Setting goals for the year is the easy part; achieving them is where the challenge lies. Blake Christian, tax partner in the Long Beach, California, office of CPA firm HCVT LLP, and writer for suggests, in addition to goal setting, outline rewards and consequences that are the American Institute of CPAs result of goal achievement or missing set milestones. Doing so can provide the motivation to find new and better work processes.
Christian’s suggestions are aimed at business partnerships; however, the process can be applied to broader contexts. When setting targets, customize evaluations, rewards, and incentives based on the expectations of each contribution, whether a partner, a team, or an individual.
When Setting Targets for
2015 Consider the Following
- Strike a balance between goals that may be easy to achieve and those that will be difficult. Design goals that will improve individual and team competencies. For example, a coding team may be rewarded for collaboration on a software development project.
- Do not set goals that take away from specialist functions. Not every employee must be an all-rounder. For example, a manager may be required to take training in interpersonal relationship management; however, there is no need for an IT specialist to demonstrate mastery in interpersonal relationships.
- Use business analytic software to set targets. For example, year-to-year comparisons of financial and operational data; client retention rates; recruitment statistics, and industry and community outreach. Business analytics can allow a company to track progress and to identify strategies that work and those that should be abandoned.
Schedule a mid-year review and set milestones. Allocate responsibilities and hold accountable those charged with reaching milestones through compensation and other incentives. Wade Vander Molen, Director of Sales for the real estate firm Stewart Tile recommends setting quarterly goals, which can be less daunting than a larger annual goal.
Additionally, take advantage of new channels for business marketing and relationship building. Leverage social media for all aspects of business including recruiting, advertising, customer relationship management, and attracting investors. Update your website and use video and other media to achieve business goals.
Is hiring in 2015 one of your organization’s primary goals?