Why monitoring goals is critical to your business (and how to do it easily)
A few years ago, due to age (the big 4-0 is a dreadful thing), weight, and work-life imbalances, I developed hypertension. Feeling palpitations and shortness of breath for more than a week, I decided to pay the doctor a visit. After a few quick checks of my blood pressure and medical history, he gave me his diagnosis, followed by a gameplan to address the disease. Regular medication, exercise and proper diet was needed. In short, a lifestyle change was in order.
He also advised me to monitor my weight and blood pressure regularly, to check if I meet my target vital stats. If not, further adjustments to my medication or regimen might be necessary. Failure to monitor these will be dangerous to my health. Valuing my well-being, this I have done faithfully until today.
The same is true for business. We might be setting awesome goals individually and as a company, but if we fail to monitor how well we're meeting those goals, we're basically driving blindly and exposing our business and customers to significant risk.
Most companies do check their performance against goals, but oftentimes this happens during the annual business review or performance appraisal. This might be too late to make any interventions. In the course of our daily work, it is not uncommon for goal-critical work to be overtaken by urgent yet unimportant tasks. After 12 months, you might find yourself in the same place as when you set your goal. Therefore, a regular checking-in on how things are is critical to establishing a performance drumbeat and getting things done.
How To Monitor Your Goals (Easily)
Monitoring goals need not be time-consuming. A meeting or two to establish your goals with each staff member will be required at the start, and for the rest of the time, a quick dialogue every now and then can be done. "Hi John, how is your cost-reduction program so far?" Or, "Good morning Rachel, any feedback yet on our email campaigns?". A regular dose of these kinds of discussions with your staff will help redirect them to the right direction and put constant focus on value-adding work.
Keeping notes or files of the individual goals of your staff would be helpful for this. A more convenient option is to check online solutions designed specifically for performance management, such as Namely, BambooHR and Employment Hero. In My EmployeeLife, for example, staff members can set-up their individual and group goals, target dates, and log-in their progress as well. Immediate superiors can then check their team members' progress online in real time, at their convenience. Hours are saved weekly, while keeping yourself up-to-date, in a steady march towards your goals.
At the end of the day, your commitment to keeping in regular touch with your team members on their stated goals is the key to getting the right things done consistently over time, however way you do it.
About the author:
Dondi Alentajan is the Principal Consultant for Alentajan Business Consulting and serves as a consultant for Optimum Direct, a web portal for the best HR tools and software for small business. He was recognised as a “Marketing Maverick” by Business World in 2012, and he headed the Marketing Team nominated “Best Marketing Company” by the PMA for two consecutive years (2010 & 2011). His primary work mission is to help companies and their customers be happier together.