In this three-part series, we've been writing about company goal setting.
In part I, we wrote about how to increase the probability that you will achieve the goals you set.
In part II, we described a proven company goal setting process you can use to set goals which will get you closer to achieving your business' vision.
In part III, we are going to dive deeper into goal execution. It's not enough to have the right goals (which is incredibly important), but business goals need to cascade throughout the organization so the "boots on the ground" take ownership and drive results.
So how do you ensure the goals you worked so hard to determine and set get executed? How do you link your company goals to employee goals? Follow these five steps.
Step #1 - Ensure your organizational structure is clear
For goals to cascade properly, the organizational chart of your company must be clear. If there is any ambiguity, there will be inefficiencies and confusion.
Each employee must know who they report to and who reports to them.
Do you have an org chart which makes this clear? If not, you can download what we call an "accountability chart" which can help you drive clarity.
Step #2 - Establish a management team.
Do you have a specific group of people who work with you to run your company?
If you've done step #1, this should be clear, but if it is not, you need to choose the individuals which comprise your management team.
A management team is defined as:
"the group of individuals that operate at the higher levels of an organization and have day-to-day responsibility for managing other individuals and maintaining responsibility for key business functions.
The management team is also generally responsible for putting together the business strategy and ensuring the business objectives are met."
Notice how the definition includes ensuring the business objectives are met? This team needs to understand your strategy at a deep level and help to execute that strategy.
Your management team are the people you confide in and who help you make decisions. They should cover all key roles in your company like sales, marketing, finance, production, etc.
Do you feel like all these decisions fall on you? If so, you need to define a management team as soon as possible. Some owners feel they don't have the right people to be part of a management team. To this I would say, work with what you have and begin to fill the gaps where necessary, but don't try to run the company on your own.
Step #3 - Assign each company goal to at least one member of your management team.
Goal accountability (who is ultimately responsible for each goal) should happen as a result of working together to determine your company goals. If you're not sure how to do that, see our previous blog post here.
Each company goal must be assigned to at least one member of your management team. It's especially important that you (as the owner or CEO) are not responsible for all the company goals.
Don't be surprised if there is some initial push back on this. It's human nature to resist accountability. This is especially true when a company goal requires multiple people to accomplish a result, but part of leadership is taking the lead and mobilizing a team to accomplish something you could not accomplish alone.
Step #4 Determine initiatives which map to the company goals
Once your management team has clarity around the top 3-5 goals of the business AND taken responsibility for those goals, it's time to break those goals down into shorter-term goals or initiatives.
Ask each member of your management team the following question, "what can you do over the next quarter to help us make progress on our company goals?" This forces your team to break down a 12 month goal into smaller chunks or milestones and increases the chances of successful goal execution.
For example, if the goal is to "Increase top-line revenue 10% from $6M to $6.6M by 12/31/17", push your team to think HOW they will help achieve that goal via some initiative over the next quarter. Is there some marketing initiative like a trade-show or some sales training that needs to happen?
Challenge them to link their initiatives directly to a company goal. This offers an additional check regarding the priorities your are setting. If a team member is working on an initiative that is not directly linked to a company goal, ask why. Should they even be working on that initiative OR did you miss something in the goal setting process?
Determining these initiatives is an iterative process. Once each team member has determined their initiatives, meet as a team to review them to provide and extra level of validation. Often you'll find that two people are working on a similar initiative which you may or may not want to happen. Discussing as a team, helps to bring clarity.
Step #5 Establish a meeting rhythm to evaluate the status of each company goal and initiative
All this work of goal setting, accountability and initiative creation will be meaningless if you don't institute a discipline of meeting to check to see if you are indeed achieving the goals you've set.
You need to meet monthly (at a minimum) where you and your team review the status of each goal and initiative. During this meeting, those who are responsible provide a status to you and the rest of the team which drives greater accountability.
This forces a focus on the organization which says, "we are serious about achieving the goals". Think of it like a football team which meets at half-time to discuss the status of their game plan and makes adjustments so they can increase their chances of winning.
If this all seems like a great deal of work, it is, but it is essential to drive great results. If you're feeling overwhelmed, we can help. Just sign up for free demo and learn how the best companies are setting goals and driving execution.