What’s the plan to get the most out of employees?

Before you know it, you will be in the New Year Scramble. Tax season, big initiatives, exciting improvements in the works, and the goals list goes on. 

Without a solid process to cascade those goals down into achievable, actionable targets, chances are good some will go off the rails. 

What's the plan

Often, the real culprits are the paths of communication and consistent tracking. They seem intuitive, but they’ll get you every time without a process in place. 

Top leadership needs to direct the team on what goals each person and department will be working toward. Then managers can coach their own direct reports throughout the organization accordingly. This provides clear communication of expectations and understanding of each employee’s role in achieving goals. With employees crafting their development plan with guidance, they’ll feel invested in accomplishing them. They’ll be invested in the company’s success.  

The follow up is key. Quarterly check-in meetings will confirm progress throughout the year. That means you can course correct if anything starts wobbling too far from the path to success. 

Employees with clear direction, who feel supported by their managers and who understand how they productively fit into the overall company, will be more engaged. That makes them more productive, improving their problem solving, and ensuring they’ll stay at your company. 

Unhappy employees are a money sink. They could take their talent right out the door. New low-level hires are costly to replace, and mid-level employees are even more costly to replace. It’s worth investing in the right tools now to save money in the long run.

Keep your company on track by:

  • Cascade goals down in a way that results in individualized action items. Think of it like eating an elephant. That’s a whole lot of elephant, and it can be overwhelming. If the teams understand which part of the elephant they are responsible for, then coaches can better guide their people as to how to tackle it.
  • Document and track goals throughout the year. Writing down a goal makes it more likely that you’ll achieve it. Capture it in a development plan, and strategically pull vital information to keep you on the right path.
  • Keep communication open to catch problems early. Check-in meetings will review progress, facilitate productive conversation, and allow for positive course correction when needed.

Gary Markle is speaker, consultant, author and CEO of Catalytic Coaching, Inc., and is an investor and business partner at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces. To nominate your company as a Top Workplace, go to washingtonpost.com/nominate.

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