November marks eight months since the massive impact of the global shutdown as a result of Covid-19. Who knew it would last this long?? But here we are. Effective performance management at this surreal time places a greater emphasis than ever on teamwork, mutual respect, and a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved. Goal setting can’t fall by the wayside, even as virtually every business is challenged to pivot, adjust, and be constantly fluid in planning – depending on what tomorrow brings.
Set goals for the long term.
As reported by Harvard Business Review, business leaders who best handle uncertainty take a broader outlook and a more long-term approach to goal setting. Of course, day-to-day plans and processes may need to change from your original blueprint, but it’s critical to keep you eye on the overall prize: keeping your company successful for the time when you emerge from this crisis.
- Give your employees a clear mission and purpose to keep them motivated. As you address and tweak goals, ask yourself and your team: What makes the most sense to pursue right now? And what may need to be moved to the back burner for the time being?
- Update organizational goals and then departmental and team goals, so all are aligned. This is no different than goal-setting in normal times, though the importance of involving as many employees and other stakeholders as possible in decision-making is paramount. Be sure managers are meeting with their direct reports to solicit their input and provide ongoing updates.
- Take it to the individual level. In addition to managers holding team meetings, empower them to coach individual employees in effective goal-setting. Remember: when people have a voice in charting their own direction and aligning it with organizational vision, they tend to set the bar higher and work harder to achieve success.
- Implement a constant check-in process. Adobe and an increasing number of other companies have successfully adopted frequent goal-setting conversations between managers and team members. This should occur at all organizational levels and be a flexible, ongoing practice. Think of these check-ins as similar to pit stops during a NASCAR race – opportunities to stop briefly, refuel, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs before moving forward.
It’s definitely not business as usual right now. “Business like never before” is a more accurate description. But by staying on track with setting both short and long-term goals, you can also stay on the path to having your company not only survive the global pandemic crisis, but thrive in the face of challenge.
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