Why are goals important?

Goals have 3 major benefits: alignment, focus and motivation.

Alignment

According to Jorge Paulo Lemann, a great Brazilian businessman who is a partner in companies like Ambev, Burger King and KraftHeinz, one of his great challenges was getting people to "row in the same direction" in their companies. That is, make everyone contribute to the same goals.

Goals have this power: as they are aligned with the mission, vision and goals of the company and its team, an employee's goals are aligned with these great strategic objectives, thus ensuring that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Focus

According to the theory and science behind the goals, one of their great benefits is the focus they give to the "owners" of the goals. Everyone knows how bad it can be to have too many priorities or even end up buried in day-to-day demands and fires. Goals help to remember what is important and essential. According to research, tasks are accomplished with more attention and commitment when linked to a goal.

Motivation

Finally, goals help to achieve results unimaginable before. Also according to surveys of the Goal-Setting Theory, more effort is made as a goal becomes more challenging.

Setting Goals

There are two main ways of setting goals. The first is based on the goals of the employee's manager, his team and the company:

As you can see, all of the company's initiatives, goals and priorities must "fit" and be mutually consistent. If my results are achieved, I must contribute so that my team's results are achieved. If my team's results are achieved, we must help our company achieve its desired results for this year. If the desired results for that year for the company are achieved, it must come closer to achieving its desired results in three years' time. And so it goes.

So an interesting way for goals to be defined is to think "what should I do and what results should I achieve so that my teams achieve their goals?"

The second way goals are defined is based on the processes for which you are responsible. For this, let's imagine a fictitious process, which includes answering customer calls, closing orders and entering these orders in the system:

This process consists of 4 main tasks:

  • Receive customer call;

  • Answer customer call;

  • Close order with the customer;

  • Register the closed order into the system.

There may be employees of a company that are dedicated solely to a process like this (and whose job descriptions are often practically a copy of the tasks in the process). Many of our customers make the mistake of using these tasks as goals. This is wrong.

✏️ Remember: tasks (and job descriptions) are not goals.

But what are the goals then, in this case, which we are starting from the tasks, processes and job description to define our goals?

Come on. The first step is to extract metrics from tasks and processes. As we can see below, from the process steps 5 measures are created, called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), which measure my performance in the execution of this process:

The KPIs we extract are:

  1. # of customer calls answered;

  2. # closed operations;

  3. # of operations registered;

  4. % of conversion of calls into orders;

  5. NPS (Net Promoter Score - a metric of satisfaction) of the clients served.

Now we have much better inputs to create our goals: Our goals must be improvements (improvements can be increases, decreases and even maintenance) in the levels of these KPIs that measure each part of my process.

How does a goal work?

Now that we have defined where the goals come from, we can go into the detail of a goal. Following the previous example, let's define a goal:

Example: "Grow closed operations by 20%".

In this case, the goal is an Objective to be achieved, directly linked to growth. There is also a key result to be achieved: 20% growth in the KPI "# of closed operations".

What about inserting this goal in the Qulture.Rocks platform?

It makes perfect sense to pair this Key Result with a "control" goal, which compensates for some important aspect of service. It is important that you do not give up an important aspect of customer service - for example, its quality - in the quest for growth. So let's pair a Key Result that ensures that 100% of the operations are entered correctly in the system:

We now have two Key Results for the same Objective. One measures whether we have been successful in pursuing the desired growth. The other guarantees that we follow the correct process of formalizing the operation so that there are no errors.

The difference between a goal, a task, a project and your job description

A task is a piece of effort that, related with other efforts, or actions, must lead to an objective, which is the goal.

A project is also a sum of actions or tasks that leads to an objective.

It is interesting to always have some goals and some projects on your list of priorities for the cycle (be it a quarter, a semester or a year).

Registering a project is also quite easy on the Qulture.Rocks platform:

You can see some practical tips on the screen above:

  • We register the name of the project as the objective to be achieved;

  • We also use a "[Project]" tag in front of the goal name, so that the visualization is even clearer;

  • We register a partial delivery of the project in each Key Result, and we use for this purpose binary Key Results (yes / no type), which will define the success of the project;

  • In each one, we use a tag with the expected delivery date, for example, "[02/20]".

How many goals should I have?

In order not to lose focus, which we talked about earlier, it is important not to have more than 5 or 6 priorities, of which 5 or 6 priorities, 3 or 4 must be goals, and 1 or 2 must be projects.

Carlos Brito, CEO of ABInbev, says that "your goals must fit in one hand". The point is clear: there needs to be focus.

The importance of always having an action plan

Having an action plan on how you are going to achieve your goals is important for you to increase your chances of achieving them.

An action plan is basically a series of tasks and actions that will lead to the goal. Let's use the previous example, where we had a goal that was "To increase the number of closed transactions by 20%".

In order for us to achieve this goal, we may have to act on some root cause or process prior to the sale that allows us to close more leads. Therefore, after contracting the goal, the cycle begins with an analysis of the challenge to be achieved (20% growth), which is concluded when we find a major "problem" that, if solved, allows us to achieve the goal. Some ideas for factors that could be relevant to this goal:

  • Focus on operations with the highest average ticket, which allow greater productivity for each seller;

  • Create a simple call screening process, so that the seller does not waste time with customers who have no real intention to purchase

Thus, if the goal owner decides, together with his manager and team, that the focus on higher average ticket operations is the way to hit the goal, he can create tasks that indicate how he will hit the goal:

To access the tasks of a goal, just click on the key result and click on Create Task. There are registered new initiatives, their deadlines, which are to be carried out and which have already been finalized.

Important: If the activities and factors require more structured efforts, a Project may be necessary. Below are some ideas of root causes that can be transformed into Projects:

  • Change the registration flow of operations in the system, so that each salesperson is able to close more operations in a given period of time;

  • Train sellers in negotiation and closing techniques, so that they can increase the conversion rate of calls to orders, and therefore increase the number of closed transactions;

  • Review the quote process and make it simpler and faster, as losses are occurring

Examples of goals

We created a Google Sheets file with several examples of goals, separated by areas of interest such as Finance, Marketing, HR and Sales, for you to use as inspiration when writing your goals. You can access this PT-BR file here. Just duplicate it and edit it according to your needs.

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