We’re only a few weeks into the new year, but you’ve probably already seen tons of plays on “20/20 vision”. Perfect vision offers perfect clarity, and the beginning of the year is the perfect opportunity to set your sights on success.
First, a vision test:
- What are you hoping to achieve this year?
- What are your colleagues hoping to achieve?
- What is your company hoping to achieve?
If the goals aren’t clear, success won’t be, either. Take time to reflect on these questions, then prioritize, plan, and act!
It’s not selfish to believe that you’re kind of a big deal. It’s simply the truth. If you’re not happy, nothing else will be right. Start your vision test by focusing on what you want to achieve this year. Maybe it’s a professional goal, or maybe it’s totally personal. For all the fuss about loudly declaring your resolutions, there are clearly some goals that are not intended for a wider audience. No worries.
In 2019, I aimed to visit all of the state parks in Virginia. Reasonable? Sure. Still, the main thing about this target was that it aligned with my personal values and priorities: I love the outdoors, I’d like to get a little more exercise, and I enjoy taking and sharing pictures. Winning all around. Goal achieved!
Be a Better Colleague
Being a good colleague means developing empathy for those around you. Everyone is dealing with different challenges in their lives, and a better understanding of your colleagues’ goals can help you to work better together. Perhaps someone has a family member who is very ill, and nursing this loved one back to health is the most important priority in that person’s life. Maybe someone’s working toward an advanced degree or professional certification. You may have colleagues who are training for marathons, planning to get married, trying to have children, buying new homes, sending kids to college…
Recognize that those around you are whole people, beyond simply their role in your company. This isn’t just a job for Human Resources professionals: Everyone benefits from this more holistic approach. Even if you can’t do anything to help a particular colleague achieve a goal, sometimes your support is enough. In 2019, beyond the office, I was finishing an MA in TESOL and teaching a university writing course. Happily, I was allowed to balance a more flexible schedule to fit everything in, and my colleagues were supportive, interested, and encouraging. Goal achieved!
In Good Company
While it’s important to recognize our own goals and to appreciate the aims of our colleagues, the truth is that we’ve all come together for a reason. Especially for those moments when the big picture seems a little unclear, it’s important for organizations to be clear on their goals. Having a mission or vision statement and identified values can be very powerful, but these are often abstract and inspirational. A good goal is like an objective: It doesn’t have to be SMART, but a method of measuring success is important.
Frequently, companies set revenue goals or targets, and then stop. Sure — for most organizations! — it’s important to make enough money to sustain and grow the business. If the work is only about making money, however, only employees with similar motivation will be activated. Others may want to develop a specific product, begin to offer a particular service, or engage more productively with a certain community. Still others may prioritize internal goals, like boosting employee engagement, strengthening professional development offerings, or streamlining performance evaluations.
Company Goal Tips
Whether you choose to implement OKRs, okeydokeys, or anything else, the best company goal plans share these three steps:
- Collective creation: When identifying company goals — or even goals for a specific department or team — it’s important to collect feedback from multiple sources. While most companies aren’t run completely as true democracies, they shouldn’t be run as dictatorships, either. Collective (at least relatively) goal-setting ensures greater buy-in, and helps to facilitate the next phase: communication.
- Consistent communication: From all-hands meetings and internal newsletters to your website and marketing, these goals should appear regularly and consistently. Certainly, some might not be appropriate for public consumption, but your employees should know where they’re headed.
- Continuous consideration: Finally, don’t wait until the end of the year to evaluate success. Your goals are measurable, right? Collect data, create beautiful reports, and most importantly discuss and act on insights to ensure continuous improvement. Goals shouldn’t hide out through the year, only to resurface in an annual report. When you’re reviewing results on an ongoing basis, you can identify trends and issues quickly and follow up accordingly.
So, how’s your 2020 vision? Can you clearly see room for improvement? Are you on the right track? The beginning of the year isn’t the only time you can set goals, but it’s certainly a good place to start.Need data to make decisions? Connect with our team today to find out how Sogolytics can help!