January 29, 2019

Announcing Yearly Goals Can Be Stressful. Here Are Some Tips.

Organizational Effectiveness

With each annual plan comes a new set of yearly goals. Announcing this to the organization should involve management from all functional areas. However, Human Resources is often left out. This does a disservice to your company.


Why Is Human Resources Important to Rolling out Yearly Goals?

Nobody knows your employees like HR. They have a comprehensive understanding of what attracts talent to your company, what keeps them there, and what motivates them. No matter how great your executive and management team is, you won’t be able to reach any goals without the rest of your employees.

There are three high-level processes to goal rollouts, in order:

  1. Communicating the Goals

  2. Monitoring the Goals

  3. Lessons Learned from the Goals

To be truly successful, you need to maintain focus on these established goals throughout the whole year - and not just HR goals. This means monitoring, adjusting and learning from all processes. One of the best ways to stay on top of this is assigning someone to lead the rollout. This can be the Chief HR Officer, a project manager or others, but it should not be the CEO. It needs to be someone with the time, skills and energy to get into the weeds when necessary.


Communicating Goals

The initial steps of communicating the goals should be done in several stages:

  • Executive Level Communication Meeting: Announcing to top-level execs the schedule for communicating the goals with the company.
  • Management Communication Meeting: Announcing and explaining the goals to managers and supervisors. Communicating their role in the coming year and the impact of success.
  • Company Wide Announcement: Either a meeting or digital communication that reaches all employees, explaining the goals, their effect on employees and the impact of success.
  • Necessary Training: Some goals require changes in processes. If so, training for affected workers should follow shortly after the all employee communication.

Having a point person like an HR rep in charge will make these steps much smoother, keeping everyone engaged and informed. Once goals are announced, the point person will take steps to monitor the progress.


Monitoring Goals

One of the first things that should be done is assigning responsibility. Each goal should have a champion, someone whose job contributes to that goal. You may want to have managers champion and assign tasks to employees, or you may want to have employees themselves champion the goals. Both approaches can be valuable, and adhere to your company culture.

You can’t overlook the valuable work of assigning responsibility and tasks to individual people for your important goals. If responsibility is too broad or too general, like “the sales team,” then everyone can assume someone else is completing necessary tasks.

Once roles are assigned and communicated, schedule regular meetings with those involved. The frequency and who attends can vary based on the goals, but don’t wait until mid-year, or worse, the end of the year, to talk about goals.

Goal champions should be meeting with workers that focus on the goals more often, perhaps every other week. Management must be kept in the loop, but not at every meeting. Cross-departmental meetings that communicate goal status to all teams should meet once a quarter. They can be made more frequent if the need arises.

The point person for tracking your goals should be checking periodically to make sure all these meetings and items are continuing to move forward.


Lessons Learned

This is an important, but often overlooked, part of goal completion. Teams will get together and celebrate achieved goals or bemoan those that are unsuccessful. But they forget to glean lessons from both failure and success.

Everyone that had an impact on the goals, whether positive or negative, should be consulted for identifying lessons learned. Make sure to discuss it with executives, managers and frontline employees.

Where did you have the most success? What do you think impacted that success? Who impacted that success? Delve into the weeds to figure out what you can use for future goals to have the same measure of success.

Where did you not achieve your goals, or struggle to? What was different between these and the successful ones? Discuss with each other what could have been done differently. Was it a lack of resources, do you need to hire more, buy more hardware, etc.? Ask everyone involved how they think it could have been done better.


How Aspirant Can Help

Cascading strategic priorities down to individual and team goals can be complicated and tedious, but it is a critical component to year-over-year success. Aspirant's Organizational Effectiveness experts can help develop and socialize a cohesive plan that keeps your company rowing in the same direction. Use the form below to request a casual discussion about how we can help your team overcome your unique challenges.


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Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.

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