March 13, 2019

Tracking Goals Between Formal Progress Meetings

Organizational Effectiveness

It’s typical for companies to look at their goals’ progress on a quarterly basis. While this can be helpful, it results in having to wait 3, 6, even 9 months to make adjustments if you’re not making progress. So, now is always the time to think about your goals.

How Does Your Company Track Goals?

There are various methods of goal tracking. Many companies pay attention to KPIs or, Key Performance Indicators. There’s also OKR (Objectives and Key Results). The latter is gaining popularity in high-value companies. It helps to strive toward more ambitious, but still achievable goals. This method is helping to push managers and teams to reach their full potential.

To try this approach, you need to create three to five objectives that are more than what you’d expect to achieve with your goal. They must be definitive objectives, such as increasing new sales by 17%. Outline three Key Results for each Objective to use as your measurable milestones.

The milestones have to be measurable and have evidence to prove their completion. So, for example, the milestone cannot be “increase employee morale.” It could however be be “increase new employee retention by 5%.”

Measure success with percentages and hard data and make sure all team members have access to the progress. It can be posted on a whiteboard or in a shared doc. Your company succeeds and fails together. Any progress made on an objective is relevant to all team members.

There are various progress management softwares that can be used to help you keep track. Here’s a great  list with reviews and ratings of some top options.

When to Assess Goal Execution (It’s Earlier Than You Think)

It’s almost never too early to start assessing your goals. If you wait until it’s time for them to be finished you’ll have no way of making adjustments. According to  Inc., of the 300 small businesses surveyed by Staples National Small Business Survey more than 80% don’t keep track of their goals. Out of that 80%, 77% didn’t achieve their stated goals. Lack of tracking can make a big impact.

Ideally, you would have set up a time to get together with various team members and go over goal tracking when the goals were set. If not, consider doing a monthly check in with each of the task masters assigned to a goal. Start a month after the beginning of your year, or whenever your goals officially started. You can make time adjustments moving forward as needed. 

Don’t Just Look at Quarterly Progress

You have to stay cognizant of how quickly the status of a goal can change. If you don’t keep on top of it, by the time you notice it may be too late to fix it. This is why it’s helpful to create the smaller OKRs mentioned above. Having milestones on the path to the ultimate goals helps encourage you to keep abreast of the status.

You may not need to get everyone together to go over every goal and objective more than once a quarter, but don’t wait until that to do anything. You should check in with teams for individual objectives once a month. Keep track of all the results and share via a software, email etc.

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You can have the bigger picture meetings once a quarter to keep everyone in the loop if you’d like. Want some more help on tracking company progress? Connect with us at Aspirant.

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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