The New Year is a natural time for reflection and goal setting.  Perhaps 2017 was so exciting you raised the bar on what you now believe is possible.  Or perhaps 2017 was filled with challenges and you are relieved it is over.  Regardless of your experience, the turning of the clock gives you a chance to renew, review, and choose again.

For your 2018 goals to become a reality, you’ve got to break down your big goals into small, weekly or daily, pieces.  When setting goals just for yourself, the party of one, that can be hard enough. But when translating your company wide goals into weekly or daily pieces for everyone on your team, that can quickly become an overwhelming task.

To make it easier, let’s begin with the end in mind.  What you are shooting for here is simple:

  • Each team member sees clearly how their work is linked to the overall company goals
  • Team members know how they personally move their metrics forward
  • Team members can easily access and report on their metrics
  • There are no more than one to three metrics for each person

At Mackey Advisors, we have a tool we use for boiling down company-wide goals into action bites for teams and individuals.  It is known as Cascading Metrics.  Please click on the Cascading Metrics link to access the downloadable tool.

Step one: Company-wide goals

Break down your company-wide goals into 5 essential buckets:

  1. Key initiatives– those structural improvements you will take on this year, such as new technology, an improved marketing campaign, overhaul of your human resources benefits and communications, etc.
  2. Customers – to achieve your sales goal, what specifically are you going to do different with customers? Examples include, increasing your average sale, having one on ones with key customers about their goals, targeting a new product or service line, targeting a new type of customer
  3. Sales/Gross Margin – your sales goal in dollars and your gross margin goal as a percentage of sales
  4. Financial Results – total overhead in dollars, net income as a percentage of sales
  5. Financial Strength – one or two balance sheet results that need improvement, such as days accounts receivable, working capital, cash headroom

For each of these areas, fill in one to three key financial indicators (KFI) and/ or one to three key performance indicators (KPI).  Financial indicators come off your financials and performance indicators are non-accounting measures.  Here is an example.

Your customer goal is to double the size of your average sale.  A key financial measure is average sale, that is total sales in dollars divided by number of customers.  A key performance measure could be type of new customer.   In some cases, you will have both KFIs and KPIs and in come cases, just one or the other.

Step two and three- Department and Individual goals

Repeat this process by asking two questions:

  • How does each department help the organization reach its goals?
  • How does each employee help the organization reach its goals?

At the department level, you will likely have some KFIs and some KPIs.  At the employee level, typically all results are activity based and thus are KPIs.

Once your measures are in place, set up tracking systems for each and have your employees report up weekly to their supervisor on their accountabilities or KPIs.  Refer to the instructions on the Cascading Metrics template for more guidance.

Weekly reports create quick, simple ways to keep everyone focused on results. In addition, they give your employees what they want most, clear guidance on their performance.  For greatest impact, spend a few minutes each week to review reports one to one with your team. These look like two to three minutes of either “way to go”, or “you are off track, what support do you need”?

Using Cascading Metrics focuses everyone on your team.  Focus is the most important element in achieving any goal.  Measurement is the second key element.  Communication is third.  Using this tool, you will have clear focus, simple metrics, and effective communication.  The three keys to achievement all wrapped into one.

If you’d like help with this tool, call me at 859-331-7755 ext. 103 and I will help you through it.

At Mackey Advisors we are passionate about creating a prosperous world, one entrepreneur at a time.  If we can help you, call me at 859-331-7755 ext. 103 or email me at