Setting Goals: Looking Forward to the New Year

The end of the year is both an exciting but hectic period for any company. As we tie up any loose ends from this calendar year and celebrate our achievements, it’s also a good time to reflect on what could be improved in the upcoming year. Similar to New Year’s Resolutions, the turn of a year is also a great opportunity for your company to take some time and write down new goals and objectives. Here are some tips for goal planning for the new year!

New Year Vision

Before narrowing down to specific tasks and numbers, it’s important to first set a company-wide goal. The most straightforward type would be quantitative goals, which would look something like:

  • Reaching x number in sales within the calendar year
  • Increasing traffic on company website by x percent
  • Reducing expenses by x percent in y areas
  • Launching x new products or opening x new locations

The goal could also be a qualitative one, including objectives such as:

  • Improving inter-department communication
  • Hosting more bonding events
  • Finding new opportunities for networking
  • Working on your brand image
  • Using more social media for promotion

Setting a company-wide goal will make it very clear to your employees what your company’s top priorities are this year. On top of that, it can give your employees a sense of unity as they now share a common goal they can work towards collaboratively – even if their job function may seem completely different and unrelated to one another.

Department Oriented Goals and Employee Participation

After setting a company-wide goal, it’s time to get down to the details and outline what the goals for each department are. What will each department be in charge of in order to attain these goals? Try getting some input from your employees on what areas they think they can best contribute in, and the areas they want to improve on. At the end of the day, your employees are the ones that are faced with their respective tasks most directly – they would have the clearest idea on how they can approach these objectives.

Personal Goals

It may be tempting to only consider goals that are related to your business and its current needs. However, as we’ve mentioned in a blog post earlier this year, fulfilling employees’ personal goals is just as important for business success. While working on business goals, consider also helping your employees set some personal goals. These goals could be career-related, health-related, and anything that comes in mind. Stronger employee engagement will not only improve your employee’s happiness and productivity, but also help with employee retention issues.

Try Out the SMART Criteria

It may be easy to simply name a goal you would want to achieve in a broad sense. But how will you go about it? The SMART criteria is helpful for defining what these goals are and how you will actually achieve it. It first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review in a paper by George T. Doran, who outlined the ideal objectives as being:

Specific: targeting specific areas of improvement

Measurable: having a numerical measuring method or indicator of progress

Assignable: specifying who will do it

Realistic: the goal is attainable given the resources and time available

Time-related: give a clear timeline of when you want the goal to be achieved

Many businesses often end up setting themselves up for failure by having vague and directionless objectives as their main goals. By using the SMART criteria, you can greatly decrease any possible confusion that may come up throughout the year as your company works towards the common goals.

Look Forward to the New Year

We hope this blog has given you some inspiration on how to approach goal setting for the upcoming year. Let the process be an opportunity for you to look forward to all the exciting opportunities to come in 2021, and not as a stressful task. See you on the flip side!