Do your employees fully understand company goals and what is expected of them? Do they know how far they’ve come or what actions to take?
Writing down goals and presenting them at the yearly kick-off or next company-wide meeting is a good start, but don’t stop there. Make goals visible every day.
Communicate goals clearly and repeat them again. Over communicating is better than under communicating. Because people have so much to do and receive so many messages, it is easy to get distracted.
Even groups that start out 100% committed to reaching a goal, can lose momentum over time and come up short. Getting to the next level isn’t easy.
People need to see progress as it happens. When they reach a milestone, they need to enjoy success right then and there.
Many B2B companies are using tools like CRM systems and business intelligence software and dashboards to help them reach goals. These tools do the work of measuring progress and informing people of events as they happen. This includes:
- Knowing where you are heading
- Understanding what you need to do to get there
- Celebrating with colleagues when you arrive
The best performing organisations we work with use the following techniques to reach their goals:
Make goals visible in real-time (or near real time)
Goals are continuously measured and communicated on dashboards. This applies to ever type of quantifiable goal (as long as you have the underlying data). By using both activity targets and result targets (e.g. volume or revenue) you lead people in the right direction.
If a goal isn’t followed up, it isn’t worth having. Too many goals is overload.
Some examples include:
- Increase number of new customers
- Increase inbound requests
- Increase upselling or cross selling
- Increase sales for a specific segment or product mix
- Increase margins
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Reduce complaints
- Increase billable hours or utilization (for example services)
- Increase in specific activity (for example telephone calls out, first meeting, proposals sent etc.)
Consider whether you want goals presented at the company, group or personal level. Sales targets, for example, are often cascaded to team and individual level. Managers should see totals and a breakdown per person, category or other parameter. If sales has both an overall revenue budget and a budget per product area, both these can be measured.
Check that each goal has a time horizon. Should you reach it this week, this month or this year? Including a countdown beside the goal, for example, 15 days left, creates a sense of urgency.
Design dashboards for a good experience
Good dashboard design helps people see and understand goals without confusion. Radial buttons are an intuitive way to show percent of goal achieved. Set up drill downs so it is possible to identify issues by examining top-level results on a lower level.
A special designed leaderboard, like “Budget Busters,” is a clever way to recognize sales performance. This can be a simple list on the mangers’ dashboard or a themed dashboard that is shown on office TV monitors.
At ipvision, a provider of telephone, mobile and network solutions, the sales team sees a clear view of their month to date performance, what is left to deliver and their earnings. “In the first month, we exceeded our targets,” says Thomas Pedersen, Product Manager.
Review goal performance in weekly and monthly meetings
Weekly team meetings are the ideal place to discuss goals and what needs to be done to achieve them.
It may not be appropriate to discuss how any one person is doing, but you can show team goals and use analytic dashboards to find out where there are problems or opportunities.
When everyone already knows the status before they go into meetings, no time is wasted going through figures. The discussion will hop to next steps or actions needed.
Share on the company message board
A simple graph or barometer shared in your company chat tool or team messaging tool, can motivate people to go the extra mile. This is extra important if your teams are on the road, work from home, or are spread across the country.
Many leaders post short goal-status updates as part of their routine.
Discuss, adjust and improve
Once goals are clearly defined and you start tracking progress, you will gain even more insight into what you need to do. There is seldom any one factor, but just increasing focus can bring about some surprising results.
What are your thoughts? What keeps you motivated?
Leave a comment or get in touch with one of our experts.