As organizations strive to meet their quarterly targets, the effectiveness of their teams plays a pivotal role in driving success. To achieve Q3 goals with excellence, teams need to operate at their highest potential, leveraging their collective strengths and resources.
Here, 19 Forbes Human Resources Council members share a range of strategies that can help teams become more effective and efficient in reaching their Q3 goals. These strategies will empower teams to overcome challenges, optimize their performance and make significant progress toward success in the crucial third quarter.
1. Leverage Planning Technology
My team and I leverage an Agile Scrum ceremony called Big Room Planning, where we look at the previous quarter, via a “retrospective,” debriefing what was accomplished and what wasn’t, why and why not. Then we plan for the next quarter, bringing forward any incomplete and necessary work. This process allows for all voices to be heard and to prioritize the most important work for the next quarter. – Tracy Dodd, VNS Health
2. Create Intentional Goals
We’re very intentional with our goals and how we allocate time to achieve them. In Q3, each of my team members had two goals: a must-achieve and a would love to achieve. While my team of course had other duties assigned outside of these goals, having a smaller number of must-complete goals mentally made success achievable. – Nakisha Dixon, Vercara
3. Implement SMART Goals
Implement SMART Goals and ensure each goal is aligned with the overall objectives of the organization. Once goals are defined, break them down into measurable milestones to track progress. Assign responsibility to key team members to ensure each person understands their contribution. Schedule regular check-ins, and when encountering obstacles, be adaptable and ready to pivot if challenges arise. – JacLyn Pagnotta, Rose Associates Inc.
4. Slow Down The Schedule
This Q3 our team has a challenging cross-team strategic goal. After completing one sprint, we realized that moving to the next one too quickly could overwhelm the team. Instead, we’re taking time to internalize what we learned and follow through on resulting internal changes. By slowing down our schedule, we’ll not only meet our goals but benefit from a number of process improvements. – Mikaela Kiner, Reverb
5. Meet Weekly With Executives
Our organization strives for accountability. We work with a software called Rhythm Systems. This system allows the company to plan out five years, one-year, quarterly and weekly goals. Leaders meet weekly with executives to update. This has caused our organization to grow 968% in 10 years! – Ryan Tofte, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, A Carelon Company, Elevance Health
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6. Self-Audit Your Goals
First, self-audit. Are your goals practical and realistic? Sometimes, CEOs request the impossible as a tactic to increase productivity. A simple method of determining goals, breaking down the process to complete, starting with small digestible pieces, celebrating the small wins, and before you know it you are riding your bicycle without training wheels. – Patricia Sharkey, Sharkey HR Consulting, LLC
7. Prioritize Employee Experience
Execution of the organization’s people strategy is the key to better business impact at any time—not just during Q3. Leading-practice people strategies align with the business strategy and rely on data and evidence to inform talent attraction, development and retention decisions. Organizations that prioritize the employee experience are four times more profitable than those that do not. – Laci Loew, XpertHR (a division of LexisNexis)
8. Have Regular Check-Ins
Iterating and checking in often are strategies that have helped our team become effective at reaching all types of goals. Scheduling regular check-ins such as team huddles and one-on-one check-ins provides various methods of communication for team members to discuss their achievements and challenges and receive any additional support they may need. – Loren Rosario-Maldonado, Cultura, Inc.
9. Be Clear On The ‘Why’
Leaders can ensure high performance by setting clear expectations for team members. Ensure the ask is realistic and the necessary resources are available. Being clear on the “what,” the “when” and the “why” helps to link the work to the purpose of the organization. Knowing the “why” can motivate and inspire employees to put forth their best efforts. Remember to recognize success along the way. – Jennifer Rozon, McLean & Company
10. Strategically Plan Vacation Time Off
Focusing on both Q1 and Q2 roadblocks to ensure that we are effective at handling them should they arise in Q3. In addition, strategically planning vacations and creating effective market turbulence plans allow for a nimble approach to reaching goals in any quarter regardless of what headwinds are potentially preventing that achievement. – Alexander Otero, Konabos
11. Analyze What Worked In Q2
We review Q2 goals to evaluate what worked and what did not. By analyzing successes and misses from the prior quarter, we are able to tailor our path forward, ensuring that Q3 goals are realistic and attainable yet ambitious. – Leigh Yanocha, Knopman Marks Financial Training
12. Hold Team Members Accountable
To reach goals, ensure that they are clearly defined and measurable to attain alignment and focus. Once established, create a plan to achieve those goals, monitor progress and adjust as necessary. Holding team members accountable and providing regular feedback will help keep everyone on track and course correct when needed. – Lisa Shuster, iHire
13. Align Reviews With Q3
A best-practice approach that has worked for some organizations is to align their review process to the Q3 time frame. Naturally, during reviews, conversations are centered around KPIs, goals and meeting objectives; therefore, this helps drive accountability for achieving goals during Q3. – Halai Shukran, Pluribus Digital
14. Set Two-to-Three-Week Sprints
With employees taking time off and traveling during summer, Q3 can be a difficult time to reach group goals. Keeping goals to two to three-week sprints and, when possible, breaking them out into individual objectives is a good way to keep motivation high, foster flexibility, reduce pressure and still facilitate an environment where team members are supported while successfully meeting their targets. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.
15. Listen To Your Teams’ Needs
Our teams are led from a people-first perspective. As leaders, we need to consider the needs of our team first and foremost so we can provide them with the resources and guidance they need to achieve their best work. That means listening carefully and taking the team’s ideas and concerns into serious consideration. – Niki Jorgensen, Insperity
16. Define And Measure Goals Regularly
A strategy that has helped our team is to clearly define and communicate the goals and metrics to measure it, prioritizing them based on bandwidth and impact and tracking progress with every sprint cycle. This approach ensures focus, alignment and timely progress toward objectives. – Siddharth Sharma, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
17. Update And Adjust Deadlines When Needed
We start our goal-setting process at the beginning of each year and update our metrics and deadlines as needed. It is important that our activities are completed before the end of the fiscal year, so we start planning in Q2 what we need to do to ensure our deliverables are met and allow for contingencies. We communicate effectively with our leadership team to keep them apprised of our goals. – Erin ImHof, CertiK
18. Ramp Up Strategic Hiring
Q3 is always a very busy time for us and somewhat overwhelming. Organization and cross-functionality across business units ensure cohesion and a stellar end-to-end client experience. Maintaining a strong pipeline throughout the quarter by reevaluating goals for the team. Strategic hiring to be fully ramped up for Q3 has historically been a factor in our success and reaching our full potential. – William Stonehouse, Crawford Thomas Recruiting
19. Break Large Goals Down
The adoption of agile methodologies helps our team. We foster collaboration, adaptability and continuous improvement by breaking down goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This iterative process enables us to adjust quickly to changes and consistently deliver results while maintaining a strong focus on our key targets. – Joseph Soares, IBPROM Corp.
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