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Your team needs to know what is expected by the business from them in their day to day duties and how they will know if they have successfully completed a personal or business goal and is where ‘SMART’ comes into play.
‘SMART’ ensures that all the key areas of setting objectives are covered and that everybody whether it’s the employee, management or business knows what is expected and has been agreed.
So what does ‘SMART’ mean?
Each letter of ‘SMART’ stands for a different key area that needs to be covered sufficiently for an objective to be effective and to get the best results for the individual and business.
‘S’ = Specific –What is it you are going to ask them to complete? Ensure it is clear and concise.
‘M’ = Measurable – What are you going to measure it against? Is there a company. Government or legal standard that they can measure the objective against? Is it against sales from last year or previous achievements that are documented?
‘A’ = Achievable – Is the objective that you are writing achievable? Are there members of the team that currently achieve the objective with the constraints in place? Could you achieve it?
‘R’ = Realistic – Is what you are asking realistic? Can it be achieved with what is available within the workplace?
‘T’ = Time – How long have they got to complete the objective. This should never be continual and a clear date must be provided of when the completion of the objective is expected.
To improve customer service by 10% on previous years results – 2012/13 to company standard by 12th December 2014.
SPECIFIC – Yes, increasing the customer service by 10% received by mystery shopper in 2012/13 and demonstrated in reports received.
MEASURABLE – Yes you can measure this against last year’s results and check that this years results increase by 10% to obtain objective.
ACHIEVABLE – Yes, based on your experience and knowledge of the business, do you believe this is achievable and not unachievable as if so can result in demotivated staff and bad moral.
REALISTIC – Yes, Is what you are asking realistic and its possible 10% increase on previous year?
TIME – Yes, Is giving to December 2014 adequate to begin to gain a 10% increase?
When writing objectives you have to ensure that they are motivational and cover all the areas highlighted within ‘SMART’ and agreed once written by the employee and manager. Objectives are always alive and may need amending as time progresses as they could be found to be unrealistic or too easy and hence amendments will need to be made.
Nobody should ever believe that once they have written their objectives at a performance review / appraisal that that is the end of it as you should always be referring to the objectives set and making any amendments necessary for the employees and businesses success.
Set objectives however should not be changed for the sake of changing and should be an exception and not the norm. If you find it becomes the norm, then you need to ask yourself, why? Is enough thought not being put into them in the first place? Are you not ensuring that when setting that you are covering all areas of ‘SMART’ and agreeing the objective once set with the employee?
As ConsensusHR we know writing good ‘SMART’ objectives is not easy at first but once you gain the knowledge / expertise of writing them correctly and covering all the elements your business and employees will benefit tremendously as everybody will know what is expected of them? What the outcome will be? Have the opportunity to agree / discuss what is expected within their role.
SMART objectives also ensure that everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet and that there is a set standard with the ‘Measurable’ aspect playing a key part as this will be the company standard that everybody regardless of role must adhere to and may mean companies having to write company standards to ensure business success.