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Management Moment: ‘SMART’ Goal-Making

Goal making. It’s a crucial element in driving success, and without it, you will never capture achievements as a company, nor expect your employees to reach their goals.  We uncovered a five-step acronym for achieving company objectives from Inc.com.

When defining goals, it’s smart to use the SMART criteria:

Everyone really does win when goals are properly set...(pardon the stock-photo)
Everyone really does win when goals are properly set...(pardon the stock-photo)

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.

Attainable: It should be a stretch to reach the goal, but not so much so that it’s out of reach.

Realistic: What it takes to do to achieve the goal should be within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.

Timely: The goals should have a clearly defined time frame including a target completion date.

According to the SMART criteria, it’s important to determine 3-5 goals that link to measures of success for your company. According to Inc.com, often times these goals are financial, business development, process development or customer satisfaction measures.  The goals must then be communicated transparently throughout the organization to guarantee that all employees understand the goals on the same, neutral platform. Once communicated, the goals transcend to individual departments, as well as individual employee goals.  “Setting goals at the department, and employee level ensures that the day-to-day work is tied to the overall success of the company,” explains Inc.com. “Connecting the goals to the performance-management-process, whereby you can assess an employee’s attainment vs. their goals on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis will further enforce employee goals and get you further down the road towards attaining your company goals.”

Note, it’s important to causally reassess the company’s goals throughout the year to make sure they are on track, and still make sense overall.