It often happens that goals which management has bought into are set, but thereafter nothing much is done to ensure that these goals are reached. Here are a few tips that may help you create a greater sense of security in respect of reaching your business’ strategic goals.
- Assign responsibility
It may sound obvious, but we often fail to appoint members of our management team or staff and to assign the responsibility for the implementation of specific goals to them. It is also good practice to make such responsibilities part of the critical performance areas of the manager or staff member. It is said that people sometimes do what you ask them to do, but almost without exception do what you pay them to do.
- Document the expected output
Before responsibilities are assigned, you should be clear on the expected output. It could be of value to document these outputs so that you do not have to wonder, at a later stage, what the original aims of the targets were. It would also aid with the contracting referred to above.
- Allocation of resources
One swallow does not make a summer, so the person to whom the responsibility has been assigned to strive towards a goal, may not necessarily have the capacity and ability to push the goal through to the expected output on his/her own. Beforehand, determine the capital and human resources required to optimally reach the goal and then allocate adequate resources to the task/project.
- Regular feedback
The progress made in the reaching of the strategic goals should be a standing agenda point at every management meeting. This confirms the importance of the goals. Deviations and challenges may then be addressed timeously.
We do not live in a perfect world and we also do not have all the facts available when we decide to pursue certain goals. Only once we are actively pursuing a goal, we may find that it is not realistically viable, or able to provide us with the expected output. It may, therefore, happen that a strategic goal has to be amended or even scrapped and that an alternative goal may be more relevant. Therefore, be open to amending your plan of action as and when necessary.
Apart from making people responsible for certain outputs, it is also a good business practice to reward (other than with an annual bonus) people/teams when they perform exceptionally in the reaching of and exceeding the contracted outputs. Bring the quantum of the reward in line with the size of the output.
Zig Ziglar (American sales expert, motivational speaker and writer) once said the following about reaching goals: “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market
Copyright © Sanlam, 2011