Halfway through the Year: How to Ensure Your Team is on Track

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Are you as dumbfounded as I am that we are half way through the year already?

When you realize that six months have slipped through your fingers, you may feel a sense of panic that all the things you and your team planned to complete won’t squeeze into the last six months of the year.

Urgent items passed on to you from supervisors, customers/members, and coworkers seem to have taken the place of the important items that you know will move your organization forward.

You can remain calm because below is a plan for a mid-year course correction. It will enable your team to sail through the next six months, meeting all their goals.

With everyone back on the same page, your team will be confident that it can be done.  At the end of the year, your manager will be thrilled and your co-workers will wonder how you got it all done!

Stop and Reassess

In the past, here’s how my annual planning went.

I’d start the year with a bang; with a great plan in my hand and a full twelve months to get it all done.  Then my end of the year performance evaluation would arrive and I’d realize that although I accomplished a lot, there were major projects on my list that I’d barely made a dent in.

Therefore, I love the practice of reviewing goals mid-year.  Quarterly is even better, and monthly better still.  It allows time to adjust if I get off-track!

The Process

Below are four simple steps to a thorough mid-year review.  The process can be completed in one day or over several days, whichever works for your team.

1. Determine Where You’re at Today

The first step is to have everyone read the organization or department plan as well as their individual goals if they have some.  As they review them, ask them to individually note what has been completed and rate each using the following scale:

  • On Track: Progress has been made and the year-end goal will easily be met.
  • Off Track: Progress has been made but it has been slower or there have been more issues than anticipated. It’s difficult to see how the project will be completed on time or on budget.
  • Off the Radar: No progress has been made on the project due to competing commitments or other issues.

2. Agree on the Right Stuff

Ask each person to look at their calendar and to-do list and add any projects to the master list that they believe may warrant being added to the priorities.

Meet as a team and discuss each person’s take on each project, whether it is still valuable to the business to complete it, and come to an agreed upon rating for each.   Depending on how many projects you have, this could take 20-30 minutes.

Next, discuss ideas for projects that should be added to the list.  Decide what level of completion they are at.  Allow 20 minutes for this.

Now that you have a refreshed list, spend 15 minutes on each off track or off the radar project brainstorming and debating what the roadblocks are and how they can be overcome.

3. Break it Down in Bite-Sized Morsels

I was part of a strategic leadership team that realized it tended to group 15 major projects into 5 projects so that it looked like we had a reasonable number of goals.

It was fine on paper, but when planning the project implementation, we could see we’d bitten off more than we could chew.  It’s really deflating to be in this position and it becomes hard to stay motivated to complete something that you know is impossible.

So, to keep your team confident and productive, review your final set of updated goals to make sure that’s not what you’ve done.  If you have, pull these goals apart as subprojects.  That way you can set completion dates around each section and celebrate the completion of each as a milestone.  Allow 15-20 minutes for this review.

4. Celebrate progress to date

Summer is the worst time to realize you’re not on track to meet goals.  The draw of the sunshine and the beach is strong and it’s natural for people’s focus to drift to vacations, long weekends, and tending to flowers in the garden.

But unfortunately, most of our businesses and organizations can’t afford to close for the summer while we frolic barefoot in the grass.

So, in addition to making sure your team members get the vacations and long weekends they need to arrive refreshed and ready to focus, you’ll need to make this work stuff fun.

The mid-year review is a great time to pause and celebrate what has been accomplished to year-to-date.

Although you might not have checked everything off the to-do list, I guarantee there are things that got done.  If a big project popped up that wasn’t on the original plan, add it to the plan, mark it complete, and celebrate the flexibility of the team!

Career Booster

So, it’s that simple: review where you’re at, make sure you’re prioritizing the right stuff, break big projects down, and celebrate the progress that has been made.

When your team consistently stays on track throughout the year, the goals will be met, your team will feel capable and proud, your supervisor will be impressed, and everyone’s careers will be boosted!

I encourage you to take a few minutes right now to schedule a meeting with your team between now and the end of the month!

Question

Which of these ideas will you use to ensure your team is on track?

You can leave your answer in a comment below.

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If there are any topics that you’d like to read more about, please email me directly at jodi@people-mattershr.com.  I can’t respond to all emails, but I read every single one!

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People Matters provides support to business owners and leaders in all areas of human resources management including the topic in this article: supervising people.

HR is what we at People Matters love to do! We help our clients create great workplaces that engage employees and produce better business results.

Please give me a call at 517-925-8257 or visit our website at www.people-mattershr.com for more information.

 

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