Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goals for the New Year

At the beginning of each year, it’s traditional to create a list of New Year’s resolutions. As with most, my list includes a variety of topics ranging from getting to the YMCA for my swim on a more regular basis to continuing to grow my business.

The challenge for most companies this year is getting employees engaged in the process. Last year was so unpredictable, that it’s hard to imagine what will happen in 2010. I’ve read several predictions, but I know only 2 things for certain:

1. Tiger Woods’ problems will continue to grow
2. We’ve got a ways to go before our economy returns to full strength.

The word from my clients is a mixed bag. Several are hiring, but one is doing the opposite. So how do you keep your employees from using the uncertain economy as a reason not to commit to stretch goals during 2010?

First, revisit that vision statement that you set 10 years ago. Does it still make sense? If I visited your company today, could your employees tell it to me by memory and with enthusiasm? If not, then it’s time to redo it into something relevant and meaningful.

From there, the goal setting process becomes easier. Just ask your employees to individually document what they will do to forward the vision of the company and then explain their plan to you. You might be surprised what they come up with.

If they can’t come up with ways that they can improve company, then it’s time to ask them why they believe they can’t make an impact – and then fix it.

Personally, I believe that 2010 is the year that we see significant improvements in our current economic conditions. I’m looking forward to more business, warmer weather than last summer, and more trips to the YMCA.

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