Mid-year evaluations are a necessary part of determining whether a company is on course for achieving its yearly goals. But despite its importance, many leaders overlook certain key aspects of their business. And while these elements may not seem as obvious to check on as others, they still provide important data that can help inform future decision-making.

Eleven professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) have uncovered some of the most vital yet overlooked factors a business should be looking into in its mid-year evaluations. So we asked them the following:

Q. What is one thing leaders tend to forget when doing a mid-year check on company goals? Why is this element so important to remember?

Here, they discuss those elements and explain why they are such essential parts of a company’s long-term strategy.

1. How The Short Term Relates to Long-Term Goals

It’s easy to just look at the near term while forgetting your one-year or even five-year goals. Every short-term goal you set and reach should be the means to an end for a longer-term goal for the company. Always relate today’s progress back to those long-term goals. – Andy Karuza, FenSens

2. The Wider Context

It’s important to analyze your performance not only in relation to your goals, but also as they relate to the wider world. Right now, of course, the entire economy is challenged all over the world. Even under normal conditions, though, you should study your competition, economic conditions and industry trends that may be helping or harming your business. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

3. The Team’s Morale

While it’s hard to quantify morale, it can have a significant impact on your company’s ability to achieve its goals. Employees with high morale are more engaged. This can mean faster development cycles, better customer satisfaction, and higher profits. Frequently assessing morale can help resolve underlying issues before performance falters. – Jack Tai, OneClass

4. The Role and Contribution of Employees

One item that is often forgotten is the role of employees and their contributions. During these mid-year checks, it’s important to discuss if there are any new team or organizational priorities that have come up and how the people within your team fit into them. Discuss any new interests or developments that might change how your team works in the future. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

5. Staffing and Hiring Practices

Mid-year checks focus on assessing the performance of your current team. But don’t forget to look at your staffing and hiring practices, as well. Check in with your recruiters to see if there is anything they need to do their job better. Ask them what you can do to be more competitive in attracting the best people going forward. Whomever you hire today will be responsible for tomorrow’s goals. – Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained

6. Non-Data Events

Leaders tend to forget the non-data during mid-year checks. At Alphametic we are data-driven, but our corporate culture is also quantitative. Do not forget to take into account the big wins or losses undertaken by your business or team members with regard to reviews. Each business has its unique road to success and you cannot control non-data events or circumstances that affect performance or goals. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

7. Drawbacks and Failures

By examining the drawbacks and failures, you can learn and make sure that you do not repeat the same mistakes for the rest of the year. Failure is a part of the learning curve, so don’t damage your ethics and morale in the process. Instead, encourage your employees to learn and improve. Also consider changing teams, as it can give you a different perspective and approach for solving problems. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

8. Experimentation and Iteration

Goals are great, but things change over time. The current pandemic is a good example of why it’s unwise to be married to your goals. Sometimes, you need to iterate and change your goals. Other times, you need to run experiments to see if what you’re currently doing in order to reach your goals is effective. Goals should be held loosely, and the path to reach them may change. – Keith Shields, Designli

9. Culture Evaluation

When doing a mid-year check on company goals, leaders tend to focus on financial metrics. How are sales? Profits? Leaders can overlook the importance of setting and evaluating goals indexed to company culture. Given how vital company culture is to the well-being of a company, it is important to remember to take a holistic approach to your mid-year review. – Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group

10. Celebrations

Many leaders will mention goal successes, but many don’t take the time to celebrate beyond a “great job, team!” Schedule time during the mid-year check to do a real celebration. Pop champagne, treat the team to lunch, do something that shows the team you notice and you appreciate the hard work. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

11. Accountability

If your business isn’t performing up to standard, that means you aren’t doing your job. You may have underperforming employees, but you need to take accountability for why that’s the case. There’s always an underlying issue to a problem and you must assess that and take responsibility for it before your business can move forward. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

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