Goals are instrumental to growing a business, as they define your direction and the steps you need to take to achieve success. Looking ahead, you must factor in a number of considerations like your budget, your bandwidth, your audience, and—perhaps most importantly—your team.
Yet too often, leaders do not include their team in conversations about business goals. It becomes a process of creating the roadmap and handing it off for employees to execute.
This approach, however, does not take into account the fact that your team is integral to your ability to reach (and exceed) your goals. Your salespeople drive revenue, your marketing specialists keep inquiries high, and your event team maintains a five-star client experience. Shouldn’t they have the opportunity to provide input in the business’s future?
The Special Event, co-located with The Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, is heading to Anaheim May 2 – 5, 2022. With fresh keynotes, new networking opportunities, eye-popping showcasing events and never-before-seen industry speakers, prepare to be wowed. Learn more
By bringing your employees into the goal-setting process, you'll cultivate an engaging and inclusive culture that provides them with ownership and empowerment in their roles.
Adopt these strategies for your next goal-setting session and watch your team flourish with inspiration and purpose.
Break out of your usual surroundings.
Staring at the same view day in and day out is less than inspiring, whether it’s your living room or your office door. Your employees feel the same! If you want to ramp up the creativity and enthusiasm, consider freshening the energy for your goal-setting meeting.
We host a two or three-day retreat with our team each year, which allows us to step away from the day-to-day grind and open up new perspectives for our business. This time serves as a wonderful team-building opportunity, while also bringing everyone on the same page for the year ahead.
Even if you don’t have the time to get away for multiple days, it can help to take your team offsite to a local library or favorite coffee shop to switch up the energy.
Invite feedback openly.
In many cases, employees are wary about speaking up about their thoughts and opinions out of fear of retaliation. Oftentimes, this mindset has carried over from previous employers, so you may need to do a little extra work to encourage your team to provide honest feedback.
Create a safe space for discussion and be clear upfront that feedback is valuable, even (and especially) if it’s hard for others to hear. Then, open the floor for everyone to feel seen and heard. Ask guiding questions to see how employees currently feel and how they see the company growing in the years to come.
Be mindful that everyone gives and receives feedback differently, so work on approaching each team member in the best way possible. Also, be prepared to mediate between employees should there be a miscommunication or agreement. After all, conflict resolution and collaboration go hand-in-hand!
Don’t delay implementation.
Team goal-setting meetings aren’t just for lip service; they should be held with the intention to apply your takeaways to the business right away. If you’ve set a certain revenue goal, work together to create a plan to increase your cost per event or book more clients. By taking action right away, you’ll demonstrate to your team that goals matter and you need their support in seeing them through.
Write down the top three or four goals in a place your team can see them every day. It may be on a whiteboard or a shared project management platform—the point is to keep those goals top-of-mind for everyone in the company.
Then, at any point of the year, you and your team can revisit the goals to answer questions, define priorities, and make strategic decisions to propel the business forward.
Stay on top of your goals.
Goals are not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Instead, they must be considered each day and adjusted as the business evolves. Revisit your list of goals every month (or quarter, at least) to ensure your team is making progress. Is every action connected to your goals? Is there room for improvement or increased efficiency?
As always, it’s best to connect with your team members to see if they have any ideas or concerns to address. Ask them how you can better support them in reaching their personal and professional goals.
Bonus: Regular check-ins with employees keep communication lines open and allow you to solve problems before they snowball into larger issues. They also reduce the pressure often associated with annual reviews, as everyone remains aware of their performance and how they’re progressing toward their goals.
Without clear and defined goals, you and your team will lack the focus and direction you need to make a difference for your business and within your community. So, get creative, step outside of “same old, same old,” and have fun envisioning the future together!