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Aim at Something and Hit It Every Time


Most company owners, managers, project team leaders, and field crews don’t have a clue when they hit a homerun or do a good job. Employees are told to ‘do your best,’ or ‘work as hard as you can,’ but not given specific milestones to shoot for. Most companies and managers never sit down and write out their company or project goals before they start a new job. Feedback and review of success or failure is rarely discussed with those who actually do the work. These facts and more were discovered from a recent survey conducted with over 2,000 construction industry companies.

Do You Aim at Anything?

You may know exactly what your profit and sales goals are. But, only 46 percent of companies surveyed set and track progress toward their annual profit and sales targets. The rest just try to do as much as they can and be satisfied with whatever they get.

Do you have specific written targets for every area of your business? You are in the majority if you don’t. The survey shows only 30 percent have clear targets for their overhead budget, 24 percent for safety, 17 percent for customer service, 12 percent for employee development, 8 percent for repeat customers, and 6 percent for bid-success ratio. This lack of targets affects everyone from the top down: less than 29 percent say their field employees have specific written goals for any area of their work.

Baseball Without Batting Averages?

Can you imagine a baseball team where the coach doesn’t have a team goal for winning games, and players don’t have individual goals for hitting, fielding, or pitching? Sadly, most companies send their teams onto the field without targets to aim for. At the project level, only 40 percent set clear goals for job profit, 30 percent for schedule, and 29 percent for productivity. Even in companies who do set goals, only 38 percent ever tell their employees what the goals are. The result? Most management, field, and administrative players don’t know when they get a hit or make an error, what’s a good batting average, or even if they win the game!

Aim at Something

The fact is that people who have written goals are twice as successful as those who don’t. The first step to success is simple: Just write down your targets. To set your goals use the following ‘swat.com’ method:

S: Specific

W: Written

A: Attainable

T: Time-Deadline

C: Challenging and Clear

O: On-Purpose…On-Target

M: Measurable

Start with your overall company goals, then write project and individual goals. If a company goal is to finish every project on time, each project must have written goals with specific action steps. Use this goal worksheet example to set your company’s goals:

Project Goal: Finish Project On-Time

Deadline: Complete project by July 31st

Action step #1: Get project team together to create action plan

Action step #2: Identify resources and responsibilities

Action step #3:: Develop implementation plan for action plan

Action step #4: Set project team meeting schedule

Action step #5: Implement weekly field review

Action step #6: Track progress weekly and adjust resources

Incorporate setting and tracking goals into your company mindset. If your priority is to stick to a schedule, make sure your team knows it is a priority and what the milestones and deadlines are. Otherwise, it is too easy to get sidetracked by “urgent” job problems and miss your targets.

Your #1 Priority Is to Keep Your # 1 Priority Your #1 Priority

1. Set Weekly Targets

Use Monday morning team meetings to get your people together and stay on target. Set weekly goals, write them down, and give each team member a specific target to hit, regardless of their position. For example, to stay on schedule for this week, dig 500 lineal feet of pipe, or complete all touch-up painting for the project, or get all outstanding change orders approved by Friday.

2. Set Monthly Goals

Get your team together monthly to review progress on your targets such as customer satisfaction, quality, safety, productivity, profit, and schedule. Also, consider setting goals for general conditions, estimated job costs vs. final costs, and labor and equipment budgets vs. actual.

3. Set Pre-Project Milestones

Before you start every project, get the estimator, project manager, field superintendent, and foreman together to set overall project goals. Hold a pre-job team meeting to discuss the targets and get everyone on the same page. From there, follow up with weekly and monthly project team meetings. At the end of the project, hold a general review meeting to decide where you can improve and refine your goals for the next project.

Aim at something, write it, track it, communicate it, and hit it out of the park every time!

Business - Commercial Real Estate Industry

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This article contains general information only. Sunflower Bank is not, by means of this article, rendering accounting, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, before making any decisions related to these matters, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.