New Year Business Goal Setting That Gets the Whole Company Excited

December 19, 2023 |
Article | 5 min
| Business Insights

The end of the year can be an ideal time to look back at the progress your company has made and celebrate the collective effort that helped you reach your goals in the past year. After all, a key way to boost morale is to recognize past successes. But at the same time, it’s also helpful to start thinking about strategies for long-term business goal setting.

Did your company miss any benchmarks this year? Gaps in your high-level strategic planning for the past year’s cycle are likely to blame. So, to bring about scaled growth, you’ll want to consider improving internal goal alignment across your organization.

Of course, this is no easy feat when there are so many moving parts. Employees, markets, and customers must work in relative harmony for your business to grow. Consider setting goals that leverage external market forces and effectively convey these objectives to your workforce.

To get a head start on the process of crafting annual goals, here are some essential components to consider first.

Why Business Goal Setting Matters for Your Company

Goal setting within your business is about more than just achieving better metrics. The process can be an essential psychological motivator for your employees.

The reality is that employees often don’t achieve their full potential for your company if they’re disengaged from their work. Bored employees who see no value in what they do might not show up—both literally and figuratively. If employees lack motivation in their daily work, they’re often less concerned about the detrimental effects of not coming in for their shift.

Your turnover rates may also be higher if your workforce finds their roles unfulfilling. Plus, even those who do continue to clock in simply won’t have the natural drive to give their all each day.

It’s clear to see that a thoughtful and collectively co-signed business goal-setting process can be a way to improve engagement. If done right, your goals can not only improve key performance indicators (KPIs) and cash management but also foster greater collective meaning. This improved meaning can create a work environment where employees want to go above and beyond for their team members.

Needless to say, this type of environment can naturally lead to vast improvements in both short- and long-term metrics. As you can see, the overall importance of goal setting is unquestionable.

Examples of Goals

Your company’s business goal-setting strategy should be tied to your unique pain points and growth areas. There’s no one-size-fits-all set of goals. But there are some specific blueprints for effective achievement planning that you can adapt to your company.

Team discussing goals for the upcoming year

First, you can split goal setting into two categories: long- and short-term objectives. Your long-term goals should represent your values and objectives and may be more overarching. By contrast, your short-term objectives will be specific targets you aim to achieve within a set time frame. They reflect the concrete operational, strategic planning to help you achieve your values.

Put another way, your short-term goals should help you achieve your long-term ideals. For instance, say your long-term goal is to increase your revenue streams. Short-term goals might be to expand a product line, enter a new market, or reach more customers.

Ultimately, your goals will depend on your unique objectives. However, the cohesive blueprint for effective business goal setting suggests that you take a holistic approach. For instance, consider focusing on diverse areas of growth such as revenue, sustainability, profitability, and employee satisfaction. This way, you can push your company forward in a more comprehensive fashion, rather than simply focusing on one area of growth.

Patagonia’s well-known sustainability initiatives exemplify the benefits of committed goal-setting. The company values responsible textiles and has an overarching goal of environmentally friendly production. To this end, the short-term goals of Patagonia continue to push the bar forward. In fact, the company began its environmental initiatives back in 1996, when it switched to organically grown cotton.

As a result, Patagonia is one of the few large-scale clothing manufacturers with a reputation for sustainability.

Choosing the Best Goals for the Biggest Growth in Your Company

It can be difficult to select the specific goals you want to achieve this year. After all, you’re probably able to list a whole host of business objectives you’d like to complete. But it’s important to remain realistic and measured with the specific targets you aim for in 2024. Otherwise, you might overwhelm your team and reduce the quality of their work.

Employee giving presentation over goals for business

The first priority of your business goal-setting strategy should be to narrow down your potential objectives to the most impactful and important ones. This way, you can create goals that are both growth-oriented and financially practical.

To narrow down your list of objectives, conduct a SWOT analysis. Write down:

  • Strengths: The areas where your business is excelling.
  • Weaknesses: The metrics where your business model is letting you down.
  • Opportunities: Favorable external market factors or other potential avenues for growth you can leverage.
  • Threats: Potential competitors, economic conditions, or exposed areas of your business.

After you’ve listed your company’s SWOT characteristics, it should be easier to pick out priorities to target. Then, based on these priorities, you can use the SMART goals process to set targeted objectives:

  • Specific: What is it that you want to do?
  • Measurable: What metrics and milestones will you mark along the way?
  • Achievable: Is this goal realistic? If so, how can it be done?
  • Relevant: How does this goal fit into your long-term growth plan?
  • Timely: What’s the timeline?

Don’t do this process in isolation. Instead, try to involve your employees as much as possible. Your workforce may come up with innovative solutions and answers. And perhaps more importantly, the process can help foster collective enthusiasm regarding business goal setting.

Considerations for Refreshing Your Company Culture

The workforce today is much different than in decades past. So, don’t let your company culture grow stale. Your working environment should change to meet the new and improving standards and emerging expectations.

Leaders discussing culture while having a laugh

Diversity, sustainability, and employee appreciation are becoming cultural staples in modern working environments. However, not all companies put these value statements into practice. Employees often know whether the company culture values and perpetuates diversity of thought or tolerates it. Plus, if they’ve been told that employee appreciation is a core value but feel overlooked, they may view the company’s mission and actions as misaligned.

A positive company culture embraces the people who work there. Strive to foster a collaborative environment rather than a controlling or combative one. To improve the culture, you can listen and follow through with the feedback you receive from your workforce.

Your staff will tell you what’s missing from your company’s culture if you listen with the aim of addressing concerns. Then, when you implement changes according to their feedback, workers can feel that their concerns are important and meaningful. As a result, you can create a more loyal workforce.

Of course, remote and hybrid workers have also changed the meaning of company culture for many workplaces. So, if your business is embracing remote work, then consider implementing additional digital outreach methods to keep workers connected. This will help them stay abreast of the ongoing changes within the company and avoid feeling isolated.

Exploring the Business Goal-Setting Process With a Financial Partner

The business goal-setting process can be a complicated yet exciting chance to address the current pain points your employees experience and capitalize on the opportunities the new year will bring. But, the benefits of strategic planning can largely depend on how well your company leadership crafts, implements, and communicates the process.

In this regard, it’s essential that your plan is exceedingly researched and thought-out. So, to help investigate the viability of your annual goals, it would be wise to connect with a financial partner first.

Luckily, the reliable financial partners at Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF Bank can help you develop a successful plan. Contact a commercial banker at Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF Bank today and work to set business goals you can not only meet but exceed.

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