• Maureen O'Toole

Take Little Steps to Reach Big Goals



What I’m Thinking About: Annual Goals? Big Commitment!

For the last three weeks, I wrote about business goals. I recommended that you set goals annually in the 5 core competency areas (Profitability, Operational Excellence, Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement, Community Engagement, Marketing and Sales). And that you make the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reachable, Time-Centered). I suggested setting an overarching goal - a What’s Important Now? (WIN) goal - that will unify the company. But how do you turn big, year-long goals into bite size pieces?

Why You Might Be Thinking About It: Take the Year a Quarter at a Time

Just how do we focus efforts to reach big annual goals? Look at those big goals from a quarterly perspective. Some goals may be reached by the end of the second quarter and an office celebration ensues. Others may require action in each quarter and we celebrate success at the end of the fiscal year.

Here’s an example of a big annual goal broken down into quarterly steps.

Annual Goal: Key Priority Indicator Employee Engagement: Retain 85% of our top performers this fiscal year.

1st Quarter: Hold performance conversations with each employee by the end of February. Review job descriptions for accuracy, progress against both job skill-based and overall professional development goals, and employee satisfaction. Set bonus-based goals.

2nd Quarter: Conduct a catered offsite with employee-selected professional development training, team building and fun activities. Celebrate progress towards company goals and individual success.

3rd Quarter:

  • Hold an all-expense paid family day based on employee input.

  • Hold performance conversations with each employee. Identify progress against company goals and individual goals, areas of concern, and areas of celebration.

4th Quarter:

  • Complete employee performance reviews. Give guidance on strengths and growth opportunities, recommend salary increases and promotions as merited by performance, and hold two-way feedback sessions between team members and team leaders.

  • Include employees in setting goals for the next fiscal year.

  • Celebrate company success against goals!

Why It’s Worth Thinking About: “Little things make big things happen.” - Coach John Wooden

By breaking big goals into smaller goal steps, we visual the path to success. Team members can focus on reaching smaller, supporting goals by quarter rather than trying to tackle big, year-long goals. And all those little wins add up to big wins for everyone.

Ready to plan for success? The Sandbox Group is ready to help. We help make work WORK!

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