Learn how to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These are the key characteristics to create clear and actionable goals that matter. SMART goals ensure the everyone is working toward the right outcomes. Use SMART goals to measure progress and ensure goals are met in a timely fashion.
- When you go to set goals, I'll suggest you try to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the key characteristics of a good goal. There are multiple versions of SMART out there, but they all get to the same thing, creating clear and actionable goals that matter. Specific clearly spells out the behavior or outcome desired.
It lets people know what to focus on and what actions are expected of them. Measurable is about creating a goal that you can measure so you know if you've succeeded or not. It also ensures you're driving the right outcome. If you're not clear whether you're trying to drive profits, or sales, you're going to have an issue because you may not get the right behaviors if you haven't set a measurable goal for those specific metrics. Goals need to be achievable.
If the goal isn't realistic, people are going to look at it and say, forget it, I can't even get there, therefore I'm not even going to try. Your goals need to be relevant. This is going to drive activity that ties to a broader organizational goal. If I set a goal for my team of cutting costs, but the company has a goal of trying to grow rapidly, in terms of revenue, well, my cost cutting goal isn't very relevant, because that's not going to help the broader company goal of driving sales.
The last aspect of a goal is it should be time-bound. People need a sense of urgency. Specifying time also enables better work and project planning. In the videos that follow, I'll cover each of these dimensions in more depth, and talk about how you can apply them to the goals that you're going to set.
Along with providing guidance on how to link individual employee goals to organizational strategy, Mike walks you through the different types of goals, including bottom-up, zero-based, commit, and stretch goals. He also helps you use goals to change behaviors, build new skills among employees, and make goals actionable by using incentives and tying them to specific activities. He concludes with a comprehensive plan for setting and implementing goals, and some tips on dealing with challenges such as conflicting goals.
- Identify, set, and track SMART goals.
- Link goals to business strategy.
- Build goals from the bottom-up or the top-down.
- Create stretch goals.
- Review and revise goals.
- Reconcile conflicting goals.