New year, new you! It’s time to review your 2021 goals and consider setting 2022 goals for your agency. The importance of goal setting can’t be overstated. You’re much more likely to hit a goal you set, and the time spent planning and goal setting will pay off in the new year.
Check out these planning and goal setting methods and let us know in the comments what works best for your agency!
Try Different Methods of Planning and Goal Setting
If you’re stuck creating goals for your agency, try some of these tried-and-true goal setting methods to get you started.
The method of goal setting evolved from management guru Peter Drucker’s work in the 1950s is still relevant today. The importance of goal setting is highlighted through the SMART acronym, which calls for goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. If your goals don’t meet these five criteria, you might need to rethink them.
The next iteration of SMART goals was to create smarter goals. The addition of the -ER at the end means Evaluated and Revised. This evolution reminds us to review and revise our goals as needed —a helpful addition when focusing on continuous improvement.
Instead of SMART goals, MIT created the idea of FAST goals. Goals should be discussed Frequently, be Ambitious but not impossible, be Specific, and Transparent. It makes sense —openly talking often about your goals can build momentum and energy.
A new goal-setting acronym has emerged to replace SMART goals, called PACT. It stands for Purposeful, Actionable, Continuous, and Trackable. PACT shifts the focus to one of continuous improvement and learning. Using trackable instead of measurable is an important distinction. Tracking whether something happened with a yes or no response can create meaningful data. PACT also focuses on making goals purposeful. If goals are meaningful to your agency, you will be more likely to achieve them.
Objectives and key results, or OKRs, are a common management term for goal setting. Consider the end goal and work backward to create key objectives to reach that goal. OKRs are used often in larger organizations and the framework may be helpful for agencies of any size. The objectives are often significant goals, so you may have many steps to achieving them.
Try using micro-goals to help you achieve your overall agency strategy. Sometimes goal setting is overwhelming because the end objective is too massive. Set a micro goal instead. Pick a benchmark along the way to your end goal – then work to achieve the benchmarks. If you focus on a too-large goal, it may be demoralizing rather than motivating.
The Importance of Goal Setting in the New Year
Take time to measure and reset for the new year. New years are natural new beginnings for many people, so ride that momentum when setting agency goals. Your staff will be feeling motivated and excited at the beginning of the year. Let their excitement drive action toward shared goals.
Involve your staff in the process.
When people are involved, they are more invested. Get immediate support and buy-in from your employees by including them in the goal-setting process. Let them see the importance of goal setting firsthand by showing them how you set and achieve agency goals.
Set regular reviews.
Don’t forget to include regularly scheduled reviews in your goal-setting plan. Set some time to chart your progress and reevaluate goals and benchmarks. You may find you need to modify or change a goal —or delete it altogether. Goals are dynamic, so making changes as you go shouldn’t be concerning.
Remember to celebrate success.
Everyone is working hard to achieve your agency goals. Celebrate the little milestones along the way and the big successes at the end. Share the credit and recognize your team for their contributions. Not only does celebrating feel good, but it also reinforces the winning behavior that led to your success.
Let failure happen.
This is critical. People have to feel safe to fail if you want them to innovate and try new things. Let your staff have the freedom to try new ideas and fail fast. Then gather to learn from the failure and thank the employee for the courage to try a new way. If you create an environment where failure is celebrated as a way to learn and grow, your staff will continue innovating and getting better.
Check Out Our Valuable Year-End Resources
The American Agents Alliance offers members other helpful year-end resources for your agency. Members can download free industry and year-end tools like account profitability and lifetime value retention worksheets.