What are SMART goals?
Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life.
Defining SMART goals?
SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. It is not vague, hard to measure, unrealistic, unnecessary, or lacking a timeline.
It is a tool we use everyday without even knowing. Do you remember that time you booked your dream holiday with your friends? You set a date, booked the flights, worked every weekend (not even a sick day insight). Finally you made it onto the flight with a “soda” in hand! You used SMART goal. So, how is it used in a professional setting between employers and employees:
- Employees to be transparent to their employers surrounding their professional goals/wants
- Employees to hit quarterly goals by being motivated with an end goal
- Improving employee performance by continuous coaching
- Measuring employees execution yearly
- Understanding the overall performance
So, how is SMART goals and performance management used in a professional setting? It is used to measure progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, provide feedback, and gauge employee performance over time. It is a way to ensure employees are on their way to their professional goals.
Again, the importance of creating SMART goals is to build trust between employers and employees. Helping employee to develop progress within the company. How can employers build trust? Why not bring your employees out for a few after work “soda’s”? Equally, giving them that hour less on a Friday evening, because let’s be real, who doesn’t love an early on a Friday?
SMART goals should be clear and specific. With SMART goals employees have a clear roadmap of their goals within their roles without any confusion. When creating goals, think of the famous five…. ‘W’:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
What does M stands for in SMART goals ? Measurable. It is important for employers to measure employees progress. Measurable goals have several uses in performance management, for example:
- Show if employees are on track, ahead, or behind in completing goals
- Also, show the margins by which employees exceeded or fell short of the goal
- Indicate strengths and potential areas of improvement
- Compare past and peer performance
Managers must make SMART goals achievable while still being challenging for employees. Given that, employees must have the tools, support, time, and expertise to reach their achievable goals . When employees have achievable and successful goals, they are motivated to work towards future goals.
SMART goals are relevant, aligning with professional development goals, role responsibilities, departmental duties, or business objectives. Relevant goals are important for several reasons:
- Keep employees focused and engaged
- Contribute to the big (beautiful) picture goals for the individual, department, or business
- Explain why the goal is important to achieve
- Help managers give useful, actionable performance feedback
This way it helps employees to stay on track on reaching their goals and receive feedback from managers, and finally getting to pop the champers once they get there.
Goals must begin with a start and end date. Including a direct timeline which benefits both parties. Manager have the opportunity to see the process of the employees half ways through.
It is important for employers to make sure their employees understand the importance of setting SMART goals. According to the institute for corporate productivity 72% of employees believe their performance is not working for them. Deloitte published a study in which only 8% of companies believed their Performance Management is effective. HBR also reported that 62% of ratings reflect manager bias rather than actual employee performance.
WorkCompass is an ongoing performance check in system that gives real time data on performance trends and top talent which improves SMART goal creation from 8% to 97%. It replaces a tonne of paperwork for HR. Organisations see a 32% increase in the number of Goals met or exceeded.
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