The buzzword “Goal” permeates meeting rooms across the United States with Yearly Goal, Quarterly goal, and so on. Setting goals gives the company and the individual teams within the company purpose. Managers utilize goals to check progress throughout the year. Sounds like a great idea! Unfortunately, “Goals” as we know them are being used incorrectly. The theory is sound but goals are not the end result.
Results such as sales, customer satisfaction, and production numbers keep companies alive. That is why they are called “results”. From hard work and diligence, we get results. What does that make a goal? How do we utilize them to get results? Quite simple actually! Goals are the tasks required daily, weekly, and monthly to get required results. For example, a sales manager is aiming for the result of sales. Goals would be number of calls each day, number of individuals in the pipe line at any given time, and percentage of calls closed in a sale. Completion of these goals creates that result of sales numbers. Now comes the important part for managers. How do we know whether something is a goal or a result? The next steps will help you make that decision.
- End result wished to be achieved – Often, the easiest way to find out the difference is to reverse engineer the process. If you are in operations, what result are you looking for? Now think about what has to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Those are the goals. Frankly, you can change the words of goal and result to Process Goals and End Goals. Either works but make sure you feel the difference.
- Time line – Items that need to be done by a certain day tend to be goals. Results often lack a due date. They are infinite similar to the expected life of a company. Results will never end because if they do, the company would close down.
- Individual or Team – Results are for the team while goals are individual activities required to get the team result. Each individual can have individual results for themselves but those are technically micro goals of the company or team.
It is imperative your team understand this in order to decipher what they are shooting for. Completing goals allow the team to get the result they wish. Just achieving the goals fails to ensure the company stays happy and healthy. As a manager, I strongly suggest you write all the tasks down that need to be done every day, week, and month. Delegate these to the team and put goals on everyone for these times. They can be SMART goals if you wish but give them something to shoot for regardless of format. If you want a more advance challenge, utilize your team members individual abilities and creativity to quantify these tasks. From there, write down the importance for each task and goal as it relates to the optimal end result. That will create clarity for your team.
Helping Managers assist their employees in finding their why, creating a path to achieve that why, and keeping them on that path.