.e. you have not met quota for the past 3 months).  Additionally, end all feedback delivery with a positive comment. After all, the goal is to keep the employee and to help that person achieve their goals, not to make them feel badly.

Provided you keep your employees on track, you’re well on your way to accomplishing your goals.

Interested in learning more about how to achieve goals?  Let us know!  We’d be happy to coach you through the process.