Are your goals moving the needle on the business?January 20th, 2016
It’s that time of the year again. When we all sit down and try to come up with our goals. How does this exercise leave you feeling? Exhausted? Frustrated? Well you aren’t alone. The biggest detractor from setting meaningful goals is that we focus most of our time trying to make them SMART. By the way, did you know that there are over 1,197,500 possible variations of what SMART stands for? I’m not suggesting that SMART doesn’t have a place in goal writing, we just need to keep in mind that SMART is only a framework.
Great goals start with the “R” (which in my definition stands for RELEVANT). When we look at the “R” from this perspective and start goal setting here we approach goal setting from a very different perspective. If the goal doesn’t add value, it doesn’t matter how “SMART” it is!
I’m a fan of 2-3 goals because once we determine that many of the goals we write are actually job expectations that should be managed through the performance management process, what we are left with are those critical few things that aren’t easily achieved, stretch individuals to the highest level of performance, and move the needle on the business. If your organization wishes to get significant results from the goal setting process, the majority of goals need to result in sustainable behavior change. Goals should be written in a way that is measurable and understandable to the employee.
And don’t forget the most important step of all: Check in regularly with employees to see how they are performing against their goals. If you want to results people need to be held accountable to achieving results. Regular follow up with send the message to employees that the goals are important.
For more information on setting great goals, see our newest elearning course: “Setting Goals that Deliver Results”.