July 17, 2018

What Are Your Goals?

By Paul Bieber

And more importantly, what goals have you set for your staff?

You need long-term, intermediate and short-term goals. Long for the months ahead, intermediate for the next couple of weeks and your short-term covers this week and today.

Long-term for you is easy. Continue or improve profitability and security for your business, yourself and your family. You can also include setting up work for next year, or six months down the road. You can plan to expand your business or move into a new territory. Now let’s translate this to your employees. They have the same goals. They want more dollars for themselves and they work for the security of their family. They want to make sure they have a long-term job so they can apply for a mortgage on a house or get a loan for a child’s college tuition. If you don’t allow for your employees’ goals, you won’t have them long in this employment market.

Do you give your employees a road map for their success? Do you have benefits that they appreciate for the long term? Have you shared your goals with your team? Now, you can’t tell them you are going to move into a certain territory, as that will probably be leaked. But you can say you are planning to grow and tell a great worker that he or she is line for a promotion if plans work out. 

In a union environment, wages are known up to three to five years in the future, which gives a certainty to long-term goal planning. I was never able to give my non-union folks that same sense of certainty and that was disappointing to them. I did, however, lay out plans for the future for each person. I had a training goal for each one. I wanted them to learn this computer program or that truck route or learn how to cut glass or laminate. I would give them my goals and show them that if they reached these goals, they would pick up a bump in salary.

Then, the question to the team became, “What are your goals?” My people knew they had to have their own goals, and where their goals lined up with mine, we worked together to make them achievable. This showed my people they had a long-term future with our company. We had benefits that included long-term disability and life insurance so they could plan for their future under our umbrella.

If an employee didn’t have goals, it was the responsibility of the manager to help them chart goals for their future with us. The managers were taught that if they did this they would have lower turnover. We asked people during job interviews about their goals. If someone said they wanted to be a professional scuba diver, I knew they were not going to last on a cutting line or loading trucks.  

Bottom line, if you don’t have goals, you are not going to make it. If your employees don’t have goals which mesh with yours, they won’t make it, which means you won’t make it. The right combination of your goals along with your team’s is a sure road to success. Next week we’ll talk about setting the other goals.