Achieving your company's targets

By: Heather Townsend

Date: 4 June 2010

Every year it seems like the coaching and training world gets really excited about the importance of setting meaningful and achievable goals. Whilst I’m not going to disagree with the importance of goal-setting, I believe that it is more important to actually achieve your goals.

Take a moment to reflect on how many times you have set business or personal goals which you've lost interest or focus in after a couple of months. As a business owner, it is your role to keep your organisation focused and energised on working towards your vision.

My question is, how do you make sure your organisation actually achieves the goals you've set?

Firstly, you have to have some goals set to achieve. Is everyone within your business targeted to working towards the goals of the organisation? If I were to talk with your employees could they tell me what their personal goals are and how these will help achieve the company's goals?

For goals to be achieved, they need to be visible for everyone within your company. Do you have visual reminders for staff about the organisation’s goals? Are your line managers regularly sitting down with their team and talking about the individual, team, departmental and company progress against these goals? In your regular updates to your staff are you talking about company progress against these goals? More often than not, team and individual goals and objectives get written on a piece of paper and stuck in a drawer getting dusty until the next annual performance review. (And that’s if your organisation actually does them!)

The only thing you can rely on in the business world is uncertainty. Far too many companies go through an annual goal-setting process and then tenaciously stick to these goals for the next twelve months, regardless of market or trading conditions. Goals are made to be reset and reassessed as you go through the year. Whilst I’m not advocating resetting your goals every week, it’s worth looking at your company’s goals quarterly and when your results and evidence suggests it, readjusting these goals. Many a company has gone under by spending to a sales forecast level which they are never going to meet.

You have more chance of achieving your company’s goals if your staff feel some attachment or ownership of these goals. To get this feeling of attachment, how about involving them in the decision making process of how the company is going to achieve its goals? Or, and this is the slightly controversial part, how about setting up a bonus pot to be distributed amongst all staff if the company achieves it’s goals?

Many individuals and companies are forever looking and driving forward. Whilst this is a very positive attitude, it is worth looking back to learn and taking time out to celebrate successes. Reflecting and reviewing is vital to help your company achieve its next set of goals.

What are you going to do slightly different this financial year to increase your odds of achieving both your personal and business goals?