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Setting Quarterly Goals at Work: With Examples for Beginners
We all have those big goals at work that we want to achieve.
However, constantly it’s hard to know where to start or break them down into manageable tasks.
That’s where quarterly goals come in!
Quarterly goals are a great way to assess your company’s progress on a shorter timeline and ensure you’re on track to reach your annual goals.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about setting quarterly goals, including examples of what they could look like!
Let’s get started.
First, it is crucial to understand what quarterly goals are and then effectively set quarterly goals at work.
What Are the Quarterly Goals?
Quite simply, quarterly goals are short-term goals that usually last for three months.
You can align them with your company’s annual goals, or they can be specific to one area of your business.
The great thing about quarterly goals is that they provide a smaller goal to focus on and achieve within a shorter time frame.
Having smaller goals makes them much more manageable than long-term annual goals.
Plus, you can measure your company’s progress along the way and make sure you’re on track to reach your end goal.
What Is a Quarter?
A quarter is three months in a year. There are four quarters in a year, each consisting of three months:
- Quarter One: January, February, March
- Quarter Two: April, May, June
- Quarter Three: July, August, September
- Quarter Four: October, November, December
Globally, the assessment of the finances and progress of every institution takes place at the end of the quarter.
It is wise to align your team’s targets with the financial calendar.
If you want to achieve quarterly goals aligned with your company’s annual goals, then January, April, July, and October would be an excellent time to begin.
That said, it is essential to note that quarterly goals can be specific to one area of your business.
So, if you have a project coming up or have a goal in mind- say, launching a new product- you can set a quarterly goal specifically for that.
Well, that sums up what quarterly goals essentially are.
But it doesn’t justify why you should set quarterly goals.
It is crucial to be aware of the impact of something before taking it on.
Let’s understand why you should set quarterly goals.
Why Should You Set Quarterly Goals?
There are several reasons why setting quarterly goals can be beneficial for your business:
It helps you focus on smaller tasks that add to the bigger picture.
Everyone knows the power of compounding. Smaller efforts towards a bigger target are far easier to achieve than one ambitious project.
Quarterly goals provide a way to break down your annual goal into manageable chunks.
You can achieve these small goals over three months.
Setting this goal will help keep you on track and motivated as you progress towards your end goal.
It allows for a better assessment of progress.
As we mentioned before, quarterly goals give you a way to measure your company’s progress at regular intervals.
Plus, it helps ensure that everyone in your company knows what they need to do to reach the final goal.
Quarterly goals create a sense of ownership and responsibility within your team.
It encourages short-term planning.
Many businesses set long-term annual goals, but they often forget to plan short-term.
Quarterly goals force you to think ahead and develop a game plan for the next three months.
And this pre-planning can be highly beneficial as it prevents you from becoming overwhelmed and stressed in the lead-up to your final goal.
It helps set achievable targets.
We all are aware of disappointment when we don’t achieve our goals. It was incredibly frustrating when our goal was unrealistic in the first place.
They allow realistic growth and discipline.
Quarterly goals allow you to set realistic yet challenging targets that are still achievable within a shorter time frame.
And having such goals will help keep you motivated and focused on reaching your end goal. It develops discipline.
Achieving quarterly goals requires not only discipline but also consistency.
And that is mainly because you only have a limited time to achieve your target.
Developing this discipline early on will help you in the long run as it sets the tone for how you approach your work.
Now that we know the benefits of setting quarterly goals.
Let’s look at how to set quarterly goals with some examples.
How To Set Quarterly Goals?
Setting quarterly goals is not as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
Step One: Come Up With a List of Your Company’s Annual Goals.
Brainstorming the annual goals for your company could include:
- Increasing sales
- Building a new product market
- Improving customer service
Step Two: Brainstorm What Tasks You Need To Complete To Achieve These Goals.
Again, this will vary depending on your business and the goal itself.
Step Three: Assign Each Task to a Specific Month Within the Quarter.
For example, one of your quarterly goals is to increase sales by 20%.
Then you might want to put the task of creating a marketing strategy in January, followed by developing a product prototype in February and recruiting new employees in March.
Step Four: Create a Timeline for Each Goal and Ensure It’s Achievable.
You have to be realistic with your targets while creating a timeline for every task.
Remember not to set yourself up for failure by setting an unrealistic timeline for a task.
Well, we can’t talk about the timeline without mentioning the best product management system like Chisel. Chisel’s timeline tool allows you to set timelines for every feature by adding the date range.
Step Five: Make Sure Everyone in Your Company Knows the Quarterly Goals and Tasks.
Making everyone in your team aware of your goals will ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what they need to do to help them reach the final destination.
Creating quarterly goals can seem daunting at first, but following these simple steps will make it a breeze!
What Are Some of the Quarterly Goals Examples?
If you’re a practical learner like us, we got you! Knowing about how to set quarterly goals is not enough.
How do you practically use them in a business situation?
Here Is a Glimpse of What Quarterly Goals Examples Could Be-
Example #1: Sales Goal
Suppose your business aims to achieve a 20% increase in sales from the previous year in the first quarter.
Tasks and Timeline:
- January: Understand where you get the majority of your sales. Develop a marketing strategy and begin promoting products.
- February: Create a minimum viable product (MVP) and test it with customers.
- March: Recruit new employees and train them on how to sell your products.
Example #2: Expand Into New Markets Goal
Your company wants to expand into two new markets by the end of the first quarter.
Tasks and Timeline
- In January, research new markets with users and decide which markets to expand.
- In February, create a business roadmap for entering these two new markets.
- In March, begin implementing the business roadmap by setting up shop in the new markets.
It’s THAT manageable. One of the essential factors of setting quarterly goals is to have a clear mission in mind.
Getting to that level of clarity may take a little bit of preparation and prioritization.
But once you know ‘what’ you want, you’ll figure out ‘how’ you have to get it.
Now, the thing about quarterly goals is- they’re not standard for all, and there’s no one-size-fits-all.
First, let’s understand the benefits of setting quarterly at work and dissect each role separately.
Benefits of Setting Quarterly Goals at Work
Let’s not keep you waiting for the prize.
Here are the key benefits of setting quarterly goals at work for each role-
Quarterly goal setting is vital for the managerial team because it gives them an overview of what they need to achieve for the entire year.
Managers can divide their team’s workload into quarterly sprints, making it easier for employees to stay focused and on track.
Quarterlies give employees a sense of ownership and responsibility for their work.
They allow employees to see how their day-to-day tasks contribute to the larger goal.
This step ultimately leads to a feeling of accomplishment when the quarter is over.
For Scrum Masters
As someone who oversees agile development, the difficulties of setting quarterly goals at work are that they are often too ambitious and not achievable.
How Do You Set the Right Quarterly Goals per Your Role in the Organization?
Let’s take a look.
Quarterly Goals for Managers
As a manager, you have to look at the big picture while setting quarterly goals.
Your primary focus should be on what your team can achieve in the next three months that will help move the company closer to its annual objectives.
Some Tips That Can Help You Set Practical Quarterly Goals as a Manager Are:
- Understand what your team is working on currently and how it impacts the company’s larger goals.
- Assess what progress you have made towards these goals and opportunities for improvement.
- Set realistic yet challenging targets for your team to push them to reach their full potential.
- Communicate these quarterly objectives clearly to your team so that everyone is on the same page.
While setting quarterly goals, it is also essential to keep in mind its budget and resources.
Make sure that your targets are achievable within the given constraints.
Quarterly Goals for Employees
As an employee, your quarterly goals must align with the company’s larger objectives.
You need to understand what your teams expect of you and how your work contributes to your success.
Once you clearly understand this, you can start setting realistic yet challenging targets for yourself.
Some Tips That Can Help You Set Practical Quarterly Goals as an Employee Are:
- Talk to your manager and get a clear understanding of what they expect of you in the next quarter.
- You will have to set SMART goals for your team and yourself that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Break down your goals into smaller tasks that you can complete in a shorter time frame.
- Make sure to track your progress and adjust your targets as needed. Quarterly goal setting is an ongoing process that you should revisit often.
Quarterly Goals for Scrum Masters
When it comes to quarterly goal setting, many agile development teams confront the issue of having goals that are too ambitious.
But that’s when you can use these essential tips for more effective quarterly goals.
For example, suppose the goal is to develop a website for your new corporate identity.
In that case, you can break it down into smaller tasks that you or your team can do in less time without sacrificing quality.
Some Tips for Setting Practical Quarterly Goals as a Scrum Master Are:
- Review the company’s annual objectives and identify areas where the agile development team can contribute.
- Work with the development team to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
- Based on this, set realistic yet challenging targets that the team can achieve in the next quarter.
- Help the team break these goals into smaller tasks and create a sprint plan accordingly.
- Monitor progress closely and course-correct as needed.
Remember, quarterly goal setting is an ongoing process, and you must revisit them often.
How Many Quarterly Goals Should You Set?
There is no proper, simple answer to this question.
You should set as many or as few quarterly goals as you feel comfortable. Still, they must align with the company’s objectives.
However, it is beneficial to set no more than four or five quarterly goals per quarter.
Another way to answer the question “how many quarterly goals should you set?” is to counter it with questions such as:
- “How many high-priority objectives do I have to achieve?”
- “What amount of resource capacity is currently at my disposal?”
- “What goal did we fail to achieve last quarter/year?”
These should give you more clarity on how many quarterly goals you should set in that year.
Setting quarterly goals is an integral part of any organization’s growth strategy.
It helps managers assess progress, employees feel ownership of their work, and scrum masters to ensure that goals are achievable.
While it may seem like overwhelming work at first, you can do it successfully with a little bit of planning and enhancement of organizational structure.
If you’re looking for in-depth information on planning quarterly goals or want some guidance on creating achievable timelines, check out our blog!