Business goals

Smart tips for defining and actually achieving your business goals

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Now, a few months into the start of the new year, many of us are heaving a collective sigh of relief – 2020 is over, Covid-19 vaccinations are underway, and for the first time in a long time, there is hope of a return to (at least some) normality on the horizon. At Punch List, like many businesses, this is a time when, as an organization, we come together, reflect and set goals for the year ahead.

We find that using the OKR methodology in our business goal setting process is beneficial for everyone at Punch List. Popularized by Google and Intel, OKR, or Objectives and Key Results, is a goal setting and management framework that enables business leaders to guide their team’s progress toward a clear common goal. Here’s an overview of our process with key learnings we’ve found useful in setting and meeting quarterly and annual business goals.

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Look at examples from the past

Before we even start setting our annual business goals, we look at examples from our past. What annual goals have we set for 2018? 2019? 2020? And how successful have we been in meeting those goals, measuring our success, and tracking our progress? These are important questions and the answers lend themselves to our future success. Particularly for company founders and CEOs, it is crucial to understand the big picture and the positive or negative impact of each previous initiative on progress towards the goal, the overall culture of the company, the strategic alignment and employee engagement.

Let’s use a real world example to explain my point. One of Punch List’s first goals in 2019 was “Get feedback on the alpha version of the Punch List app” and a few key results were “On board [Client Name] alpha build by 08/19 “and” Identify the list of high friction points and key features needed to launch the beta. “The review of these 2019 OKRs in 2021 suddenly put our progress in Rather than just one customer, we’re now planning dozens, if not hundreds. And, rather than focusing on blockers for launch, we instead confirm the completeness of funnel tracking and metrics. App performance. 2019 was about why the app was going to falter, while 2021 was about why / how it would thrive.

Clearly define business and team goals

This one seems obvious, but it’s critical to make sure you’re strategically aligned with your organization’s goals. Chat with your employees and team to determine what everyone sees as the top priorities for the year. Understanding how your employees view business success and how they view their work and their team supporting that success will allow you to best define a clear business goal. While we recommend setting corporate goals for the year, team and individual goals should be set on a quarterly basis to support progress toward overall corporate goals.

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Promote employee engagement and empowerment

The OKR framework encourages focus, accountability, transparency and alignment in the pursuit of specific and measurable goals. To be successful, you need to maintain employee engagement from the time the goal is set until execution. Coherent thinking about team and individual OKRs will not only promote employee engagement, but also promote increased accountability, as employees are reminded of their value and importance in achieving those goals. Establish regular checks with your employees to promote growth, engagement, and ensure strategic alignment with other team members and initiatives. Creating a cultural change within your organization to focus on results rather than production will have a positive impact on employee performance.

Define measurable key results

Setting concrete milestones in the form of key results is fundamental to understanding how successful your strategy is in achieving a given goal. For Punch List, a major objective for 2021 is to expand our client base by making our offer better known to independent entrepreneurs – by making Punch List a valuable resource for entrepreneurs to securely and transparently monitor the progress of projects. renovations with owners and receive payment. As such, some of the key results we will be tracking include growing our customer base by 50% and building partnerships with at least three national associations of general contractors.

Track the progress of initiatives on a calendar

As you develop your annual and quarterly strategies, write down all the initiatives, projects and tasks designed to drive progress towards your key results in a timeline and clearly define the KPIs you will be tracking. Set up hours to check in on a monthly basis to determine the success of each initiative and if a change in strategy or direction might be needed. Creating a transparent tool to track progress will promote accountability at all levels and strengthen the focus on achieving the key goal. All initiatives must support the primary objective and monitoring progress is essential to ensure continued strategic alignment.

Stay focused on the goals you’ve set for yourself – individually, as a team, and across the organization – and the benchmarks you all need to meet to get there.

Related: Unless You’re Tracking Your Progress, Setting Goals Is A Waste Of Effort