How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

June 10, 2022

5-min read

Chelsea Emerick

"Learning how to set goals and achieve them is a process for anybody, by leading the way for your wider team you can display tangible results of teamwork and strategy."

Establishing goals sounds easy in theory, but when you’re managing several people it can feel overwhelming to pick a direction to take. Discover how to set goals and achieve them using your wider team’s range of skills along with accessible resources and solutions that will help get your business on track.

Understand the areas you’d like to focus on

The most vital step in setting goals and achieving them is understanding the core focus behind the goal. This is the time to ask a lot of questions about where you’d like to see things go. Discussions with your senior team members can also prove helpful when trying to understand what to focus on as a business.

Take an objective approach to this process. Look at the things that are working well within your organization and assess the things that could be improved. An example of some goals that may arise during these conversations can include expanding your team, growing your client base, and increasing revenue. These are all perfectly achievable goals to focus on, but knowing how much you and your team can tackle at once is important. Set a priority on each of these goals and focus primarily on the one that is most urgent. 

Establish the tools you’ll need

Let’s say you’d like to achieve all three goals, however, your team is spread thin with the day-to-day workings of the business. If you were to make the goal of increasing revenue or expanding the client base the core focus of your business, there’s a good chance that your team will be burnt out from that extra work. This is where it’s important to address the tools that will assist you in achieving your goals. 

If you were to focus on bringing in a few extra hands and then aim to expand your existing client base, you can do so in a way that won’t exhaust your employees and lead to your next goal of expanding your client base. This means that bringing in new employees who can specialize in areas that you need work done in is actually a tool in helping your business reach your wider goals. 

Consider the things that slow your teams down or fall by the wayside. Investing in software that makes jobs easier or working with freelancers to lighten the workload are some great examples of tools that can assist your team in achieving a wider company goal. 

Create a realistic timeline

A common mistake many people make when finding a core focus is rushing through to the end result. The excitement of discovering a goal and what’s needed to achieve it can often result in a buzz of productivity, but it’s important to direct and structure that productivity. Take the time to truly assess how long you’ll need to achieve your goal without compromising on the work-life balance of everyone involved. 

This stage of the goal-setting process is vital in ensuring that your employees are accountable for their work and wellbeing, while senior management is accountable for their expectations. It would be unreasonable to expect to achieve a goal by working hard and fast for four weeks when it could be done with more care and attention in twelve weeks. Aim to yield results from work that has been consistent and considered over a rushed job that may have to be revised. 

Let’s use the example goal of increasing revenue. We’ve already established that in order to realistically achieve this goal you need to expand your client base, however in order to do that you need to expand your team. These are all key factors that drive the timeline for achieving your goal. Consider the time it will take to get through the hiring process, and then the induction process. Factor in any internal movements, from stakeholders to existing employees you still have a responsibility to continue fostering those relationships. 

Now let’s zoom out a little. You’ve got your new employees settled in, things are running smoothly, and you’re starting to expand your client base. Would this be something you could rationalize taking a few weeks? Or would a quarter be a more flexible expectation, given all of the moving parts?

Coming back to the wider goal of increasing revenue, it can be easy to see how a goal like this could take six months. Results take time, to accurately measure progress towards your goal it is imperative that you create a timeline that is flexible and supportive of everyone involved.

Celebrate the milestones along the way

As you go through the process of reaching your goal, take note of the key milestones and achievements of your team. Whether it’s completing a major piece of work or gaining a new skill it’s important to ensure your team feels seen and encouraged in their efforts. 

Taking the time to celebrate your wins as a wider team can be a great way to continue supporting your team as you work together towards a common goal. We’d be remiss not to mention that a Team Building Activity is a great means of celebration. However, there are many ways to support your team and show appreciation.

Some ideas include:

  • Celebrate your wins for the week on a Friday afternoon with a short, upbeat catch up
  • Encourage senior team members to shout about the achievements of their individual team members
  • Create opportunities for teams to socialize and engage with each other outside of their respective roles, whether that be a coffee morning or an end-of-the-week game.

Alternatively, you could also ask for the input of your team and see what suits them best. Creating cause for celebration and engagement within your team plays a big part in job satisfaction and workplace happiness. Acknowledging the efforts of your team members ensures they feel valued and seen as a skilled individual that contributes to something greater.

Learning how to set goals and achieve them is a process for anybody, by leading the way for your wider team you can display tangible results of teamwork and strategy. Creating a timeline that supports employees without compromising their wellbeing, including your own, will make any goal you set out to achieve feel possible to reach.

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