Align your Staff Objectives to meet all your business goals
Every team member, no-matter what their experience mix or skill, need to work towards common goals; ideally those of the business.
Last post I covered off 6 pointers for setting objectives, Great Objectives, this focused primarily on wording and delivery without addressing the context of objective setting.
Aligning goals and objectives across an entire organisation can seem overwhelming, by using the metaphor of your business as a tree things become simple.
Align Staff Objectives in 4 Steps
Step 1 – Goals start at the top of the tree, the fruit – what your firm do/sell and what must the firm focus on at the moment to be great in business? Choose 5 things – These are your firm’s purposes!
Step 2 – Down to the branches – what do management/departments need to do to this month to achieve the firm’s purposes? Choose five more things – assuming you are a manager/owner these will be your personal purposes from which you can develop objectives…
Step 3 – Next is the trunk – what do your billing/sales/production staff need to do to help management achieve their objectives AND for the firm to fulfill its purpose – these become your staff objectives..
Step 4 – Then comes the roots – the support stuff, what 5 things do they need to focus on to make sure ALL of the targets further up the tree are achieved… – these become your support staff objectives..
e.g. One Purpose might be “Fabulous Customer Experience”; each department with vary in the way it aligns to the firm objectives, as each has a different area of impact.
When considering Customer Experience the:
• Customer Service Manager: purpose = quick issue resolution
• Production Manager: purpose = excellent quality
Customer service will not be able to impact quality, and production will most likely have very little to do with issue resolution.
But both these departments’ outputs will impact the overall ability of the firm to achieve its purpose.
Customer Service staff can then be given an objective “decreasing complaint resolution time“, this can also have a measurable target added “Answering the telephone on first three rings 85% of the time, and within 6 rings 100% of the time“
* If you are the firm owner, or a board member, then crystallising the firm purposes into objectives with targets is part of your role.
* If your role is closer to the roots, where the firm objectives are not available/visible, the next best approach is to align your own objectives to BOTH the firm purpose (usually found in the mission statement) and your bosses’ purpose (usually found their job description).
* If you are working in a vacuum, and just starting out with objectives, look at job descriptions – as many as you can get hold of – for initial guidance.
B) Objectives Change – don’t get too hung up about needing to be right; they are never locked in stone, work out what your firm priorities are RIGHT NOW then flow it down so yourself and your team are aligned, working together towards greatness for your business (which in turn creates greatness for you).
C) Review, rework and re-align regularly – initially this may be as often as monthly until the objectives are clear, the targets meaningful, and the reporting information appropriate. In the above example answering the phone on the 1st v the 3rd ring probably won’t make a huge difference to the customer however not answering the phone for 10 rings will definitely impact the customers’ experience. Even so “number of rings” may not be an important factor in overall customer satisfaction if the staff are poorly trained to handle complaints, or do not have appropriate authority for issue resolution…
Regardless, it doesn’t matter where you start if you align to the objectives – every improvement, no matter how small is in the right direction.
Align your staff’s Objectives for Greatness in Business…
About the Author
Eve Blackall the small business answer to The Supernanny.
At Smart Accounting you work one-on-one with Eve who has already assisted hundreds of business owners increase cash-flow, grow profits, also ensuring those businesses fetch the highest price when it comes time to sell.