goal-setting-best-practices

Six Goal-Setting Best Practices To Skyrocket Productivity

Goal setting helps to keep your employees motivated and helps avoid activity without productivity, fostering communication, and transparency within an organization.

All with the aim of improving the business performance and by extension making more money.

Below is a list of hands-on approaches to improving your goals and ensuring that they are actualized and do not just remain “dreams.”

Rewrite Your Vision and Mission Statements

how-to-write-a-mission-statement
A mission statement helps an organization to define its purpose in the now and communicate it to its stakeholders. That is why a good mission statement has to be concise, clear to able to articulate what’s unique about an organization, thus building trust and rapport with an audience.

The vision and mission of any organization have to be directly in line with the business’s long-term goals.

A company’s Vision statement indicates where the company aims to be shortly (the company) goals.

In comparison, the company’s mission statement defines the objectives and approach to reach those aims.

The vision and mission statement of a company is a representation of the company’s core values.

The terms may be used interchangeably many times, but it is clear that the Vision and Mission statement is just another way of highlighting “Goals and Objectives.”

Identify the core beliefs of your company, your purpose, what you do, and how you do it.

Rewrite your vision and mission statement, and ensure that it contains your targets for the next five years, well articulated.

Place it in obvious places at work so that every employee reads them as often as they can, let it register in their subconscious, and be a form of a daily reminder of the goals to achieve. 

This will serve as a source of inspiration and motivation to the employees and will bring you closer to setting your long term goals.

Practice Visualization

There is a popular saying that says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, for obvious reasons, the statement is correct.

In fact, a building cannot be built in a day, talk more of a city.

When there is a building construction project, it starts with a building plan, which is usually the blueprint for the civil engineers, builders, mechanical engineers, and every other person to work on the project.

This plan will give an insight into the expected outcome, making the workers see the end from the beginning and work towards what they see.

This is the concept behind the visualization.

Visualization is similar to the pre-mortem analysis; it lets you see things you didn’t even think of in your planning process, giving you a mental picture of what you want to achieve.

In the end, you have clear expectations, and upon evaluation, you can make further improvement by noting where you did above expectations and where you couldn’t do enough and you fell short.

This makes you see your strong points and where you need to improve.

You can also leverage post-mortem analyses to draw conclusions and learnings after actions.

post-mortem-analysis
Post-mortem analyses review projects from start to finish to determine process improvements and ensure that inefficiencies are not repeated in the future. In the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), this process is referred to as “lessons learned”.

Give Feedbacks to Your Employees

Communication with your staff is a great way to meet your targets faster.

You should relate well with your staff and ensure that you work as a team, despite having responsibilities in different capacities.

This will allow your employees to genuinely open up about what they feel is wrong or unrealistic about the goals and objectives you have set.

They have made several observations, and their experiences working elsewhere may prove vital in re-strategizing these goals.

Ask for their inputs and give them feedback on them; this will show how much you value the opinions of your staff, and they will even give better and more honest advice, ensuring that you edge closer to your goals.

It will also propel a very healthy working environment and boost the morale of your staff, and goals will be easily achieved when there is happiness within.

For the successful accomplishment of set goals, it is very important that your staff remain happy!

Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

key-performance-indicators
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that determine whether an organization is achieving key objectives. KPIs will depend upon a business-specific context, as each company and industry will have its own core metrics to track. Indeed, the choice of the right KPIs that can positively affect the business’s long-term perspective is critical.

Key performance indicators are present standard metrics that are data-dependent.

They have figures you can track to see if you are in line to achieve your business goals.

Setting KPIs is the most common way of measuring whether or not you’re on track to achieve a business goal.

As it has been mentioned severally in this guide, evaluation is very important in goal-setting.

You need to always take a double-check to see if you are still on track.

Your KPIs are standard measuring yardsticks that would have existed from the point you set your goals.

You will have different KPIs for the entire business, as several segments of your goals will have their key objectives; hence, different yardsticks for measuring progress.

Judge Employees By Productivity, Not Activity

You may have your business hours set from 9 am to 5 pm, or 8 am to 4 pm. However, it is important that you don’t see these working hours as a metric that says your staff is doing enough or not.

Let there be a personal goal for each employee to meet within a particular timeframe.

This will bring about an increased rate in productivity because they aren’t working to pass the time; they are working to meet their targets.

Let every individual face a personal challenge, and all staff will work well with minimal supervision, unlike when they have to wait for the next instructions from a team leader, giving them room for excuses.

You might be tempted to reward staff members that are doing well with incentives, but this may not be a good idea.

It is important to keep your staff happy; however, they shouldn’t be incentivized. Instead communicate, and let employees know when they are doing well.

Attaching some form of incentive to performance won’t produce honest work; it will only create bring about employees who want the benefits and will just go at any length to get it.

Hire only the cultural fit

cultural-models
In the context of an organization, cultural models are frameworks that define, shape, and influence corporate culture. Cultural models also provide some structure to a corporate culture that tends to be fluid and vulnerable to change. Once upon a time, most businesses utilized a hierarchical culture where various levels of management oversaw subordinates below them. Today, however, there exists a greater diversity in models as leaders realize the top-down approach is outdated in many industries and that success can be found elsewhere.

During recruitment, the company core values, mission, and vision should be shared with potential employees, and communicate with them, be sure to ask questions that will help determine if they key into the company’s goals.

If you hire people who do not key into your goals, you will have a huge hill to climb if you really want to achieve those goals.

Ensure that teamwork is an attribute present in all employees, including yourself. Everyone must be able to share ideas and align with the ultimate company goals and avoid prioritizing personal goals. 

Other Time Management Frameworks

OKR

what-is-okr
Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”

Lightning Decision Jam

lockes-goal-setting-theory
The theory was developed by psychologist Edwin Locke who also has a background in motivation and leadership research. Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation provides a framework for setting effective and motivating goals. Locke was able to demonstrate that goal setting was linked to performance.

Timeboxing

timeboxing
Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.

SMART Goals

smart-goals
A SMART goal is any goal with a carefully planned, concise, and trackable objective. Be such a goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Bringing structure and trackability to goal setting increases the chances goals will be achieved, and it helps align the organization around those goals.

Pomodoro Technique

pomodoro-technique
The Pomodoro Technique was created by Italian business consultant Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system where work is performed in 25-minute intervals.

Eisenhower Matrix

eisenhower-matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool that helps businesses prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance, named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, the matrix helps businesses and individuals differentiate between the urgent and important to prevent urgent things (seemingly useful in the short-term) cannibalize important things (critical for long-term success).

MoSCoW Method

moscow-method
Prioritization plays a crucial role in every business. In an ideal world, businesses have enough time and resources to complete every task within a project satisfactorily. The MoSCoW method is a task prioritization framework. It is most effective in situations where many tasks must be prioritized into an actionable to-do list. The framework is based on four main categories that give it the name: Must have (M), Should have (S), Could have (C), and Won’t have (W).

Action Priority Matrix

action-priority-matrix
An action priority matrix is a productivity tool that helps businesses prioritize certain tasks and objectives over others. The matrix itself is represented by four quadrants on a typical cartesian graph. These quadrants are plotted against the effort required to complete a task (x-axis) and the impact (benefit) that each task brings once completed (y-axis). This matrix helps assess what projects need to be undertaken and the potential impact for each.

Affirmations

what-are-affirmations
Affirmations, sometimes called positive affirmations, are the statements or phrases we repeat to ourselves to enforce positive thinking. In the process, they can be used to boost self-esteem, overcome anxiety, and defeat negative thought patterns.

Agile Project Management

Agile Management
Agile Project Management (AgilePM) seeks to bring order to chaotic corporate environments using several tools, techniques, and elements of the project lifecycle. Fundamentally, agile project management aims to deliver maximum value according to specific business priorities in the time and budget allocated. AgilePM is particularly useful in situations where the drive to deliver is greater than the perceived risk.

Four Ds of Time Management

the-four-ds-of-time-management
The Four Ds of Time Management is a strategy that helps an individual discern whether a task or project is worth an investment of time. The four Ds comprise Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop).

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

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