Quarterly Goal Setting Process for Teams

Empower your team with an effective quarterly goal setting process. Achieve success together. Learn more.

Jon Tucker
CEO HelpFlow
Quarterly Goal Setting Process for Teams

Effective execution drives business results. Initially, with a small team, maintaining focus is straightforward—we all work toward the same objectives. However, as the team expands, maintaining that focus becomes more challenging, potentially slowing down execution. Regular quarterly goal setting helps keep everyone aligned and on track

Maybe you’ve reached a point like that in your own business? Eventually, you and your team can feel like you’re slogging through each day without a clear long-term plan. Then, it turns into a grind.

There’s a better way to build a successful business as your team grows!

You can use a quarterly goal-setting process to create a pulse on how your company executes. Every quarter, you slow down to see where you are and determine what to focus on next. Then, you go back to execution to get there.

As a team grows, collaboratively doing this leverages the insights of everyone and points everyone in the same direction. After a few quarters, it happens like clockwork, and the size of your team with a solid planning process like this causes your success to accelerate.

At HelpFlow, we run 24/7 live chat teams for over 100 e-commerce stores. Internally, we have a team of over 100 team members across seven departments. As we’ve grown, our success has accelerated because we have a strong quarterly goal-setting process that we’re constantly improving.

In this post, I will walk you through how the quarterly goal-setting process works so you can implement something similar in your company.

Let’s get into it.

Quarterly Goal Setting: See Where You’re At Now

Although it may seem counterintuitive, periodically slowing down in business is essential for assessing progress. Consequently, we allocate an entire week each quarter for quarterly goal setting. While this temporarily reduces our weekly output, we’ve discovered that this deliberate pause actually enhances productivity throughout the remaining quarter.

quarterly goal setting where we at

In the lead-up to this quarterly planning week, each department manager does a blunt review of their department. They review their target metrics versus actuals, the outcomes they wanted to achieve versus what happened, and summarize the insights into “what’s working?” and “what’s not working?”.

Having everybody do this in a standardized format causes us all to see insights we can use as part of setting new quarterly goals. In addition, as a leader, it allows me to spot trends between departments. Typically, the trends of what is not working are similar between departments, and that’s a sign of a change needed across all teams.

Share Your Higher Perspective

As a leader, your job is to see the business from a higher level and determine how to reach the next peak. By having your entire team share their insights in a structured way, you can start to see trends within and across departments.

Over time, we’ve found that an effective approach involves reviewing all relevant information, seeking clarification through questions, and highlighting significant points. Subsequently, I consolidate my observations and distill a clear direction for our next steps, emphasizing quarterly goal setting and identifying the gaps we’ll need to bridge. This deliberate process ensures alignment and progress.”

This sets a shared perspective frame going into the quarterly goal-setting week.

Set Goals / Lock Them In

quarterly goal setting lock

The above process shows us a similar set of facts and a potential path forward. However, at that point, there are typically a few unknown areas we need to dig into to better define specifically where we want to be by the end of the quarter.

For example, in an e-commerce business, this might be brainstorming the pros and cons of migrating to a new customer service helpdesk during the coming quarter. Any individual team member might not have enough context to know how that project would work completely, but brainstorming it together during quarterly planning week would create a shared perspective that is key when determining whether to set a goal for this quarter.

At that point, we typically see a general “theme” of the quarter regarding what needs to be focused on. Again, sticking with the e-commerce example, this might be “add customer acquisition channels,” “boost retention,” or “prepare operations to scale.” By locking in on a theme, you can start to align all departments around pushing to that theme.

From there, all department managers set 2-3 rocks for their departments, and we work together to make sure their definitive (i.e., clear “done or not done” criteria) and that all the goals together are cohesive.

Once we have our goals, we get into executing for the quarter and do it again next quarter.

Set Your Next Quarterly Goals

If you don’t use a strong quarterly goal-setting process, you’re missing out on potential success with your team. Don’t let the busy work of the day slow you down. Instead, take the time to see where you’re at as a team and where you want to go. Then, set goals to get there.

Want help?

  • We have a video walking you through how to convert quarterly rocks into 12-week action plans that guide execution throughout the quarter. I’m happy to share it if you want – comment, and I’ll get you the link.
  • If you want to work with a live chat and CS team like ours that can drive sales while also executing at this level with your team, contact us at HelpFlow.com, and we can set up a call.

Happy planning!

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