As this year comes to a close, it is now the perfect time to think about the future of your company. As you're setting goals for 2019, you may worry about whether you will achieve them over the next year. You may be stuck on what goals to set.
Don't fret—the fact that you're thinking about goals means you're starting off on the right foot. They help you:
- Communicate future directions with everyone in the company
- Engage and motivate employees
- Improve productivity and business performance
If you want to catapult your business in the new year, use these five steps to set and achieve your goals.
1. Revisit your company values, mission and vision.
Successful companies have a purpose that drives them. Before you look ahead, remind yourself of what you believe in, and the change you want to bring about. Why do you do what you do? How do you do it? Where do you want to take your company in five years' time? The answers to these questions reflect what makes your company different from others, and inspire your employees.
2. Review the past and visualize the future.
Success does not happen overnight, which is why you need to think ahead. You can make strategic decisions for your company based on objective data.
Review your business performance over the past year. If you use KPIs or other benchmarks, they provide valuable information for comparison. Where did you exceed predictions? Where did you fall short? They may point to underlying success drivers, as well as potential areas of improvement.
Evaluate the current market situation. What are the industry trends for the coming year? How are you competitors performing? Where do you think your company fit in the landscape?
Get employee feedback. Your employees may have observations that will help you form an effective strategy. Asking for their input also shows that you appreciate their efforts.
Decide on your long-term strategy. Based on your analysis of information gathered, you can determine your strategic approach and priorities. Planning methods like SWOT help you identify opportunities and challenges ahead.
3. Set goals for the year of 2019 and Q1.
You can then set annual and quarterly goals. To make sure that your goals complement your strategy, think in terms of outcomes you would like to see happen.
You can use the Objective and Key Results (OKR) system to structure your goals. It helps you put your goals in concrete and measurable terms, so you know whether your work is delivering the outcomes you desire.
Objectives are your big, ambitious goals, and Key Results are quantifiable outcomes that reflect your progress toward the Objective. Make sure your OKRs push you right outside your comfort zone. Research has shown that aspirational, challenging goals are better motivators than easy goals.
You can set OKRs for your company, team and employees. At the end of the quarter, you can evaluate your progress, celebrate success, and set new OKRs for the quarter after. If you aren't able to achieve the Key Results, you can examine the reasons behind it, and decide whether you need to change or adjust them for the new quarter.
4. Make progress toward your goals with Weekly Plans.
To avoid the "set and forget" issue that many people have when they set goals, review your OKRs on a regular basis. Think about what you can do every week in order to meet them. If you're a Weekdone user, you can link your Weekly Plans to your Objectives. That way you have a bird's eye view on what you're working on, and whether you're making headway toward your goals.
5. Value your employees' efforts.
Employees are more engaged and productive when they have a sense of ownership. Discuss your OKRs in your weekly meetings, and give feedback and recognition when it's due. All OKRs should be visible to everyone in the company, so they understand the impact their work is making.
As you're gearing up for 2019 with clear goals, you're now one step closer to success. Download our eBook if you would like learn in-depth about implementing OKR. Your hard work will bear fruit in the new year!