When putting together a business, there are many things that must be taken into consideration. One of the most important is a formal strategy of the business, which is also known as a business plan. Many companies make their business plans vague, which makes them hard to follow. It also makes long-term goals more difficult to attain.
In order to build this strategy in a way that can help the business run smoothly, it is important to set milestones. By formally addressing these milestones in a business plan, you can highlight specific employee productivity and business achievements in a written and concrete manner.
Examples of these milestones, or business achievements, include reaching a certain size customer base, making the 1,000th sale, having a following of 10,000 customers on social media or publishing the 100th post for the business’s blog. By implementing these goals into the business strategy, it allows the business to see the goals they reach because they are tangible and able to be tracked. For each department within the business, the milestones can provide accurate and specific insights into the company’s growth, which helps to hone in on shortcomings and successes.
A Crystal Clear Perspective on the Business’s General Direction
When creating milestones, you must make sure they are specific. Each one should be constrained by a timeframe, and should also name a specific person responsible for the tracking. It is important to list a budget, which will be used to perform the tasks associated with each milestone. These strategies will be visible with the use of a milestone board, which should be displayed in an area that all team members can see. These milestones will help to reach the long-term goals of the company.
For example, an eCommerce site wants to increase the number of visitors. At this point, the milestone board would reflect specific goals, which in this application could list short-term achievements such as “create SEO friendly content that includes at least 5 keywords per 500 words of content” or “10,000 Twitter followers.” As employees achieve these milestones, they will feel productive and successful, which in turn will boost morale and they will work harder to reach goals. Because these goals are visible, tangible and easily understood, employees will know exactly what is expected of them. All these milestones must be tracked and follow-up must be performed as well. Otherwise, this method is not being used to its fullest potential.
Increased Responsibility and Individual Contribution
Once the milestone plan has been implemented, businesses will quickly see an increase in employee productivity. When an employee is entrusted with a specific and easily measurable task, he or she will put in more effort. This is because the reward and recognition are positive and frequent. All employees want to have a good job performance, and when using this method, they are recognized more often for individual contributions.
For example, the business wants 10,000 Facebook friends by year-end. The person assigned to this task will come up with ways to make this happen, which may include profile changes for visibility purposes, implementing a contest on the social media site or by announcing a sale. Once this goal is reached, the employee will be recognized as a valuable member of the business, and assuredly will be given more important tasks, which allows for job security, a potential raise, and employer respect.
Stronger Team Spirit
A team that works well together will have a good comradery, which promotes efficiency and productivity. When a group can collaborate effectively, they can come up with great strategies with excellent plans of action to benefit the company.
As an employer, it is crucial to hold regular meetings with teams to ensure employee productivity and that all members are on task. This will help get everyone focused on the same goal. All parties will have clearly defined roles and know their responsibilities well. If the team members can take responsibility for their specific tasks, and own their contribution, they will be more productive members of the company.
Increased Motivation and Loyalty
If you want this type of strategy to work, you must always treat your employees well, which means respectfully and justly. The employer must acknowledge the staff’s achievements at regular intervals to promote productivity. The positive praise will motivate them to work harder towards company goals. Appreciation for a job well done will also make employees loyal, which is good for the business because seasoned employees are more competent and productive. It will also make a positive boost to morale.
Happy employees who respect their employers will work harder. This is verified in a Gallup Poll study where the data showed that employees who get praise and appreciation for good work stay with the company longer, work harder and do their jobs more efficiently. Happy employees also give better, more friendly, customer service.
By making milestones part of a business plan, clarity is added to the long-term goals. The physical milestone board is a great reference for teams. With these goals well defined, employees can easily stay focused and productive. All departments, including marketing and customer service, will benefit from this approach. It also makes the company’s long-term goals more achievable when it focuses on the small steps to reach them.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. She spends her free time trying out new recipes or reading Scandinavian crime novels. Feel free to reach her on Twitter.