Inc. Magazine ran this article regarding the importance of setting business goals and its effects on a business. In this article, it is stated that “More than 80 percent of the 300 small business owners surveyed in the recent 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey said that they don’t keep track of their business goals, and 77 percent have yet to achieve their vision for the company.”
My one word for that is . . . DUH!
It is shocking to me how often I run into business owners who pay very little attention to this important aspect of a business. Furthermore, the ones who do have set business goals often pay little attention or value to them once they are established.
It is understandable that in today’s society, the day-to-day operations of the business always appear to be more pressing and are given higher priority than taking the time for proper introspection and foresight. A down economy can make this process appear even less necessary than when everything is clicking.
My posting today is a plea for all business owners and managers to slow down and not skip this important step. Properly set business goals provide a clear vision for your direct reports (and you) to conduct your day-to-day operations with a sense of purpose and direction. Common goals ensure that team members are held accountable for their responsibilities to the collective team, and they lay a foundation for collaboration. In essence, setting proper business goals gives your employees a reason to come to work each day that goes far beyond a paycheck.
The Inc. article lists two considerations for properly setting business goals:
- Determine Your Long-Term Aims. This principle recommends that you set goals that are 3-5 years in the future, are generally reflective of your company mission, and should be distinguished from your short-term goals.
- Create Short-Term Objectives. These are your typical S.M.A.R.T. goals that are usually achievable within a calendar year.
While I certainly agree with this perspective, I would add one more recommendation for setting effective business goals: Ensure that your goals appeal to the cognitive and behavioral diversity of your team members.
Goals that don’t appeal to all sides of the brain are often lost or ineffective. Ultimately, ineffective goals will be unappealing to your employees and could result in dissension or lack of trust.
A simple exercise to ensure that your goals are reaching all of your employees is to examine your company/team goals and ask yourself, “Do these goals accurately represent and appeal to each Emergenetics thinking and behavioral attribute?” In other words, do you have goals that speak to the Analytical, Structural, Social, and Conceptual brain? Then, do your goals appeal to each end of the behavior spectrum?
While it’s an extra step in the goal-setting process, it is an important step that will fortify your goals and will help keep your office productive and motivated.