It is vital for managers to set goals for employees, but if those goals are not useful or well-thought-out, they do nothing to help the employee improve. If the goals are too challenging or not challenging enough, it can negatively impact motivation and drive. It can be demotivating when goals are set unrealistically high and equally demotivating when the bar is set so low that employees feel they have nothing to strive for.
Useful, productive goals help your employees work well independently and as a team, and the best way to develop useful and productive goals is to set SMART goals for your employees.
Just What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objectives.
- Specific: Goals that are clearly stated and unambiguously defined.
- Measurable: Defined in numerical/quantifiable terms.
- Achievable: A SMART goal should stretch the employee, but it should not be impossible. It should be achievable within the existing time, budget, skills, etc.
- Relevant: SMART goals should reflect the employee’s role.
- Time-bound: A clear deadline gives the employee a sense of urgency to keep pushing forward.
How To Create SMART Goals
SMART goals should always serve a specific purpose and should help move the employee, the team and the company forward.
First, employee SMART goals should always be tied to the company’s goals. This ensures that the work employees are focused on moves the needle for the organization. Second, tying individual goals to company goals helps employees find meaning in their work.
It is also wise to allow employees to contribute to their own SMART goal creation. They will be much more engaged if they have input in the process. When setting SMART goals, try to set similar goals for employees in similar roles. Setting vastly different goals for employees on the same level doing the same function can create unhealthy competition or even resentment.
Check-in regularly with employees to track progress and identify employees who are off-target or in danger of falling off target. Develop strategies to coach the employee back on track. And when someone achieves their goal, reward that achievement. Technically, achieving a SMART goal is just part of an employee’s job, but rewards reinforce positive behavior and send a message across that the company values goal achievement. Seeing others get recognized will also motivate other employees to push harder to achieve their goals.
Are You Looking For Goal-Oriented Employees This Year?
If you are looking for goal-oriented sales and marketing talent who will add value to your business, contact the agricultural industry staffing experts at Morris Bixby Group. Our proven strategies for success can help you achieve your recruiting and retention goals quickly and efficiently.