The Case for Setting Achievable Goals

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At work and in life, it is important to have goals. Goals help to focus us, keep us moving forward. They let us know if we’re doing the right things, and doing them well.

But setting the right goals is a skill that many of us have yet to learn. When leading a team, how do you know if the goals you’re setting are the right ones? Are they too easy? Too hard? Does it matter?

While there is much debate about whether it is better to set goals that are more attainable or to use stretch goals that are often beyond the realm of possibility, no one debates the value in setting goals.

So if it is your job to set the goals for your team at work, you will need to decide how to set them.

The argument for setting achievable goals is a simple one.

First, achievable goals are realistic. There is value in hitting and outperforming your goals. It is good for team morale, as you get to celebrate strong performance, whereas stretch goals that you never achieve might leave team members feeling down or unmotivated.

Second, achievable goals help you sell yourself and your team to the rest of the organization. Whether you are working toward bonuses or promotions for yourself and your team members, trying to grow investment in your division/brand, or looking to generate positive coverage outside the company, beating your goals is better than the alternative.

Tomorrow’s post will present the case for setting stretch goals.

Top Management Blog Posts

Having the right marketing strategy is a big part of any organization’s success. But without strong leaders and solid management processes in place, an organization would fall apart. That’s why we often cover topics that veer toward broader business management tips and best practices.

We went back over our posts from the last few years and gathered the most-read blog posts on management. Here are the top ten:

  1. 3 Tips for Better Meetings
  2. Where to Focus: Strengths or Weaknesses
  3. What Percentage of Your Time is Spent on Strategy?
  4. How to Make Better Decisions
  5. Surround Yourself with Dissenting Voices
  6. Why Marketers Make Great CEOs
  7. Hiring a Marketer
  8. When to Say ‘No’ to a Business Opportunity
  9. What Does Success Look Like?
  10. Prioritize New Hires

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

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As you will see in posts going up this Wednesday and Thursday, the topic of goal setting has been on my mind these past few weeks. The time has come when we start to flip through the calendars and see that 2018 is not as far off as it used to be. Companies across the globe are starting to take a look at what next year has in store for them. And as the posts will detail, how you set your goals depends a lot on how you define what a goal is, and how they work to motivate your organization/your team. Stay tuned…

Here are last week’s posts, in case you missed them:

  1. Top Web Design Blog Posts
  2. Achieving Consistency in Customer Service
  3. Spread the Marketing Word in Your Organization

Happy Saturday!

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Spread the Marketing Word in Your Organization

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To build a brand that consistently succeeds in reaching and converting new customers, one that outperforms competitors and grows its market share, marketers need the help of everyone in the organization.

They need a crack product team that can create something that truly wows customers. They need an A+ customer service team that solves all issues as they come up with smiles on their faces. They need an adaptive technology team that uses data to continually improve processes through the company.

Marketing can be the lifeblood of a successful organization. It can permeate all departments, helping to communicate the mission, relating the stories of satisfied customers and how the company is impacting the lives of others.

To do this requires a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. It requires an ability to openly communicate with different departments, with people at all levels of the organization. It requires a deep understanding of the big picture, how all the parts fit together to create an effective, efficient company.

You can use company-wide meetings, an internal social network or forum, a regular newsletter, or onsite classes to spread the word and connect everyone to the marketing message.

Achieving Consistency in Customer Service

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It is important for companies to consider the following alternatives when it comes to customer service. Is it better to…

A) Achieve a standard level of consistent, quality support using canned answers and clearly communicated policies that are always adhered to, or

B) Let each individual customer service team member have the freedom to win customer loyalty through whatever means necessary.

Effective arguments can be made for both options. Neither one is wrong, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to customer service.

But let me argue to for what I see as the natural progression that companies should aim for.

When a company is in the early stages – from startup through say 20 or so employees – it makes more sense to give customer service a little more freedom. Early on, it is better to focus on making everyone happy. Since you are still learning what kinds of issues your customer service team will be dealing with most frequently, you want to fully-incorporate their feedback into marketing and product development. Option B makes more sense than option A above.

But as you grow into a more efficient organization, and your business model stabilizes, and you aim for consistent growth, you will get to a point where it makes more sense to standardize the customer service role. At that point, you can use all the experience your service team has built up to create a set of policies to be adhered to. You can flesh out clear and effective answers to all of the most common questions they are likely to get, and aim for consistency.

This way, as the team grows, the time it takes to train new people diminishes. Your customers are likely to get the same answer, the same level of service, no matter who they talk to. For a larger company, this should be the goal.