3. Be inclusive: Involve employees in the development and establishment of your company goals. All workers need to be heard, understood and respected, especially if you want them to fully commit. I view this process as a negotiation between parties. In short, goals need to be mutually acceptable to all to be attainable. With this in mind, the next step is to clearly communicate to employees exactly what needs to happen at each layer of the organization. Everyone should know their assignments, their level of authority, their resources (people and budgets) and when and how to report on progress. They should also know how their duties fit within the full enterprise picture.
4. Set long-term and short-term goals: Create long-term goals (such as "double revenue by the end of the second year of business") to provide mileposts to help you visualize progress for the years to come. Then develop short-term, monthly and quarterly objectives to lead your organization step-by-step toward the accomplishment of the longer-term goals.
5. Have a “Plan B” ready: Even with your best efforts, you won’t reach every goal. Knowing this, allow for some variation in your plans. There should always be an alternative that addresses unexpected challenges or opportunities beyond your control.
6. Measure, evaluate and respond: Once goals are approved, meet with your employees on a regular basis — weekly, monthly or quarterly — to assess the progress of each critical task. The status of goals reviewed at each meeting will vary based on employee levels. With evaluations in hand, you can determine what needs to happen between each meeting to align current results with expected outcomes.
In sum, to succeed in establishing and reaching your goals, you should focus well in advance on what needs to happen and spend all time necessary in advance to ensure their success. While some goals may be harder to achieve than others, each experience will refine your focus and improve the time and energy you spend on reaching the key objectives that bring the bigger goal within reach.
Get started now, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed when January arrives.
Alan E. Hall is a cofounding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council.