In the A – Z of hospitality leadership G is for setting goals.
Do your team know what you expect and how you’ll measure this?
In the article on Communication I talked about the need to let people know what is expected of them, and how their contribution fits into the bigger picture.
So how does this translate into day to day leadership?
It means communicating your longer term goals; what do you want to achieve over the next 5 – 10 years? Then break this down into goals or objectives for the year ahead, for the business as a whole, for the departments, and on an individual level.
This enables your team to know what they are each responsible for. And when everyone achieves all their goals the department as a whole should achieve their goals. This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t make this connection!
These goals need to include some KPIs or metrics. Most of us are familiar with SMART goals, which are a good starting point.
Here SMART goals are explained; however I’ve added in a few more criteria to make goals that bit more robust and more likely to be achieved.
Be as SPECIFIC as possible. What will they see, hear or feel when the goal is achieved. The more vivid the image the more powerful it will be. Can you easily explain it to someone else? I want you to increase sales is not specific; how much more sales, in areas, at what profit margin, by what date……?
As well as being specific, the goals you set must be STRETCHING. Is the goal something that will get the business further forward, but still provide an element of challenge?
Goals must be MEASUREABLE so you can all quantify their progress and track it. What MILESTONES will you set?
Any goal you set must be MOTIVATIONAL too – What will achieving their goal get them? How well does it fit in with their values and what’s important to them? Does it inspire them? Will it give them a sense of accomplishment on achievement? If not, then the chances of them achieving it are slim!
Getting a balance between being stretching and motivational and at the same time being ACHIEVABLE is key. Unobtainable goals will have a negative impact. But it is important that they are ACTIONABLE by them, not dependent on others’ actions out of their control.
It is also important that the goals you set are AGREED with the individual. If they don’t agree with the goal, maybe because they think it’s unachievable, or not part of their job you will get reluctance and the goal will be put to the bottom of their priority list.
How RELEVANT are the goals to them, their role and the business as a whole? A goal that is incompatible will mean inevitably that something will have to give.
Once you are both happy with their goals ensure you RECORD them. Then keep the goals as a focus of your review process. If they are working on things which do not contribute to their goals ask why.
When wording your goals specify what you are moving TOWARDS rather than what you want to avoid. Our brains find it difficult to process negatives, so by concentrating too much on what you want to avoid actually focuses the brain on this rather than what you want instead. So, for example, if a goal is to reduce complaints, focus on the reaction you want to get from your guests instead.
Finally, goals must be TRACKABLE (including TIMESCALES) so you can review at any time how well your team are on track. We all know the results of leaving everything to the last minute, so set some specific timescales when you’ll review progress, and schedule these into your diaries.
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