It’s the second half of the business year and I just came out of my first budget-planning meeting for 2018. How can it be that time already? While I was ready to roll up my sleeves, my co-worker was less than enthusiastic. His mind wasn’t in the process and he simply didn’t care. While I was tempted just to figure out the budget myself, I know that if we are to be successful as a team, we both need to buy in to the process and plans for the upcoming year.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these critical steps from business coach Matt Oechsli on how to better engage your team in business planning.

1. Review your previous year’s team goals. In order for team members to take team goals seriously, progress must be tracked and an annual review conducted. And, of course, this must involve the entire team. This progress review will highlight the importance of achieving targets that have been established.

2. Revisit individual areas of responsibility. Your job as team leader is to ensure that everyone recognizes how their area of responsibility is connected to achieving the team’s goals. This goes beyond simply performing their job. Identify how individuals on the team are making contributions to the overall team goal. Each individual should have a clear understanding of what is required of them and where they must improve in order to assist the team in reaching their goals.

3. Set next year’s goals. What is the long-range strategy of your business? How will your team contribute to this growth? These are key questions to ask when setting your team’s goals and priorities for the coming year. Every team member needs to be fully aware of the new goals and how they are committing to contributing to these goals. In addition, individual bonuses should be reflective of how their individual performance impacts the goal.

4. Review progress quarterly. A quarterly team meeting has one purpose: assessing progress towards goal. To set the tone and get everyone’s attention, this meeting is best held off-site for two to three hours. A dedicated meeting establishes the seriousness of your goals and shows that everyone is accountable. Are we on target? If not, why? What adjustments need to be made and by whom? If on target, what’s working and how do we maintain the momentum?

5. Encourage collaboration. Healthy teams are those whose team members pitch in without being told what to do. This type of “helping” approach stems from the tone of the team set by leadership. Help your team by creating a process for collaboration, such as daily huddle meetings or setting up defined workstreams.

PCT will be back tomorrow with more tips and ideas.

Source: Matt Oechsli, a business coach for The Oechsli Institute, is a leading authority on attracting, serving and retaining affluent clients. He delivers over 200 presentations a year to groups from Sydney to Singapore to Wall Street bringing his dynamic and practical message to financial professionals, support personnel and sales management. He is also a long-time columnist for several business publications, including, and author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.