Set Goals and Objectives for 2010
Business executives begin a new year by setting goals and objectives for all employees. Goals and objectives are designed to provide clarity for employees, helping them understand the most important ways they can contribute to company success in the new year.
When I set goals and objectives, I like to be very specific in some instances, and I like to have at least one very open-ended objective assigned to each individual.
Let's assume that you supervise a director of marketing. It's entirely reasonable to assign this individual four goals and objectives for the upcoming year. Consider the following:
Objective No. 1 (35 percent): Identify marketing opportunities that will yield at least $800,000 of incremental profit during fiscal 2011.
Objective No. 2 (30 percent): Execute strategies against planned 2010 marketing campaigns that yield at least $300,000 of incremental profit.
Objective No. 3 (20 percent): Develop a communication plan that teaches every employee at your company how consumers interact with advertising, products, brands and channels. By year-end, demonstrate how the communication plan resulted in employees making more profitable decisions.
Objective No. 4 (15 percent): Identify at least one way in which social media can be used to improve sales productivity or as a customer service channel to benefit customers.
The objectives are ranked in order of importance. The employee clearly knows which areas you expect them to focus on. In essence, they know the areas that deliver the best return on investment.
These objectives include a mix of strategies and tactics. Notice that 65 percent of the objectives, in this example, are focused on making 2010 and 2011 profitable, with a stronger focus on setting up a strategy that delivers a positive future.
The third objective is more qualitative in nature. It's signaling to the employee that communication matters. It conveys that teaching employees how consumers behave will result in other employees making profitable decisions.
The fourth objective allows the employee to execute “experimental” strategies, giving him the flexibility to test different opportunities.
Goals and objectives signal to employees what you believe will be important in the upcoming year. Armed with goals and objectives, employees can determine their own goals and objectives for their staffs, ones that are linked to the goals and objectives given to them. This ensures that all employees are linked by common performance standards, ones that senior management believes are most likely to drive the success of the business.
At midyear and at the end of the year, review performance against objectives. Employees must demonstrate that all objectives are being met, using actual metrics and outcomes to prove that they're meeting or exceeding expectations. At the end of the year, salary increases, promotions and/or bonus payouts are based on how employees performed against stated goals and objectives.
Given that we're in the early days of 2010, why not set goals and objectives for your team? This is a good time to communicate to staff members the activities that must be executed in order to achieve excellence.