The first quarter just ended. It’s time to check in to see how your performance is tracking compared to your goals. Do you need to rethink any goals or realign any projects? Are you on track with your financial forecast and the large projects you laid out last fall in anticipation of the new year?
Things constantly change, and we are facing new challenges already this year. Inflation. Interest rate increases. Global conflict impacts. Supply chain issues. Attracting and retaining talented staff. There’s likely something going on in your company that isn’t coming together in quite the way you expected. (If that’s not the case, keep up the good work!)
For many, a quarterly review provides the opportunity to discern what needs to change to get back on track. It could be the plan itself. Maybe it’s too ambitious given current challenges. Then again, maybe it’s not a big enough stretch! Or it could be the approach to daily work and decisions that needs changing. Are the processes and expectations set up in a way to encourage movement toward the goals?
Schedule a time to take a deep dive with your team to review, reframe, and rekindle what the goals and priorities should be over the next quarter. This meeting is also a good time to realign all team members to the common goal, if necessary. (Doing this quarterly helps everyone stay on the same page.)
Here are some questions you can use at your meeting:
- What went well last quarter?
- What didn’t go so well last quarter?
- How are we tracking with our revenue, margin, and net income goals?
- Are one-year and three-year goals still on target?
- Did we finish any Q1 goals? If so, celebrate! If not, determine why not.
- Are our current projects aligned with our long-term goals?
- Overall, are we on track with our mission?
- What goals are too ambitious that we can modify while still stretching ourselves?
- Are all team members on board with the mission of the company?
- Do all team members understand our upcoming quarter’s goals?
- Are we working in a collaborative way (not silos) to accomplish goals that benefit the entire company?
- Are we tired? What do we need to do to refresh ourselves and the team?
- What haven’t we celebrated that we need to?
- Have team members had the opportunity to personally speak about the company goals so they can be part of the goal-setting process?
Let me give you some real-life examples.
Kicking Myself into Gear
I do my own reviews, and I find that when my goals have slipped, it’s generally because my focus has slipped.
For example: in the first quarter of this year, I had set three prime goals for one of my clients. I misjudged the amount of time the projects would require, and I had to push like crazy in March to make the deadlines. It was a scramble, and honestly, I rushed more than I should have in order to get them done. Lack of focus/misjudgment of time in January and February caused the buildup in March. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I dug deep, focused on meeting shorter, bite-sized, biweekly milestones, and got two of the projects done. (We were able to push the third to Q2.)
The Big 3
For another client, we publish quarterly “Big 3” goals, breaking each one into smaller tasks for visibility and accountability. This really helps the team know where they are at and stay motivated.
Beefing Up Accountability
I’m also seeing many goals and projects slip with some clients. Their intentions are good, but there is a lack of accountability for unmet goals. For those clients, I help them strengthen accountability structures/policies and build in some “intolerance” for continued deadline slips. (My CPA upbringing plays into this – deadlines were unbending.)
You can see that there isn’t a “one size fits all” with quarterly reviews. The important thing is to DO THEM so you can review, reframe, realign and rekindle enthusiasm for your organization’s goals and dreams.