As the old saying goes, “physician heal thyself”. Business and life coaching isn’t any different. It is funny that sometimes we forget to look in the mirror and judge ourselves. While talking with a client today I realized something I have been overlooking in my own life for some time now.
I had been confusing goals and rewards. Actually, I was skipping the goals and listing the rewards. Years ago when I first started creating goal sheets with my wife, the sheets listed real goals. Recently my wife and I had a discussion about our goals in the previous year and for the next year. She had accomplished significantly more of her goals than I had. I chalked my lack of accomplishment up to the fact that I was focused on a different area and obviously the goals were not as important as I had thought a year before when we created the goal sheets.
After talking with my client today I thought back over both of our goal sheets and realized the goals I had missed were really rewards. One of the things that I teach business owners is the importance of goal sheets. The most important part of a goal sheet is the reward, and even what happens after the reward.
Let’s say that as a business owner you set a goal for your team of $100,000 per week in sales. In order to hit this target, there has to be a reward. Otherwise why would they do it. The reward doesn’t have to be much, but it has to be something tangible. As Napoleon Bonaparte said “The day my life changed was the day I figured out a man would die for a blue ribbon.” Once they have received their reward, that is when the next step must be planned out. Are you going to expect them to reach $100,000 per week, every week after they’ve done it once? Are you going to expect them to go higher each week? In either case what is the next reward?
I have seen many businesses lose good people because of misguided incentives and reward programs. The owner will set a goal, and offer a reward. After somebody hit the goal and receives the reward, they are confused about why they are expected to continue the same level of performance with no further reward. The owner on the other hand is confused as to why a person could do so well and then no longer achieve the same targets. The problem is the owner doesn’t take the goal down or doesn’t set a new reward. The owners In the employees both become frustrated by the inconsistency of the goal reward program. Every new goal needs a new reward.