Eager to get the best out of your human capital? Targets allow you to align your team, but also challenges co-workers to perform as well as they can. Read on!
Making sure your personnel constantly performs well is not an art. It does require clever management and good leadership - to turn a group of individuals into a close-knit team that wants to progress with your company. That applies to all companies, big or small. This blog explains how you can use targets to get the best out of your human capital.
What are targets?
Targets are short-term, specific goals, aimed at the growth of your business and the motivation of your employees. Growth, because the targets are directly linked to the factors that drive the figures up, and motivation because they reward strong performance.
To set targets, you look at what makes your company work: KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. Suppose 70% of the offers you send are accepted. Every month you need 20 accepted offers to achieve your targeted growth, so your monthly target for offers sent will have to be at least 28.
Measuring is knowing
In sales, especially, targets are used frequently. With the Teamleader Statistics module you can draw up targets based on turnover, deals, talks, agreements and results.
But targets are certainly not limited to your company’s sales team. If you have a target for task compliance, you can also check what percentage of your tasks are finished before the deadline (e.g.: ready on 28 April instead of 3 May) and what percentage is finished within the target period (e.g. ready in 2 hours instead of 3 hours).
Then you can track target progress, and draw statistics from it:
- How many deals more or less did the team close compared to the previous period?
- How many successful talks with target value X did this salesperson have this quarter?
- Who finished which task before the deadline, and who didn’t meet their deadline?
By measuring and comparing you can monitor your team’s performance and make adjustments where necessary.
Motivate for performance
According to a study by Securex in 8 countries, Belgian and Dutch employees score high on the variables productivity, dedication, satisfaction and motivation – all factors that boost performance a lot. Challenging targets are an excellent aid in keeping performance up to scratch, certainly if you link them to the right rewards.
These rewards can be financial, but that is not always the best method: studies show that people perform better for tangible rewards than for hard currency. Moreover, not every company has the necessary budgetary flexibility. Other options are, for example:
- Gift vouchers, possibly from a partner of your company
- Excursions & events: a trade fair, a weekend with the team, a football match, and so on
- Catering at lunchtime
- An extra holiday
- A day working from home
- Extras at work, e.g. a laundry and ironing service
And whatever you do, don’t forget the cheapest motivator of all: recognition. Give colleagues positive feedback for smart performance, and give constructive criticism to those who underperform. Appreciation and understanding result in dedicated, loyal colleagues.
The right mix of clever targets and tempting rewards can push your employees’ performance to a higher level. Your company will only benefit from that, too. But that doesn’t mean there are no pitfalls. Keep the following tips in mind:
Keep it realistic: unattainable targets make no sense, too easy targets don’t help your company progress.
Be specific: "sell 8% more of product A this quarter" is a good target, "sell more this quarter" is not.
Know your people: what motivates one, doesn’t motivate another. Know your team, and personalize the targets.
Know your company: make sure that your company’s objectives are complementary to your targets.
Keep the big picture in mind: targets without the right recruitment, training and support won’t achieve much. Targets are part of good management, not a substitute for it.
Experiment with targets and the way in which you reward meeting them. A tool like Teamleader is perfect for the job: by looking and comparing at every phase you can see what works and where you need to make adjustments.