One proven approach to setting goals is called the SMART system, with SMART being an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
The SMART framework is a structure for establishing goals that are actually doable. It does this by laying out qualities that achievable objectives ought to have.
Under the SMART framework, a “specific” goal is one that targets a singular desired result. A measurable objective has clear metrics designated to it. An achievable objective can require either a single step or can be separated into a sequence of specific steps. For managers, a relevant objective fits inside the scope and overall mission of their team. A time-bound objective includes a sensible deadline.
With the SMART framework, you will have a quantifiable structure and reference for team objectives. You’ll also be capable of allocating precise time and resources to achieving stated goals. Moreover, your team is set up for success if they are given easily understood, attainable goals.
While it has been proven to be very effective, the SMART framework does have its shortcomings. For one thing, it isn’t as effective for long-term goals as it is for short-term goals. Also, SMART goals often lack flexibility, which can impede a worker’s ability to take risks and be creative.
Start by Taking Stock
You should never establish team objectives without taking stock of where you’re at, the resources at your collective disposal, and where you realistically want to take your team. For instance, if COVID-19 has forced your company to cut staff and budgets, your SMART goals need to take this into account.
Working the Template
Once you have a clear sense of your existing situation, you can begin writing out your SMART goals by going through each letter of the acronym.
Specific – It is crucial to be as apparent and particular as you can with respect to what you’d like to achieve. The small your objective, the more you’ll be able to see the steps needed to achieve it.
Measurable – What is the point of setting a goal if you don’t know when you have achieved it? Setting up metrics and milestones provides you with the chance to regularly evaluate progress and take corrective action as required. When you accomplish your goals, it is important to reward both yourself and your team in meaningful ways.
Achievable – Establishing goals that your team can realistically achieve helps keep them inspired and focused. Before committing to an objective, decide if it can be achieved in the short to medium term, or if there are more steps your team must take before committing to the goal.
Relevant – When setting objectives for your team, it’s critical to consider if they are relevant. Each goal should line up with overarching, long-term goals. If an objective doesn’t contribute to the greater good, you might want to reconsider it with respect to your company mission.
Time-bound – A good deadline can offer added motivation and allow your team to prioritize. Also, when you don’t achieve a goal within its timeframe, you can spend time thinking about possible improvements to either your goal-setting process or your work process. It’s possible the deadline was unrealistic. It’s also possible you didn’t take the right steps needed to achieve it in a timely manner.
We Can Help Your Team Meet Its 2021 Goals
At NSC, we help company leaders meet the SMART goals they have set out for their team. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company leaders.