Setting 2014 Goals and How to Keep Them

Every New Year, people everywhere come up with lofty resolutions that will better their lives, health, business, and relationships. Some people are successful, but many people can’t keep up their New Years resolutions past Spring. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t create resolutions, but rather, you should know how to manage them so they’re successful. Since a resolution is simply a goal or intention, it needs to be managed like one. Basic project management practices very much apply to setting goals – structure, teamwork, planning, and success measurement are very much a part of that.

Many insurance agents have a number of goals for their agency that they’d like to tackle. However, there’s only so much rapid change a business can handle. By following these simple insurance agent employee tips, your 2014 goals will be successful and impactful.

Make a List of Priorities

You may have many goals you’d like to achieve this year, but focusing your goal setting on high-priority items is best. Think of two things when picking the right goals to focus on: what will make the most positive impact on your insurance agency, and which goals are possibly time-sensitive. Prioritizing goals such as “improve customer service standards and call back times” will do a lot more good than goals like “keep office supply room organized at all times.” While both are positive, one could impact your insurance agency growth more.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Any goal you set must be both challenging yet attainable. Choosing goals that require more time and effort than you have to give, are too lofty, or goals that might get significant push-back from others in your organization will only exhaust you and leave you feeling defeated. Choosing goals that are attainable is very important for success. As yourself the following questions: “Do I have time to implement what’s needed to achieve this goal?” “Will others in my insurance agency get on board with this goal, or will they push back?” “Can I reasonably achieve this goal in the appropriate time frame?” Once you define whether or not you can even accomplish the goal to begin with, you’ll have a much better sense of what you need to do to finish the goal. We do not want to discourage you from setting higher goals, so if you do have lofty aspirations for your insurance agency and agents this year, creating mini goals and stepping stones on the way to achieve a higher-arching goal can make the process more attainable and successful.

Be Specific

Some goals can be very vague, and vagueness when goal setting will lead to demotivation, an inability to measure success, and an inability to get other team members on board. Your goals should be as specific as possible, and be accompanied by specific quantitative and/or qualitative outcomes. For example, if your goal is to “increase your number of monthly insurance customers,” try to determine exact numbers and ranges to support that. Do you want one new customer per month or 20? Do you have a high and a low range? Defining specifics will help you gain clarity and measure success later.

Define Measures of Success

Similarly to being specific, you need to set measures of success with your goals. If your goals already include numbers then you’re halfway there. If your goals are more qualitative, then decide what measurable metrics can help support whether or not your goals were successful. For example, if one of your qualitative goals includes “improve customer service & support”, some measurable data that could support this could be customer hold time, customer response time, time it takes average customer to fill out web forms, etc. Many of these metrics can be measured by programs like Google Analytics and SalesForce.

Create Timelines and Benchmarks

With any goal, you should establish a start and end date. Additionally, any benchmark dates in between should be considered, especially if you’re involving multiple team members. Try to break down the workflow of your goal into smaller pieces, and outline any metric benchmarks that need to be hit to ensure a successful completion. Finally, when delegating work to other team members, try to hold them accountable along the way to make sure they’re on track.

Get Everyone On Board

Having your entire team on the same page is essential to completing your goals efficiently. If there are members of your team that aren’t in line with your goals, priorities, and collaborative efforts, then you could be swimming upstream for months. Try to involve other decision makers in your insurance agency in your initial goal-setting process, and utilize any staff members to help you carry out tasks along the way.

Regularly Reassess Goals

Sometimes your priorities may change throughout the year, or new ways of doing things may change the way your goals work. Feel free to reassess your goals and change metrics, parameters, or other attributes to fit your evolving insurance agency.

Search for Tools & Apps That Can Help

There’s an app for that! Productivity apps are huge for mobile and desktop devices, and can help you organize yourself throughout the year. Try to search for apps and web tools that could help you with your goals. These could be apps that track data, find new information, take & organize your notes, and more.

Sometimes it’s difficult to set goals and stick to them. That’s why most peoples’ New Year’s resolutions fail by February or March. The reason why goals often fail is an inability to structure goals into segments, and a lack of setting specific parameters and measures of success. By supporting your goals with structure, support, data, and good project management, you’ll be sure to find success for your insurance agency in 2014!

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