As 2016 settles the F down in the world around us, we at Empulse begin to set goals for 2017 and beyond. A constant question we keep asking ourselves is, ‘what can we do to set ourselves apart? In an industry flush with staffing solutions, how can we constantly be different and innovative?’ It is a complex process, but the first step for us is how we approach problems, and this happens by setting the right goals.
Being in a startup, goal-setting is a trial and error process. And for that matter, it is a process that spans all across the board of professional theory. OKRs, Rocks, KPI’s — regardless of your acronym, the objective is this: make your business dreams into reality. So here are 4 things we try to keep in mind to make sure our 2017 goals slay:
1. Allow for Adjustments
New companies move pretty fast! Change is our only constant. Shouldn’t goals be allowed to change, too? Quarter over quarter, we have re-evaluated our ability to track results on a quantitative basis. As our tracking gets better, our reality changes. The first few years of any company will struggle to find what elements drive success, and it would defeat the purpose of goals if they didn’t reflect that. Remember that changing a goal in a startup is not like breaking a promise, it is simply bringing in a dose of reality.
We have worked harder this year to bring our goals out in the open and set reminders to check in on progress. A fascinating study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University showed that those who wrote down their goals, made a public commitment, and sent weekly progress reports to a friend accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t. Once your goals are set, let them be a constant in the office. Post them where everyone can walk by, bring them up in weekly stand-up meetings, and use these goals as a way to check in on each other.
3. One or Two Will Do
You can do anything in life, but you can’t do everything. As a growing business, we are highly ambitious and full of energy. But goals are all about focus, and the right one or two can drive our whole year. Ideally, these few goals will have many woven parts to get there, but focusing that ambitious energy in just a few directions is the most efficient way to drive success.
A diverse set of goals is a happy one. They should have different kinds of motivation, and different levels of impact for your business. Some should be absolute (these are often your revenue goal), and others can be relative (growing your social media following!). Some should be easy to hit, but you should also have one that is outside of your comfort zone. Reach, stretch, moonshot — whatever you call it, make a strong goal so you always have something to work for.
Goals are a communication method for bringing clarity of purpose. Individual employees’ objectives are tied to these goals, giving each person a sense of worth. Ultimately, they exist as motivation, and as with every new year, 2017 comes with a chance to do better than before. From our team to yours, we wish you fun and success in the new year!