It is June already, which means that it’s time to dig out your 2023 goals, take stock of your company’s performance to date, and conduct mid-year reviews with your employees.
What does this have to do with sustainability? The answer is clear. A sustainable business is one that takes off and then endures. A mid-year check on annual goals is an important part of making sure your company stays on track to succeed sustainability.
Here are the planning steps that culminate in a mid-year review:
- Define, or if you have them already, reevaluate, your company’s
- Purpose, i.e., why you show up every day
- Vision, i.e., what you are aiming for
- Values, i.e., the core ethics that guide your decisions.
- Conduct strategic planning pre-work.
- Identify your stakeholders. Investors, employees, customers and suppliers are a few that are common to most companies. You should also know what impact your company has on each stakeholder group, and what they need and expect from you.
- Make sure you know which factors are critical to your company’s success. These include financial performance, for sure, along with supportive investors, an engaged workforce, trusted and reliable suppliers, and loyal customers.
- With these inputs – purpose, vision and values, a knowledge of critical success factors, and stakeholder insights – start to build a strategic plan that charts a course for the next three to five years.
- Operationalize your strategy with shorter-term action plans, initiatives and goals. Then, break these down into projects, and ultimately into annual goals.
- Every person in your organization should have yearly goals that are SMART. Many authorities break SMART down this way: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. At Clear Strategy the S stands for Strategic. In other words, there should be a direct line of sight from everyone’s goals to the company’s strategy. On the flip side, there is no element of your strategy that shouldn’t be reflected in someone’s goals. That is, unless there is an element of strategy that is on pause, or that has a timeline that begins after the year you are planning for.
- Check on progress against individual goals regularly – at least once mid-year, and at year-end.
All this planning and goal setting has a purpose, which is to help your company succeed and thrive. And if your goals are important, you should stay on top of them and make sure that they are not forgotten, or even worse, torpedoed, in the crush of the day-to-day.
All of that brings us back to the topic of this article, mid-year reviews. Mid-reviews are almost universally dreaded. They don’t need to be. Try turning the process into a positive experience in which those who are on track are acknowledged and thanked. Those who are off track are helped to get back on. Those who no longer buy into the strategy or the goals have an opportunity to talk about whether there is not a better fit for them elsewhere. Whether or not you can make it fun, just make sure you do it. Just as you wouldn’t miss an important health check, you can’t skip a mid-year review of individual goals. That review will give you a good indicator of whether things are on track for the year, and if not what adjustments have to be made. The goal is to keep the strategy intact and calibrate it if necessary along the way. The only way you can calibrate is with regular check-ins, including the mid-year review.
Clear Strategy would love to talk with you about your mid-year review process, about sustainable strategy, and about helping your business succeed and endure for the benefit of everyone who has a stake in the business. Contact us at email@example.com.
© 2023 Clear Strategy Co.