It sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Align goals for people in your company to get to an overall success and you're golden. Easy peasy. But it amazes me how many companies fail at this simple concept.
As digital as we all are a business's success (or failure) still depends on one thing: people. Well, two things: people and communication. If your people aren't working for a common cause, it's one bad-ass slippery slope. If there's no shared goal at the end of the day, team members lose focus, they lose passion, they get confused as to the vision of the business and may start to "relook" at their career path with your company. No member of a team really wants to be a cog in a wheel, unless they're content being part of a big boring company; collecting a paycheck, sliding down that dinosaur at 5. Sorry, been there done that, not for me. And not for the people I work with.
That's why at our new company Dasheroo we go the extra mile when it comes to communication, especially since we're distributed all over the place. But even if you're working side-by-side in any business your team wants to feel a sense that they like who they work with and they know make a difference in the business.
Goals are important, but only if people know how what they do contributes to the overall goal. And how working together helps achieve that goal. If your overall goal is to generate revenue from a specific part of the business you need to goal team members from other parts of the business that can help grow that revenue. If you're just telling your widgets department they need to sell more widgets, but you don't goal your sales team on selling those widgets or your marketing team on marketing those widgets it's never going to be a success.
Our CEO John Hingley just spent a half-hour in our weekly meeting with the entire team going through the top 5 strategic initiatives we're working on for 2015. He does it at the beginning of every board meeting and pays it off in his presentation. His message? These 5 things should get us to 30,000 users and position us well for growth going into 2016 and beyond. Will we get there? We'll see, but we do know that everyone is on the same page and aligns our goals across the entire team.
Here are 3 things that will help you along your goal-alignment path, and it ain't rocket science.
Define Your Top 3-5 (No More!) Goals
You've got a few things you can do well and you need to zero in on them and make them rock solid. Do you want to cut costs by 5%? Do you want to get rid of a product line? Perhaps you need to grow a customer base by 10%. You need them to be quantifiable and know that they can be achieved.
Select the People or Groups That Can Make a Difference
There are specific people or groups of people that can directly affect the outcome of these goals and you need to identify all of the different parts of the business that will get you there. More importantly you need to make sure they don't have competing goals to the ones you're giving them.
Let's say you have a call center and you want them to help grow sales by 5%. Well you might not be able to look to them if you've also got a goal to cut costs by 10% because you'll need them on the revenue side.
Solicit Their Ideas
These people want to succeed and they want you to succeed so work with them and get their ideas for how they think they can help the business achieve the goal. If they have skin in the game they'll work even harder for you.
One more important thing; you need transparency in your communications. They need to know how the business is progressing to the goal because a team in the dark is a team that's not going to care. If you're in the red, they need to know it, they need to know what you think caused it and they need to know what they can do to help turn things around. This will empower your team to think and work harder to get to that goal!
And regularly meet to ensure goals are being met. If you've got to change it up because something's not working change it sooner rather than later.
Are your goals aligned? Let us know what you’re doing!