What do you need to do to realize your dreams? Write down your goals.
Objectives are powerful when it comes to realizing the desired outcome. Putting your goals right in front of you increases the success rate. That's part of the reason why the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are so popular. For quite some time our customers who use this management best practice on a daily base have been able to experience the benefits by themselves.
Here's an interview with Michele Puccio from Arrow , a worldwide IT distributor company. Great thoughts on planning a winning strategy and staying connected with the team.
Hey Michele, it's so nice of you to take the time to talk about your experience using progress reporting with your team. To start of, what does your team at Arrow's do?
We are a Sales Team and we sell IT security and infrastructure products to the resellers.
Could you describe the structure of your sales team and its core function?
Sure, altogether there are 8 people in my team. I'm the Sales Director and responsible for leading a team of five Key Account Managers and two Account Managers. My team members are responsible for the relationships with the resellers. All of them have a clear sales target to reach. They truly work hard to push our product portfolio even further.
What’s the hardest part in leading a successful sales team?
To tell you the truth, it's really difficult to be sure that each colleague is really committed to general sales goals and also to the specific daily, weekly or monthly goals.
Have progress reports helped in any way to overcome these challenges?
Progress reports have helped me stay connected with the team. It's easy to say to someone, please write down your goals and take action, but after some time the results remain average. Why does that happen? Because often the team members aren't connected. Not connected with their objectives, with other team members and the team leader. That's how Weekdone has helped me to stay connected and keep on collaborating. I like to compare it with coaching. It's not just an aggressive push or force, it's more like a helping hand to coach and mentor your team.
From all the tools, why did you choose Weekdone?
Well, that's easy. The tool is just so simple to use. Right from the start, you have the opportunity to understand your team's engagement level and start sharing your experience, achievements, plans with each other.
Can you name one thing that has been improved by using progress reports?
For my team, the one thing that has definitely been improved is the commitment to a specific goal. For example, in the beginning of the week you decide to call 5 new customers. You write it down and have it under your nose. By the end of the week, you will call 5 new customers. You have made the commitment, communicated it to the rest of the team, and now need to honor this.
Are there any unexpected benefits you have seen using progress reports?
What I did not expect to receive is the simple fact that my people now understand how truly important it is to plan. Not just plan their week, but plan to win. What is more, they have also started to plan their personal life and this helps to have a better work-life balance.
Another unexpected benefit is the sense of the team. Well, it's difficult to explain, but the feeling is "I'm not alone, I'm a member of a great team".
That's just so great to hear. Are there any additional surprising insights you have gained about your team?
I think one thing I would add is that Weekdone helps the team leader to create new habits for the team members. How do I explain it. Well, you write down your goal, but the focus must be on the necessary habit that you need to exercise to reach that goal. To generate a new habit you must remain connected and Weekdone helps to stay connected.
Any additional features you wish Weekdone could implement?
I would like to have a second personal sheet for each team member to write down individual and personal information, for example core values. This would also be a great place you can write a monthly feedback to. After each report deadline I always ask the team what progress they have made towards their goals, what hurdles they have experienced and what do they need from their team leaders.
Progress reporting is not just about monitoring employees progress and making sure they'll reach the end goal. It's also for stay connected and keeping the collaboration process efficient. Long are gone the days when progress reporting was an annoying commitment from the team members. Although we can't argue with the fact that it is a commitment, we are doing our best to take all the annoying parts out of it. With a practicing leading by example, progress reports help bring teams together, put them work towards one united goal and keep them connected.
How do you stay connected with your team?