SMART goals

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For many firms, July 1 will be the beginning of the new "year".  Performance evaluations will be completed....annual increases will go into effect.  When discussing goals with employees for the upcoming "year", are the goals SMART?  What are SMART goals?  Read on.......

Specific - Goals should be specific in nature.  Being specific helps focus our efforts and be clear in what we want to accomplish.   Ask employees what they want to accomplish, why does it need to be done at this time and how is it going to be done.  Break down larger goals into smaller ones. 

Measurable - Is there a way to track improvement?  If you can't measure it then you can't track it.  Do this by setting and reaching target dates, and the achievement of hitting those dates motivates to keep on track with the goal.

Attainable -  Once the important goals are figured out, think of ways to make them come true.  Ask if it's achievable and if it can be done.  Keep them within reach, so they are easy to attain.  Success is a great motivator!

Realistic - Identify if the goals are realistic given the time, resources, priority and motivation.  Make sure every goal represents substantial progress.  Ask what conditions need to exist in order to accomplish this goal.

Timely - When will the goal be completed?  Set a timeframe, as having an ending point gives you a clearer target to work towards.  Without a timeframe, the commitment to the goal is vague.

By using these SMART tools to establish goals and objectives, it will give the employee clearer guidelines and lead them on the road to success.


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