There is an old saying that says you cannot hit a target you cannot see. This is especially true for your employees. Without clearly defined goals, neither you nor your employees know where to focus your energy to ensure success. By setting measurable and attainable goals, you will not only see a boost in performance and employee engagement, but you will also actively help the organization move forward in the new year.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objectives.
- Specific: Clearly defined goals that are unambiguous.
- Measurable: Defined in numerical terms. They can be broken down into steps which are all also measurable.
- Achievable: The goal should stretch the employee but it should also be able to be accomplished within the existing time, budget, environment, skills and tools available.
- Relevant: Goals should reflect the employee’s role and should focus on things that are important to their job.
- Time-bound: Setting deadlines gives a goal a sense of urgency and motivates employees to keep focused on the end result.
Tips For Setting SMART Goals That Move the Needle
Don’t just set goals for the sake of it. Goals should move performance needles. As you consider what types of goals to set for employees in the New Year, keep these tips in mind:
- Goals should align with company objectives: To be effective, employee goals should be tied to the company’s growth strategy. When employees know how their responsibilities contribute to organizational success, they will feel more engaged in their work and that work will have more meaning.
- Ask employees for their input: Let employees help in the creation of their own goals. There is a big difference between imposing goals and inviting employees to have a say in what those goals are. They will be much more engaged if they have input in the process.
- Set consistent goals for employees with the same or similar roles: Avoid setting different goals for employees with similar responsibilities, as this can create unhealthy competition or even resentment.
- Reward goal achievement: Yes, the satisfaction of achieving a goal is a reward itself, but employees should be recognized when they achieve goals. Not only does a reward reinforce positive behavior for that employee, it sends the message across the team that the company values commitment to goal achievement and incentivizes others to push harder to achieve their goals.
- Coach employees who are falling short: Check in regularly with employees to track progress and work closely with employees who are off target. Talk about what is going wrong and develop strategies to get the employee back on track.
Are You Looking For Goal-Oriented Employees This Year? Get Help from The Reserves Network!
Setting SMART goals is just one step towards building productive teams. If you are looking for new employees this year who are goal-oriented, focused and ready to make an impact, The Reserves Network can help.