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  • 6 categories that assist in setting annual goals

    On the surface it seems to be such a simple thing: set annual goals for work you do day in and day out. However, in my experience, many times staff struggle a bit with developing goals, especially when faced with a blank sheet of paper. Goals are a reflection of how individuals add value and make contributions to the overall success of their department and company. I believe strongly in letting staff take the first go at setting their annual goals. This gains their support during the year.

    With the help of my team, we developed 6 overarching categories to assist in the annual goal setting process. Every goal should fit into one of the categories.

    The categories that have worked well for me and my team are:
    (1) Cash-flow, cash-flow, cash-flow. Any action we can take directly or any action we can influence that results in an improved cash-flow position is critically important. (Examples: reduce bad debt expense, increase revenue, or implement an idea that results in lower costs.)

     (2) Process and quality improvements. Eliminating defects and reducing cycle time in business processes improves customer satisfaction and the bottom line. The relentless pursuit of improved quality is a highly sought after skill and allows any individual to make significant contributions to their organization.

    (3) Putting the customer 1st. Every individual has daily interactions with either external or internal customers. Treating customers well, solving their problems and creating a simple and efficient interface are all elements of enhancing customer satisfaction. This creates value. A satisfied customer is one that returns again and again.

     (4) Developing employees. Employees are the engines that drive all internal processes. They are a company’s most important resource. In order for any organization to grow, employees must grow also. Demonstrating the ability to help individuals grow and learn is a major contribution.

     (5) Implementing a major new initiative. Periodically a department or company will implement a major change. It could be a new ERP system such as SAP. It could be a new payroll system. It could be the implementation of a global shared services organization. Any of these initiatives require dedicated resources to implement.

     (6) Enhance internal controls. Internal controls are the mechanism by which a company safeguards its assets. Finding ways to improve internal controls in a cost-effective manner benefits any company. Not only can it prevent a future monetary loss, it can also result in improved information for management.

    When talking to individuals and teams it was important to note that for a given year you may not have a goal in every category; perhaps only 3 or 4. However, the categories allow staff to know what is important overall. We would share our individual goals in a team meeting so that everyone could see how collectively the goals allowed us to make significant contributions to the company. These 6 categories allowed teams to effectively set goals on an annual basis.

    Published on February 27, 2012 · Filed under: Coaching, Goals and expectations; Tagged as: , ,
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