MountainIt’s one thing to dream up a goal, it’s another to set one, and it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to the process of actually reaching a goal. Now that we are entering Q2, you have probably already set your recruitment goals for 2015. Whether your goals are departmental, for your professional team, or address the entire organization, there are steps you can take now to ensure you reasonably obtain those goals this year.

Seventy-seven percent of leaders in small businesses say they have not achieved their company visions. Why is this? Obviously, achieving your company vision isn’t something that just happens in one quarter or one year, but it does happen in small increments over time. If you’re not setting your organization, department, or team up to hit these incremental marks within your goal timeline, then you’re virtually making no progress.

If you want to reach your recruitment goals in 2015, it’s time to use these three tips to kick progress into high gear.

1. Write Your Goals Down

This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do not actually record their goals. In fact, one survey found that 80 percent of small business owners don’t track their business goals. If you’re thinking that you don’t need to do this because you have them clearly defined in your head, you are mistaken. On average, a person has 35 thoughts per minute. While you may remember what your goal is in general, you may end up only recalling a vague or distorted version of it. In other words, trying to keep your goals in your head is like playing a game of telephone with yourself: you may remember different parts of the goal or methods for achieving the goal differently from one day to the next.

Start a document where you can track your goals, preferably one that is easily accessible through a smartphone or other mobile device. This way, you’ll be able record any new thoughts or ideas that come to mind no matter where you are.

Unfortunately, you can’t bring your mobile phone into the shower. If many of your bright ideas come to you there, then keep a pen and paper on hand by the toilet to jot them down (not even kidding). You’ll kick yourself if you let a great idea slip from your head while you’re mid-shampoo.

We should also mention that writing down your goals gives you an 80 percent higher chance of achieving them.

2. Clearly Communicate Goals to Every DRI

“DRI” stands for “directly responsible individual,” and there’s nothing worse than excluding DRIs from your goals. Not only do DRIs need to have a deep understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, but they want to know how you envision achieving your goals.

Communicating a goal does not mean writing it on a whiteboard in the break room or announcing it in a Monday-morning meeting. It also doesn’t mean you have to repeatedly drill goals into your coworkers’ or subordinates’ heads. A better method of communicating goals could be to construct a goal timeline that accounts for each DRI, whether they are individual people or entire departments in your organization. Such a timeline will allow people to visualize your goals and more clearly comprehend their roles in achieving those goals.

If you find the right way to effectively communicate your goal timeline, you’ll be surprised by how much employee engagement and productivity improve. According to a presentation from Weekdone, 63 percent employees say that a lack of clearly defined priorities causes a lot of wasted time in their organizations. This is exactly why goals and goal timelines need to be communicated — otherwise, employees don’t know what to do to help your company achieve its goals. Your employees aren’t mind readers, and if they were, they probably wouldn’t be working for you.

3. Align Your Goals With Your DRIs

This seems like common sense, but it’s harder to do than you think. When you set goals that reflect and speak to employees’ personal strengths, employees are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work.

However, this doesn’t mean that the goals you set shouldn’t be challenging. Goals that are challenging actually lead to higher performance. Therefore, each employee’s role in the goal timeline needs to align with their personal strengths and push them to perform even better.

How are your recruitment goals for this year coming along? Share your best practices in the comments!

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