Check in, Check up on Goals

What’s the best way to ensure you’ll achieve your management goals? Setting goals is critical to any manager. But it’s is a wasted effort if you lack a system for consistently checking employee performance against company objectives. In fact, it’s an outright leadership mistake to set goals and then fail to revisit them regularly. How do you know what’s going on?

Once you’ve established goals for your team, you must make sure those goals remain a priority, get a lot of visibility, and align to your overall company strategies. To drive performance toward your targets, establish regular accountability meetings in which the team’s goals are discussed, measured, and reported.

Here are a few tips:

Start with accountability leadership.

It’s a simple fact: when companies use metrics to track and report overall team performance toward a goal, the rate of that team’s performance improves. However, such a system must always come from a disciplined leader who will commit to its implementation and management. If you don’t respect the system, neither will your team. The person driving accountability must (among other things) constantly encourage tangible results, clearly communicate the status and results of individual and team goals, be fair and consistent, confront difficult issues, and coach teams toward resolution and achievement.

Implement the MAP Vital Factors process.

When it comes to your company’s mission, what matters most? Answer that question and you’ve got a starting point for understanding your Vital Factors, the most critical measures of your business’s health. Align your goals to these Vital Factors, foster ownership of those objectives among your team, and you’ll have a powerful process that will ignite and sustain productivity like never before. Then, most importantly, keep the system running by holding regular monthly Vital Factor meetings — continue to check in and check up!

Stay the course.

Change is hard. Expect some resistance as you lead new strategic implementation. You should expect resistance, and that some people will struggle to understand, accept, and implement this change. Keep the lines of communication open, be patient, reward the new behaviors, and celebrate “wins” as you see results. Your job as a leader is to stay the course and demonstrate “ownership” through what you say, what you do, and the behaviors that you role model and reinforce. Over a period of time, your team will accept the change, and it will become part of the team’s culture.

What are some great tips for minimizing the cultural impact of changes you implement?

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Map's Newest Book: The Disciplined Leader

What do the best leaders have in common? The answer is one word: Discipline. A disciplined leader is one who identifies and focuses on the Vital Few: the 20% of activities that will drive 80% of the results. Learn More

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