How to set achievable team targets

The business world is extremely competitive which is why many companies are forced to set targets in order to maximise potential and increase revenue. Employers want to know they’re getting the best possible returns, but how can you set achievable team targets that aren’t going to discourage or upset your conscientious workforce?

shutterstock_294787721Look at past statistics

When it comes to giving your team goals to work towards, don’t just pull unrealistic figures and deadlines out of a hat and expect them to go down well. A group of employees can be easily demotivated, so be sure to use software plugins from the likes of Upraise to analyse real-time performances and to gain insights into a team’s behaviour.

Automated progress tracking will also give you a much better idea of what’s being delivered and will help you come up with an action plan that’s doable. Of course, if you think your workforce is underperforming as a whole, you should identify areas of weaknesses and implement improvement strategies rather than simply setting unrealistic targets that could have a long-term negative affect on morale.

Be specific with your goals

Wishy-washy, unclear targets can cause great confusion, so try to be as transparent with your goals as possible. If you want to increase sales, for instance, be specific by quantifying how much you want to raise them by – be it five per cent, ten per cent, 20 per cent, or more. You could even break this down even further by giving each member of the team a set goal to work towards.

Introduce a rewards scheme

In order to motivate individuals, you may also want to introduce employee recognition rewards to acknowledge those who have performed well. You could even make things a little more competitive by rewarding top employees with a great prize such as a cash bonus or a day at a spa. Of course, the incentive you go for will depend on your budget and the type of company you run, but no matter what you do it’s all about keeping your staff on side and meeting targets without them feeling like you’re taking advantage.

Make sure everyone’s on the same page

Staff members will be more inclined to work hard if they can see the point in what you want them to achieve. They need to understand the bigger picture, so focus employees’ efforts on the most important company goals and ensure everyone’s on the same page. In order to keep employees upbeat you could also provide regular, positive feedback with constructive criticism to help staff feel like they add real value to the team.

Listen to feedback

When setting targets it’s crucial to listen to those who do the job at hand day in and day out. They know the role better than many people in managerial positions and will be able to communicate what works and what doesn’t. Listen. If they tell you a good-quality call cannot be wrapped up in under one minute, don’t force them to finish talking in 40 seconds. Similarly, if they are reporting problems with software programs, have them investigated rather than complain that objectives have not been met at the end of the month.

While targets can help keep a team focussed they must also be realistic in order to maintain an upbeat company culture.