How do you achieve a balance between your major goals and expectations?
- Many team members and managers get frustrated with the goal setting process. Managers often assume the team member will fulfill the goal in one manner, whereas the team member goes in an entirely different direction. The result is something the other does not recognize as success.
- Use the SMART method of developing goals. That means each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, and in time. The goal should clearly state who is involved, what the person needs to accomplish, what the time frame is, what requirements or constraints are involved, and why the goal is necessary.
- Make sure to document the success criteria for each goal. Both the team member and the manager need to be clear on these criteria. This sets clear expectations on both sides and gives the team member a clear target.
- Have a documented completion date. Setting a deadline allows the team member to plan on how to accomplish the goal within a given timeline. Some goals may have several phases. Each phase should have a clear completion date set.
- Ensure the person accountable has the right level of authority to make the goal. Some tasks require access to privileged information, for example. If the team member does not have that level of access, that goal will not get accomplished without something changing.
- Communicate the priority level of the goal. What priority does this new goal take in relation to that person’s current work? Can some work be given to another person to make time for accomplishing the goal?
- Set up progress points based on the person and the goal. For an experienced team member who can handle major goals without trouble, a quick progress report is usually enough. For a struggling team member, a detailed weekly report may be necessary.
- Have set deliverables. When this goal is done, what should be the results of it? This can come in multiples forms, like a memo, a report, test data, or an event.
When you need to keep a goal on track, make sure you communicate expectations that your team members can recognize. That is how you strike the critical balance with this business growth strategy.