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Achieving your goals in 2012

written 06 January 2012

Many of us will take this time of year to review the successes of our business in 2011 and to look at the areas that we have still to achieve in 2012.
Taking the extra step of writing your goals down makes your goals a business plan!

Have you considered what goals you are going to set for your business in 2012 and what steps you will take to ensure your Business achieves its goals in 2012? Your staff will be the ones that have the most influence in achieving your businesses goals and objectives in 2012.   They can make this year different from every other and make your resolutions a reality.

A consequence of the last number of years and in particular 2011, have resulted in many workers, even in the private sector, to feel disillusionment which reached its heights in the national day of unrest on Wednesday 30 November 2011.  While private sector workers may have been less militant, job losses, pay reductions, increased workloads, high stress levels etc are all taking its toll, contributing to feelings of disenchantment, low levels of employer loyalty and elevated sickness absence rates.

Mounting evidence suggests that the more engaged employees are in what they do; the better their performance and the higher the rewards will be for customers, employees, and the whole organisation.  Prestige have put together a simple 8 STAGE CHECKLIST for you to ensure you get the best possible start to 2012 to engage your staff to achieve your goals and objectives in 2012.

Step 1:    Ensure your managers are skilled at creating employee engagement

Before “letting a manager loose on your staff” the key to employee engagement is to ensure you have managers who are skilled at creating employee engagement.  These individuals must understand that to provide the best service for your customers the employees must believe that what they're doing is important, that they are appreciated and that they approach their daily work with a sense of passion and purpose.

Step 2:     Consider your approach to your staff

Often we hear business owners say “I didn’t have these problems when I had no staff” and often this negative opinion gets in the way of reinforcing the reasons staff were taken on in the business in the first place.  A manager cannot forget staff is one of the most important assets within a business that ensures that the goals and objectives of the business are achieved.  This year let go of any negative opinions you may have about your employees. Approach staff as your most important asset; as a source of unique knowledge with something valuable to contribute to the company.

Step 3    Ensure your employees have everything they need to do their jobs

Just as marketplace and customer needs change often, so do your employees' needs.  This January ask your staff if they have all the equipment, tools and skills to be successful in their roles in 2012.

Step 4:    Ensure your employees know what is expected of them

To wholly engage staff in your goals and objectives for your business it is important that you communicate these clearly with your employees.

  • Are staff aware of the company values and vision?  Are you?
  • How do you define success – what does it look like, how will you and your employees know you have achieved it?
  • Do Employees know where they fit in the plan and the role they play in achieving these goals?  Staff can't perform well or be productive if they don't know exactly what it is they're there to do, and the part they play in the overall success of the company.  This can be done by annually reviewing the Job Descriptions and Person Specifications of each of the employees within your business; this 2012 consider if an employees role has changed throughout the year, has the key attributes/ skills changed throughout the year.

Step 5:    Get to know your employees

It is important as managers that we understand and “truly know” our employees: their goals, their stressors, what motivates them and makes them tick.   To Reduce Stress, Absence Levels and Staff Turnover, show an interest in their well-being and do what it takes to enable them to feel more fulfilled.
This can be done through Regular reviews and appraisals, setting KPI’s - Key Performance Indicators (identifying key performance areas that you want staff to perform and achieve).

Step 6:     What is your Company Culture?

Make sure you instill in staff a Solutions driven approach; that you don’t take on the problems yourself and encourage your staff to come to you with the solutions.  This may require staff to be trained or retrained in problem solving but these critical skills will help them interact better with you, their co-workers, customers and suppliers.  

You should also pay attention to company stories and rituals.  Ensure that you and your managers keep the success stories alive and consider the promotion of positive practices within the workforce – one should never underestimate the powerful impact of Cupcakes on birthdays ;)

Step 7:    Ask for feedback on the Company/ Business

This can easily be done through the annual appraisal schemes or through suggestion boxes, but it is vital that you constantly ask how you are doing in your employees' eyes.  Not just you the business but you the manager.  This can be difficult for some managers to request employee feedback, and it can be equally if not more challenging for an employee to give the person who evaluates them an honest response.  However the appraisal scheme is a perfect opportunity to have a conversation about this area – it can be approached by asking “It's one of my goals to constantly improve myself as a manager. What would you like to see me do differently?" or "What could I be doing to make your job easier?"

Step 8:    Be Consistent – Stick With It

It is vital that you are consistent in the long term; if you start an engagement initiative and then drop it, your efforts will backfire, creating the opposite impact. This 2012 ensure that you set dates in the diary for reviews and appraisals and that your manager's demonstrate ongoing commitment to keeping people engaged, involved in and excited about the work they do and the challenges they face.

Should you have a HR question that you would like our experts to answer, or have any query in relation to this article please contact us on 0845 9011901 or email your query to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .