Another important part of Bringing Out the Best in People is establishing high standards for excellence. When we set the standards that we want for our team to accomplish, it’s very important to not just set the standard at where we think that people can accomplish it, but put it at least one step above that level. Each year my managers and I set goals for our team for the year, and not only do we set it to accomplish the level we did the before, but one step above that level. Goal setting is critical to business because when there isn’t a goal, people will often do just the minimum and not try to really give you more.
First off, be sure to set a goal that is not unattainable but is still something to work towards. When a goal is set and it’s not something that anyone is going to be able to accomplish, the opposite effect will happen and that is the last thing you want. Goals are meant to help a team work toward improving, but when they aren’t attainable, people feel defeated and the morale will go down causing people to not want to work toward the goal.
Another thing to remember is to keep the goals front of mind. Over time people can forget things, and by reminding them what the goal is they are going to continue to work toward it. One way I have accomplished this is by sending out an e-mail each month to my staff letting them know where we are in attaining the goal each month. This has helped immensely with keeping people excited about the goals.
Third, have an incentive for achieving the goal. When working toward a goal it is nice to have something at the end of that rainbow. We give away gift cards, we offer up team dinners or outings, or we come up with ways to incent people who work for them. These incentives go a long way in making people feel like they are appreciated for working toward the goals.
Finally, let each person know how they individually are responsible and helping to attain the goals. This is where the high standards come in. When someone on your team is not meeting the expectation, or working to do their part to reach the goal, it is critical to explain to them what the standards are, explain to them how they are performing for those standards and ensure that these are met. By letting each person know that they are important to reaching the goals that were set and how they contribute to this is huge in making sure that the goals are ultimately met or exceeded.
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