Setting SMART goals is an important part of being a good leader. To maximize the effects of a SMART goal setting you must implement it to every aspect of your company's work culture.
Culture is the hottest topic for a workplace today. Good culture is essential to attract top talent and keep your employees from leaving. It increases engagement and with that, productivity. But how to be sure your employees value SMART, well thought-out goals and use it to better themselves and the company.
SMART is an acronym for:
Specific – they are clearly understood by everyone in the team
- Measurable – you can always get a clear idea of how well you're doing
- Achievable – when planning, there's no point in deciding to fulfill all dreams in a year. Make sure you think what you really could do.
- Relevant – the goals you set must be important for your company. The goal shouldn't be "Let's hire 20 people" but "Let's increase the revenue enough in order to hire 20 people."
- Time-bound – they have a specific due date for completion to resist the urge to say "okey, we'll do it next year."
When you spend time to define your goals in all those categories, you are a lot more likely to achieve those goals and if not, you can analyze what went wrong and make adjustments for the future.
If you're not sure if your goals are SMART, you can use our SMART goals widget to check it.
It's important to remember that SMART isn't just a buzzword. It's a methodology – a way of doing things. And company culture is, in essence, a way things are done in a company. So implementing SMART to your culture should be done the same way as any other aspect: through communication and example.
Communicating SMART as a core value is important. Encourage your team to think more about what they can realistically achieve and reward them for well-set goals. If you give an impression that goal setting should be done quickly, then you can be sure that the goals they set are shallow at best. When the time comes to assess achievements make sure to credit those who have managed to set SMART goals and fulfill them.
If you're not SMART yourself, don't expect your team to be. No one needs convincing that leaders should be good role models and Karima Mariama-Arthur says that the first thing to do is set an "impeccable standard of excellence."
SMART goals set a standard of good planning. It shows that you know where you want to be and you have a good plan to get there. It gives confidence to your employees to know, that their leader has a plan.
Imagine a world where all your employees think about what they're doing, are fully engaged and achieve goals that are relevant to your cause. It's self-evident that this is something to thrive to as a leader. SMART goals are a big step toward this end.