Want to Get Goals in Gear? Start by Making them Clear!
Leaders struggle with accountability all the time. They know it’s important. But at Management Action Programs (MAP), we find many don’t know where to start, how to build it, and how to execute key strategies with accountability in-tact.
Aside from making the personal and professional commitment to be an accountability leader, it all starts with setting clear goals and getting them in gear through team, if not total organizational, alignment.
But why set goals? Quite simply, it’s a proven way to create definition around wants and needs, as well as sharpen focus on strategies that can help you achieve them. It’s so important that one of the first habits we drill into clients is to start any new direction, initiative, meeting, conversation, team, etc., with the question: “What’s the goal?”
With goal-setting, you want to build a team-oriented process that ensures goals are not just clear but able to be implemented and results-oriented. You want goals to be challenging, yet do-able. Also, you wants ones that your people understand, buy into, and execute against, given their interest and abilities.
You may already have a framework for creating goals, something like SMART goals to give you that direction. But here’s what we recommend at MAP, an approach that has a few differences from SMART and other popularized goal-setting tactics and also includes the following criteria:
- Tied directly to the Vital Factors that affect your job. By Vital Factors, we are talking about the 20 percent of activities that will drive 80 percent of your results.
- Able to be measured, whether looking at degree of output (e.g., revenues, profits, units), cost, quality and/or time.
- Clearly stated as a result. What do you ultimately want to see happen or take place in the end? For example, “employee retention rate increase by 20 percent by year end” is more clear than “happy employees.” (The former, by the way, is measurable, too.)
- Accountable for the results. It’s a goal in which you (or others) can take ownership and impact outcomes.
- Contributes to key indicators of business success: profit, reserves and/or service levels.
- Challenging but realistic. Make goals too easy or too hard, it puts the credibility and support of your goals at risk.
Remember, goal-setting is a first step in the process of building accountability. Yet it’s a critical one! Nail it and get your team excited and aligned around it and you’ll have the foundation for developing accountability through what we call “goals and controls,” available through the MAP Management System™.
Ready to build and power up a culture of accountability? Accelerate results through our workshop offerings. View our catalog and register today!