Learn how to set a frequency that makes sense. Track progress regularly enough that you can make corrections, changes, and plans as needed. Don't measure too frequently or you will waste time. If it's a long cycle, break it up into milestones. When you do review, manage by exception so you don't waste time on goals that are on track.
- Once you've set your goals and you're out taking action to achieve them, You need to measure. You need to monitor and see if you're on track. Track progress regularly enough that you can make changes. But not so frequently that you're just wasting everybody's time. Measurement takes effort. Be mindful of how frequently you're going to look at a metric. If you have a metric that you're trying to move that's a long cycle, break it up into smaller milestones. Set interim measures that you can monitor to know if you're on track for hitting that goal.
Maybe you can look for leading indicators that a goal is going well. Or you can review tasks or milestones for projects to see if you're on track. Finally, when you do review goals and look at progress, manage by exception so you don't waste time talking about goals that are on track. I've been in plenty of status meetings where we had 20 different metrics. And you know what we did? We went through all 20. Even though 18 of them were on track. We should've spent time on the two that weren't, and then just said everything else is good to go.
I managed one program at one point where we offered consumers concessions to get them to take a specific action. We had a test group and a control group. We knew we wouldn't know full results for six months of running one of these tests. But we couldn't wait to make changes if we needed to. We set out a monitoring plan. We monitored interim measures how many customers were accepting the offer, how many of them were demonstrating some of the leading indicators, and what did they look like after two months and three months.
For some of the offers we made, it became very clear very quickly that it was a good offer, and we should continue pushing that one. Other ones weren't so good and we took appropriate action early in the cycle rather than waiting six months for that idea to show us that it was a bad idea. So by breaking it up, understanding the measurement period and then taking action accordingly, we were able to preform better than if we waited the full six months before we took our measures.
For your goals, lay out a clear monitoring plan. Specify which reports you're going to use. What is the timing of your measurement? And lay out the contingent actions that you're going to take if things aren't on track. That good monitoring plan is going to help you hit your goals and avoid some of the problems that can come up if you're not measuring performance soon enough.
Along with providing guidance on how to link individual employee goals to organizational strategy, Mike walks you through the different types of goals, including bottom-up, zero-based, commit, and stretch goals. He also helps you use goals to change behaviors, build new skills among employees, and make goals actionable by using incentives and tying them to specific activities. He concludes with a comprehensive plan for setting and implementing goals, and some tips on dealing with challenges such as conflicting goals.
- Identifying goals and goal types
- Setting SMART goals
- Linking goals to business strategy
- Building goals from the bottom up or top down
- Creating stretch goals
- Outlining activities and resources to help employees achieve goals
- Reviewing and revising goals
- Reconciling conflicting goals