The success of your company’s long-term strategy depends not only on your entrepreneurial skills, but also on all parts of the business moving in sync to reach the same target. This can be achieved by setting specific goals for each department, goals which are geared toward ultimately fulfilling your company’s short- and long-term objectives.
In addition, setting and tracking department-specific goals can greatly improve employee engagement and retention. And with roughly 80% of small business owners failing to keep track of their business goals, it is now more important than ever to help each member of your team understand their role and work together to achieve your organization’s overall strategy.
Below, 14 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their plans and tools for setting and tracking department-specific goals this year and why their approach bears fruit.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s flooring how many companies don’t map department-specific goals back to overall company goals. We outline departmental goals that directly support our overarching company success. This way, although every individual and department has different objectives, we’re all working towards connected and common goals.- Stan Garber, Scout RFP
This year we have implemented practices from a book called Traction by Gino Wickman. For tracking specific goals we have implemented accountability charts and KPIs to track progress, and performance-based rating systems to understand why we are or are not hitting some of our goals. We’ve also implemented a time tracking tool to better understand how much time should be spent on specific tasks.- Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
We have defined playbooks that help us track key metrics per department. It differs in every business model, but this is a great way to grow efficiencies and keep everyone aligned with their main focus on the business.- Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
I encourage our managers to dedicate time with each of their team members to gain an understanding of their interest and personal goals. We use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals, both on an individual level and a department level, to track our goals for the year. Once each employee has clearly defined their goals, it is easier to review our progress.- Kevin Yamazaki,Sidebench
This year, I’m jumping on a tip I’ve learned from Noah Kagan, and using a proactive metrics dashboard. What I love about this is that it helps me focus on the metrics and data I can control rather than worrying about what I can’t. Now we have a much tighter system for tracking that we can use and will be able to drill down directly to see exactly what is working and what we need to improve.- Sean Ogle,Location Rebel
We assign each department a section of the profit and loss statement (P&L). This keeps the entire company aligned with company profitability. Each department is bonused based off of hitting their targets, then we offer an overall company bonus based on company profitability targets.-Brandon Stapper, Crown Growth
Viewing the year as a set of four 90-day goal periods has been effective in helping my team focus on unique goals during each quarter. By assessing weekly progress towards goals, it ensures that steps are being made on a regular basis, and makes it more likely that the overall goals will be met.- Mark Krassner, Expectful
Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working toward meeting the company-wide goals. In addition to the weekly meetings, we also send out a monthly user activity report to all team members. The monthly report lets everyone see how their work and achieving our goals is contributing to the company’s success.- Brian David Crane,Caller Smart Inc.
Each member of each of our internal teams has a list of goals that is prepared by the individual. This list of goals is then shared with the group publicly, and all of the lists are maintained and revised every few weeks. It is vital that members of a team know, at least to some degree, what the other members of the team are working on.- Ryan Bradley,Koester & Bradley, LLP
All businesses have metrics. We decided to task our engineers with automating the pulling of live data, dropping it into a chart format, all while including parameters on how well each point is doing against benchmarks. The resulting engineering project cost us about 50 hours of time, but drastically improved our metrics dashboards and cut tons of time for our managers who hated pulling data.-Brion Bonkowski, Tern Commerce LLC
We’re using Asana this year to track department-specific goals. I like that it’s a collaborative project management tool. The team gives each other tasks to complete with a deadline, and it sends out the necessary notifications.- Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
We use EOS V/TO™ to track all of our group and individual goals. We share our goals at the beginning of the quarter, and revisit them at the end. Since it’s out in the open, if someone does not meet their goals, they have to explain why to the group. Not only does this accountability motivate us to succeed, it also gives us a space to examine how we can improve both individually and as a group.-Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged
Collaborative software such as Google Drive has proven to be very helpful for our company when it comes to both planning and tracking goals. We can create tiered access to different documents in a way where everyone can leave suggestions but only verified individuals can change more important documents and spreadsheets. This has greatly improved the way we track our goals.- Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
We use both Trello for project management and Toggl for time tracking. This makes it easy for everyone on the team to see progress across all tasks and departments. Data from Toggl enables us to do accurate cost tracking and marshal our resources more effectively.- Thomas Smale, FE International
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