How to Bring Relevance and Urgency to Your Goal-Setting ProcessBy Renee Warren on August 10, 2012 in How To..., The Future of Work
The Daily Standup
I’m a believer in working at something a little bit every day. Whether it’s the garden, my health or my relationships, a little bit of daily TLC goes a long way. Daily success builds to larger long-term success. This philosophy translates easily to my business life, especially when it comes to goal setting with remote employees.
My employees are 90% remote, which means I rely on tools like Skype and cloud-based sharing tools to keep them connected and motivated.
Every morning, we start with a daily call to cover four main discussion points: (1) what we’re working on today; (2) what our roadblocks are; (3) what we need from the team; and (4) what our daily/weekly goals are.
By the time our daily calls are over, the entire team is updated, focused and motivated. More importantly, I can see how all of my employees are progressing. Is anyone falling behind? Is anyone exceeding expectations? Is everyone happy with the work they’re doing? By assessing the small tasks and reviewing daily work, we identify problems before they arise.
Here’s how you can bring more relevance and urgency to your goal-setting process.
1. Check-in On Daily Progress
Get a feel for what your team has been working on since you last spoke. What are their plans for today? How did they do yesterday? Was anything left unfinished? Were the deliverables quality? Use this time to fully understand how your employees are progressing through their to-dos and towards your goals. By assessing daily and weekly milestones, it can help uncover any issues that may arise later on which gives you the upper hand to put out a flame before it becomes a fire.
2. Surface Roadblocks
Now assess what is holding your employees back from reaching their goals and meeting your expectations. Are they having trouble with something? Are they waiting on your approval? Do they need to ask you a question? Do they need you to guide them through a process? Find out if and how your employees are struggling, and ask what you can do to help them break through roadblocks.
3. Ensure Needs Are Met
It’s likely that you’re fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration. Does anyone need help from a co-worker? Could someone offer advice to a co-worker on a certain project? Are your employees happy with the work they’re doing? Look to answer these questions and satisfy any outstanding needs before moving on to future goals. Try to create an atmosphere for self improvement and teamwork. Ask yourself, what can I do to help my employees achieve their goals today, tomorrow, this week, next month? By pushing them a little in the right direction based on their needs, can help the company’s overall goals.
4. Set Short-Term Goals
Now that you’ve provided feedback, eliminated roadblocks and offered support, it’s time to focus on the tasks ahead. What should each employee have done by the end of the day? What should employees have done by the end of the week? What is the primary focus for the week? Set or reaffirm daily goals that build up to a weekly objective.
That’s all it takes to keep your team on target and achieving goals. Quarterly goal setting is too big picture to be effective for agile companies. The key is breaking a lofty quarterly vision down into attainable, daily goals. The easiest way to simplify the goal setting process is by checking in with employees daily to fuel motivation and maintain focus. A little TLC is all it takes!