When I started VerticalResponse in 2001, we had 3 employees. And our goals were as follows: to get as much stuff done every day as we possibly could. It's probably not the right way to do things but we were so small and nimble it had to be the way to do it.
Slow-forward to 2010, with close to 100 employees. That's not the way you can do things now. Everyone's job has gotten a bit 'nichier' and focused and we are looking at what things that need to get done at all levels to attain our overall goals. And I'm not talking about just your senior-level managers, I'm talking setting quantitative goals at all levels of your business.
So now we've got a lot of hardworking doers that would love to know from us what they can do to not only be successful themselves, but to help the company succeed. And unlike in 2001, they don't necessarily know where to begin.
That's your job. And your goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).
The first thing you have to do is to define your company goals. The top goals are usually around revenue, profitability and customer growth. You might also have goals about improved employee retention.
How can Sally help? Since Sally might be talking to customers the most, you might utilize her to do some marketing.
How can Jason help?
If you measure your goals quarterly, halfway through the quarter sit down with staff and find out where they are and what you can do to help. If it's monthly do a quick check in halfway through the month. If you've got a great relationship with them, they'll have probably already told you of any issues that came up to prevent them from getting to these goals. Remember, if the goals are measureable and actionable and support the overall goals of the company, you'll know pretty quickly if they're on their way to attaining the goals you set. And more importantly, they'll feel like they've contributed a big part towards the success of the business.