Every goal should be broken down into a series of activities that will help you achieve it. For example, a sales goal can be broken down to a number of calls to make, contracts to write, or the amount of product to sell. Thinking through and planning for all the activities will ensure daily behaviors move everyone toward the goal.
- If you're serious about actually hitting the goals you set, you need to break those goals down into specific activities that are going to help you achieve it. A sales goal can be broken down into the number of calls to make, the number of contracts to write, the amount of product to sell to the customer, the amount of product to deliver to the customer. Having those specific activities outlined is going to drive daily behaviors that move you toward the goal, and those behaviors can be measured and tracked.
I've had a couple of these examples lately. I'm writing a book right now and my first draft manuscript is due February 15th. When I break that down into specific activities, I end up with a list that consists of writing the book outline and chapter descriptions. Another task is writing each of the 19 chapters. I'll have to create diagrams and illustrations for each chapter. I have to get reviewers and editors to read the chapters and comment on them. I'll have to reread and edit my work and incorporate their comments.
I'll need to, finally, prepare the manuscript for submission and send it off to the publisher. Those subtasks all add up to me hitting that goal of a first draft manuscript by February 15th. From a business perspective, maybe I have a goal for my team of reducing customer cancellations by 8%. I need to look at the tasks and behaviors I need my team to demonstrate to hit that goal. I'll need to implement a cancel, save discount initiative by March 2nd to stop the losses.
Another task may be analyze the top reasons for cancellations and share those findings with the team. I may have a task of fixing up-time issues by April 23rd, which is the biggest reason customers cancel is the system is down, and one last task is fixing billing issues by June 30th, which is the second biggest reason customers cancel. Looking at that reduce cancellations by 8% goal, and breaking it down into those smaller tasks, helps the team focus on achieving those objectives, and if those objectives are achieved, we hit the goal.
When you set your goals, break them down into those subtasks, assign those tasks to the members of your team so you can hold people accountable, and then monitor and measure your progress against those tasks. By doing so, you're going to increase the likelihood that you hit the goals that you set.
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