Even your best employee will be ineffective if you are not clear about the goals of the workplace. If you only tell workers to make money, do your best or increase shareholder value, you will find that everyone heads in her own direction. You know where your business is headed, but you need to set down explicit steps along the way to keep everyone working on the same page and at the same pace.
Frame your productivity goals in terms of how they fit into your overall business strategy. If you set a goal of increasing new customers, make sure your employees know that it's in the context of growing your stable customer base. If they are focused only on signing up new customers, you may end up with a large number of customers that don't yield you profits.
List concrete goals that you want your employees to accomplish. Format these as a checklist visible to all employees so everyone can see what progress is being made.
Break large goals up into shorter steps. Don't just turn your team loose with instructions to develop a new marketing strategy. Break it into doing customer surveys, measuring demographics, profiling successful and unsuccessful campaigns by other companies, developing a new program, budgeting and an implementation plan.
Monitor employee progress and give helpful feedback on a regular basis. With specific tasks, your employees will be able to work more effectively on their own. This gives you time, in turn, to give them more detailed feedback and focus on your own job.
Consider your team's expertise when settings goals. Don't turn them loose on a new project if it's impossible for them to reach it.
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