How to set fourth quarter goals the right way

 

The fourth quarter has started, and it’s time to set goals for what your company wants to achieve by the end of the year.

But not every goal is effective. The way you designate and describe your targets has a big impact on the likelihood you’ll reach them. Read on to learn how to set goals the right way in the fourth quarter:

Be realistic

Fourth quarter business is up against a set of obstacles not seen during the rest of the year, such as budgets running out and the holidays causing a slowdown in activity. Set goals that reflect the realities of the season, and let your company’s performance in fourth quarters past guide the goals you set this time around.

As author and business coach Marla Tabaka noted in an interview with Inc. magazine, if you usually have a slow season in the fourth quarter but have established more aggressive targets than ever before, you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set goals that are more realistic; the satisfaction you and your team feels once you achieve them will be a positive motivating force that helps you start the next year strong.

Connect the goals to employees

People are more motivated to achieve goals when the targets in question align with their personal ambitions.

The Executive Guide to Goal Setting from software firm AchieveIt cited an example of this principle at Coca-Cola. The company wanted employees to achieve goals that helped them fulfill the company’s mission statement, which was to increase shareholder value. However, some employees felt too disconnected from shareholders to feel motivated to achieve these goals. In response, Amy Bergin, a former training consultant for Coca-Cola, designed a program that involved having employees set their own goals and then link these goals to the corporate mission to establish a more personal sense of motivation. Look for ways at your organization to more closely entwine employees’ individual goals and companywide ambitions.

Consider phrasing

The goals that are more likely to be achieved are those that use specific language. Instead of simply vowing to generate more leads, quantify how many you hope to have by the end of the year, and in which industries or verticals, for example.

“The moment you focus on a goal, your goal becomes a magnet, pulling you and your resources toward it,” said goal-setting expert Ryan Blair in an interview with The Balance. “The more focused your energies, the more power you generate.”

Empower your employees the best you can by establishing goals that use clear and specific language.

Follow these tips to help set your team up for success in the home stretch of the year. Now go hit your goals out of the park!

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Alisa Bartash

Alisa Bartash

Alisa is the product marketing manager for unified communication and collaboration at ReadyTalk. She has a passion for solving customer pain points and identifying solutions no matter how complicated the problem. In her free time, Alisa loves to hike the mountains of Colorado, explore new restaurants around Denver and travel the world.

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