Setting goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based (S.M.A.R.T), is an effective way of setting and achieving business objectives. The key advantage of this business process is that it gives everyone who is involved in the process, a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved and when. This reduces the risk of creating goals that are vague and unlikely to be reached.
The elements of SMART goals differ from company to company, however the most widely accepted SMART definition is SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT and TIME-BASED. Each element represents something that is actionable and that can be achieved.
It is vital for employees to fully understand what you expect them to do. When outlining goals it’s important to be as specific as possible.
- Example: Implement a new performance management system, using clearly defined processes and guidelines, so employees and manager can understand their core competencies and develop their professional skills.
When setting out goals, they must be as attainable and as achievable as possible. Set specific measurement tools to analyse the process to achieving the goal. Create budgets, allocate resources and stipulate how employees will to go about achieving the goal.
- Example: The new performance management should implemented by the 1st of October 2015, so that employees and managers can understand their core competencies and develop their professional skills.
Make sure your employees have the ability to reach the goal set out for them. If they do not have the authority or the capability of achieving the goal, it’ll create unnecessary roadblocks in the future and will effect the deadline of the goal. It’s important that the employee has the necessary skills, resources and time available to them.
- Example: In order to reach this goal, you must have a skill set, in this case the area of performance management, that allows you to understand the nature of the gal. and the goal must present a large enough challenge for you to remain interesting and committed to accomplishing it.
The goal must be relatable to the the overall objective and strategic direction of the company. Managers must make sure that employees understand how the importance of the current project will influence the overall success of the company.
- Example: The relevance of the goal is a process which assists employees and managers by understanding their key strengths and potential learning areas, so that they can develop their professional skills in the workplace. This will create a more engaged and collaborative workplace, which will result in the overall success of the company.
Goals should be linked a specific time frame that creates a practical sense of urgency. Try set goals that are challenging, but achievable.
- Example: “1st of October is an attainable time frame in which to implement the system.