Good spirit, strength and success of a true achiever lie in prudent goal setting.
“Walt Disney needs no introduction. Do you know he was rejected from his first job (or I should rather say fired) because his supervisor claimed that he lacked creative imagination? Not only this, but his idea of opening theme park was also rejected by three hundred banks and he was almost bankrupt. But he did not lose hope.
What kept him motivated? Clear vision of his goal gave him the strength to take further steps. His continual efforts to succeed against all odds, determination to not quit and inspiration to work harder each day until the goal is reached – helped him to survive critical circumstances.
He surely knew that his plans were big; bigger than anyone else could ever imagine, and achieving them wasn’t easy at all. He worked harder to set his life goals, tracked his own progress at every step and ensured to cover each milestone (short-term goal) before taking up the next one. He also divided his dream goal into smaller ones and prioritized them so that he could achieve them efficiently.
Today, Walt Disney merchandise, theme park and movies have earned immense popularity and success. The empire worth billions.
The same concept of goal setting implies to different roles of our life. In the corporate community, setting and tracking goals hold utmost importance to motivate employees. It is a powerful tool that helps employer in performance management. Keeping a track of every day goals allow managers to compare predefined objectives with the actual achievements of their team members.
The presence of poorly structured goal-setting plan doesn’t assure employees of employer expectations. There is no point of chasing employees, if they are not clear of what to achieve and when to deliver.
Quick Guide on How to Write SMART Goals for Building a Strong Team
If it is about writing goals/ KRAs for human resource, marketing, IT, finance or sales, one should have a fair idea of setting a SMART goal clearly as follows:
SPECIFIC – Clearly mention all the goals to be achieved.
MEASURABLE – Define measurable indicators to evaluate goals/ goal achievements.
ATTAINABLE – Is the goal attainable?
RESOURCES – What are the resources needed to accomplish the goal/ task?
TIME-RELATED – Determine realistic timeline to finish the task.
Let’s study them in detail.
How to Set Specific Goals?
When hitting a bullseye, the archer should have the clear idea of the center point to hit the target right. Similarly, an employee should be completely determined and focused to the specifically defined work goal(s). Assigning work goal is not as easy as it sounds because the trick lies in defining the most specific agenda to be covered. A specific goal should answer what, why, who, where, which and when.
For instance, let’s consider work goals of a Sales person. If the manager defines ‘increase 8% sales annually’ as the prime goal for the sales executive – it is not a precise and specific goal. A clear goal should answer all the questions like:
- What exactly has to be done? Sales person should know the answer to this. In order to achieve the goal, he will have to increase his sales efficiency by 20% each month. He needs to focus on the sales tasks to increase conversions.
- Who is the targeted audience? Increase connections with prospects to convert these leads into conversions.
- Why to achieve this goal? To increase overall company revenue.
List all these answers and make a perfect plan to achieve the goal as it seems to be a more realistic approach.
How to Measure Goal Achievement or Performance?
In any case, employee goals should be measurable. When goals are properly designed, it becomes easier to monitor, track and evaluate employee performance carefully. Completion and achievement of everyday goals determine employee performance and it highlights the continual progress of the performers. This approach helps in breaking the bigger goals so that it’s easy to determine daily work load.
Now, consider the above example again and think for a moment that how a sales executive can increase 8% sales in a year! It can only be achieved when his goal is broken into smaller parts that means he should be clear of what to achieve on daily basis. He can move a step closer to achieving a goal in two simple ways:
- By maintaining good relations with existing clients so as to get more referrals from them or to meet their future requirements.
- Attending various conferences to get more exposure to the industry and make better connections with targeted prospects.
Setting measurable indicators helps in finding out whether the pre-set goals are achieved or not! Managers can also view employee performance through these indicators to make performance appraisals effective.
Is Assigned Goal Attainable or Not?
Meeting expectations become challenging if the assigned goals are non-attainable. Burdening employees with too many tasks a day lowers overall performance and puts them under pressure. It is needed to measure goals consistently. Measuring goals becomes easier with powerful cloud-based goal setting and tracking tools.
But, before anything else, managers need to ensure that the assigned goals are truly attainable. They need to check the goals aren’t out-of-reach or below standard performance of the employee. If so, there’s a need to rework on them.
Do Employees Have Realistic Timeline and Resources?
When manager and employee decide to work on a specific goal, they should agree on a definite timeline and ensure availability of all necessary resources.
The complete idea of setting a goal should be well thought of considering all the important aspects. To maintain the quality of work, the managers should allow employees to achieve goals in well-defined timelines, without putting them on strict deadlines.
No matter how complex a goal is, it is always achievable if the doer is determined, focused and has a well-planned strategy to achieve it.
Today, most of the organizations implement cloud based goal setting tools to continuously track employee achievements. Having a clear view of goal achievements, through analytic reports and dashboards, makes performance evaluation easier and competent.
If you’re finding it difficult to manage employee performance, you should definitely try a reliable goal setting tool to reach your aim!