26 Jul BE SMART: Attaining organisational goals.
Business growth does not happen in a vacuum, and successful corporations don’t become successful because they wait around for their customers to find them.
They set goals and work to achieve them, ensuring that they create steady improvement for their organisation and stakeholders.
However, setting a goal is trickier than it sounds. A business could declare that it wants to achieve fifty per cent of its market share, or increase its year on year sales by one hundred per cent, if it doesn’t have a clear vision of how to achieve this goal; it’s unlikely to make it happen.
The challenge is how does a company set a goal that it can achieve?
When a company is deciding on what should be measured, it must make sure it decides whose responsibility it is to measure it, and how it will happen. To drive company development, goals need to be followed up on and followed through with.
Companies need goals to drive clear and concise development strategies. Whenever an organisation is setting its goals, it should not only plan just what the goal should be, but how the goals will be achieved and those who will be responsible for achieving the goals. Once these are in place, the organisation is halfway to making it happen.
In business, the concept of SMART goals is a very useful tool. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed. However, what do these mean?
• Specific: Goals have clearly defined objectives. When a company says it wants to increase sales, it’s important to ask: in what division? Which market? By how much?
• Measurable: Goals can be measured. A company might want to improve company culture, but to make that into a goal, they would need to devise a way to measure employee satisfaction. Examples could be employee retention and attrition records, surveys, and referrals these are all methods of measuring a goal of employee satisfaction.
• Achievable: When you would need unlimited time, funds, and staffing to make something happen, that’s not a goal, that’s a pipe dream. It’s important to have dreams, for the company, but goals should be something that can happen.
• Realistic: Is this what the company wants to focus on? Is it in line with the company mission and vision? Is it something employees will agree with and support?
• Timed: Good goals have a time limit. By a set time period, something will have happened. Without a time line, goals are just an inspirational quote.
How Does a Company Determine an Achievable Metric for its Goal?
Look at History and Build from There
Perhaps a company wants to increase its website traffic. First, the current website traffic must be known. If this information is easily accessible, it’s to the company’s advantage. If it’s not, then the initial goal becomes setting up a way to track website visitors for the company.
If the company has access to historical data that relates to its goals, it must take a close look at the details and identify trends such as; is there a steady increase of visitors to the website? Are the numbers flat? Are they declining?
If the current trends are working in your business, the company can decide to use the information as a guide on the way forward. If there has been a steady growth, the company might want to maintain that growth, or push for higher. If there has been no change, the company might want to push new and improved content strategies to start bringing in new viewers. If the website is losing hits, the first goal is to figure out why and decide what to do to stop the outflow.
Emphasise Personal Bests
A company might feel like trying to outdo its competition. For example, a company’s closest competition gets 500,000 hits a month, so it decides it needs 600,000 hits to outdo its competition. It is suggested that companies should not give into this way of thinking, rather, look inwards at the best the company has ever done.
Borrow a leaf from the concept used for sports training. As an athlete, trying to beat someone else’s goal is a recipe for injury and setbacks. Instead, athletes are encouraged to hit training, trying to outdo their own best. If they did 55 push-ups the previous day, see if they can either do 56 today or improve their form to make the 55 push-ups more efficiently and effectively.
Author: Sam Davtyan. (Co-founder and marketing director at Digital Media Group)