This is the last post in a five-part series on SMART Goals. To review, we noted that goals should be:
When helping employees create SMART goals, it is wise to make sure a time element is involved, if possible. This can be a little tricky if the goal is highly technical or will involve a lot of time to accomplish. In that case, consider establishing objectives to act as guides related to speed and benchmarks.
To illustrate, think about various instruments and signage that assist you when traveling from point “A” to point “B.” Each mile marker lets you know how far you’ve come and how far you have to go. Your speedometer tells you how fast you are traveling. Sometimes, an unexpected outside influence, like a patrol car, can encourage you to slow down.
Even though speeding tickets aren’t issued at work, we can certainly identify time-bound elements to assist employees to stay on goal. It can be simple, as in, “Please finish the report by Friday at 2 p.m.” Think about the same goal without the time-bound element, “Please finish the report by Friday.” Let’s suppose the report is labor intensive and involves all kinds of technical data and subsequent synthesis. Then consider time-bound objectives such as, “I would like for your team to have one additional chapter completed by 10 a.m. every Friday between now and the last Friday of next month. At that time, we will see where we are, and if necessary, make adjustments to our goals.”
Creating SMART goals reduces rework, provides clear expectations, and provides an audit trail that contributes to team accountability. The only thing better than SMART goals are SMART goals that are co-developed among team members. So, check your calendars and get out there and set some SMART goals!