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How to create S.M.A.R.T goals for your employees

by , 05 September 2013
To get the most out of your employees, you need to ensure they work on the right tasks and produce the right outputs. You can achieve this if you create Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) goals for your employees. Here's how....

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, S.M.A.R.T goals are an effective method to clarify what you expect from your employee, what the end result must be and what criteria you'll use to measure the quality and success of the final result.

Get the most from your employees with S.M.A.R.T goals

Specific: Specific goals let employees know exactly what's expected of them with no room for misinterpretation. Specific goals must answer the following: Who's responsible?

  • What must be done?
  • When must this be done?
  • How must it be accomplished?
  • What requirements/constraints are involved?
  • Where will this take place?
  • Who must be involved or consulted?

Measurable: A performance review is based on the measurement of how well your employee has achieved the goal you set for him.

To ensure you fairly assess the level of performance success, it's critical to detail how and what you'll measure them on.

Not only does this give your employee a way to stay on track, aim for target dates and reach milestones that will serve as ongoing performance motivation. But it'll also provide a transparent indication of the measures of success.

Attainable: If you set unattainable goals, they'll demotivate your employees. Unrealistic goals breed frustration and conflict.

But if set challenging but realistic goals, you're likely to inspire your employees to give it their all and push a bit harder to meet their objectives, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

Relevant: Your employees must be able to see how a specific goal is relevant to them and the work they perform every day.

In addition, your employees must be able to trace their input back to your company's wider goals through the alignment process.

Timely: Structure your employee's goals around a specific business timeframe to provide a sense of urgency. This'll motivate your employees to work on their goals as soon as possible and create a platform for ongoing effort.

If you want to get the best from your employees, be sure to set S.M.A.R.T goals.

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