I had a feeling Incept had an inside scoop on the benefits of setting goals when our President, Sam Falletta, mentioned setting up a new goal program within the contact center.
This Goals Group, also referred to as the Accountability Group, was grouped randomly, meeting every week to help hold each other accountable to the goals each person has set – three personal goals and three professional goals. Everyone from the Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) to the Vice President of Contact Center Results were able to sit together and talk about personal goals that they had setting, getting a completely different kind of help than you would normally expect to receive from your place of employment.
This exercise ended up working out so well that we decided to film some of the people within the goals program. I enjoyed my time within the Goals Group tremendously, since we were not only able to get help accomplishing our professional goals, but there were also people from other groups giving me information and contacts that could help me to accomplish my personal goals. As I’ve moved up within the company, I’ve been unable to meet with the Goals Group each and every week, but now receive similar results from our success descriptions.
Success descriptions include everything from completing tasks within the Client Results Department to increasing my Twitter followers to 1,000. When we first meet, we evaluate what challenges we encountered over the last month, some ventures we are hoping to start or have completed by the end of the two-month term, company-wide goals and personal goals. We then put a point value on each of the success descriptions and give a weekly progress update, in which they are checked and replied upon by your immediate supervisor. The key to conversational marketing is to make sure that there are thorough conversations taking place continually throughout the process of any task, project or action item. These success descriptions not only give us the opportunity to update our progress each week, but also allow supervisors to see our progress and have any number of conversations in the meantime, relating to the descriptions, on the same platform.
So how do you find your success descriptions? Only you can answer that question. But there are a few steps that I take to help me determine my goals from my success descriptions. Specificity is key. Consider these two goals: (1) to get a car or (2) to get a car under $2,500 by the end of December. Notice the difference?
Here are the things I always keep in mind when preparing to make my next list of success descriptions:
- Note your last success, and set the bar higher. This can often be more difficult than you would imagine, since whichever goal you just met most likely took a large amount of work, communication, consideration and learning. The goal is to thoroughly examine what worked very well the first time, what took some time to work and what did not work at all. Use all of that as continuing education, and estimate where you believe you will be able to grow with this knowledge. Remember, it’s not a complete loss if you do not reach your goal, because that will help you make the adjustments necessary to meet it next time.
- What is something that you have been trying to accomplish for some time? This is a great opportunity for you to take ventures that you have been considering doing and establish a beginning step for them. This is usually more of a personalized professional goal, like developing your areas of creativity while keeping a very realistic view on balancing it with the rest of your re-activating priorities. I previously set a goal to establish the pilot episode for our Incept Live video series, and even though I did not accomplish this goal, it was only because I realized the amount of time it would take away from my other goals. So, now I am able to determine when I will have time to put this back on my list when other priority tasks have been completed.
- Take a method that works and multiply. If the newest members of the team have been coming up with some really great ideas to get projects moving along, let those members own their next idea and continue to develop it. When we realized that the trivia questions on our Facebook page had been generating a lot of engagement, we decided to not only post two questions a day – for the day and night shifts – but have our iCMEs find additional trivia questions to save time on searching for new ones. Being able to assign and strengthen the areas in which we’ve had strong results, allows us to focus on the areas where we have not to determine whether they can be fixed or need to be replaced altogether.
- Hold yourself accountable. There is a large and obvious difference between setting a goal, working towards it, finding the ways that work from those that don’t and still missing the success, as opposed to not truly attempting to succeed on your success description. Since you initially create these goals, you update them weekly and you respond to supervisor comments, you truly own the progress (or lack thereof) in your success descriptions. You will always be held accountable by others for your actions in the workplace, but now you have that complete ownership to know just how close you were to succeeding and why.
These are a few things that I have done to help myself continue to create challenging goals through my success descriptions. What are some things that you think you would be able to accomplish if you set them into goals?