Monday January 5, 2015
If you’re one to regularly work out in a health club or gym, this is the time of year you hate to go work out the most. That’s because all kinds of people who aren’t normally there are trying to figure out how to use equipment they don’t routinely use, slowing down your workout. And you probably know that season will only last a month or so. Many who made New Year’s Resolutions to get in shape, drop 25 pounds, or just get healthier, will fall off the bandwagon and repeat all of the above next year. Why do so few people actually drop the weight, get in shape, and stick with the health club?
Often it’s because the resolution is too big and isn’t broken down into bite-sized chunks. Often it’s because the reward doesn’t match the commitment and pain necessary to accomplish it. And sometimes it’s because there are too many resolutions creating an overwhelming feeling that’s just no fun. After all, when everything is a priority, nothing is.
- Same things happen with our strategic goals. Boards, Execs, and others can put in great work defining short and long range goals, but those will become just like New Year’s Resolutions if some thought isn’t put into actualizing them. You want results? You have to involve your team. Here’s how:
- Engage them. Goals should be set at the top an organization, because goals should be visionary. But your team will have good ideas to incorporate too. Even better, they will have ideas about how to accomplish those goals. Employees long to be “in on things.” Invite them to be.
- Enlist them. Find out who wants to make a meaningful contribution to the accomplishment of each goal. In a larger organization with multiple levels of management, you may have to break the goals into what each division will accomplish and drill down from there. Someone has to own each goal, or each part of each goal. When you ask rather than issue an ultimatum, you get better buy in and you can end up enlisting people in goals that align with their passions. You’ll also find out who your future leaders are.
- Envision them. For each goal, ask what for, and then communicate that. Many people care less about your goal to grow the organization 20% than they do why. You will have some members of your team who are wired like you – where their “why” is the same as yours. Some will be different. Have multiple “why’s.” Help employees see underneath the goal and they will help you achieve it.
- Reward them. Rewards in the form of bonuses or annual increases should not be on the basis of merely being good, present, or happy at work. That’s the conventional way of doing compensation, but it creates entitlement. You can get people to think like owners if you reward them in a way that is aligned with how you are rewarded. That will also help you get your goals accomplished.
- Measure and revisit. Your strategic goals should be kept top of mind. Measure progress, talk about it, do periodic updates. Don’t do this with only your management team. Keep engaging, enlisting, and envisioning your team. When you hit an obstacle that may make it difficult or impossible to reach a goal, you will often find an engaged team member has a strategy to overcome the obstacle.
Make it a great 2015!