Setting your team reasonable goals (SMART)

Sep 29, 2016

Setting your team reasonable goals (SMART)

Setting your team reasonable goals

Employees thrive in an environment where they are pushed to succeed, having a goal to work towards is always a good idea to keep employees on path with a clear view ahead of them. 


There are two parts to being a successful business leader. One is having the ability to dream, imagine, and think ahead. The other is ensuring those dreams become reality by making a plan, setting goals, and consistently achieving those goals. Having quality management skills that are flexible and adaptable to the current situation in a business is what separates bad managers and good managers.



The SMART system is the most recognised approach in business to setting goals, it is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely. The overall gist of the SMART system is to ensure that your goals are concise, attainable and follows a progression. Research has proved that SMART goals can save time and simplify the process of setting measurable goals.


Setting SMART Goals

Goal setting is critical to your personal productivity. It is the single most important life skill that can set you ahead if done effectively. Goal setting can be used in every single area of your life, including financial, physical, personal development or within your relationships. According to Brian Tracy’s book Goals, fewer than 3% of people have clear, written goals, and a plan for getting there. Setting goals puts you ahead of the pack!

Some people blame everything that goes wrong in their life on something or someone else. They take the role of a victim and they give all their power and control away. Successful people instead dedicate themselves towards taking responsibility for their lives, no matter what the unforeseen or uncontrollable events. Live in the present: the past cannot be changed, and the future is the direct result of the actions you make today.



SMART is a convenient acronym for the set of criteria that a goal must have in order for it to be realised by the goal achiever.

  • Specific: Success coach Jack Canfield states in his book The Success Principles that, “Vague goals produce vague results.” In order for you to achieve a goal, you must be very clear about what exactly you want. Often, creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, will you give your mind a compelling reason to pursue that goal. Most of the problems with goal achieving stem back to a lack of clarity in setting the goal in the first place.
  • Measurable: It’s crucial for goal achievement that you are able to track your progress towards your goal. That’s why all goals need some form of objective measuring system so that you can stay on track and become motivated when you are making progress on your goals.
  • Achievable: Setting big goals is great, but setting unrealistic goals will just de-motivate you. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
  • Realistic/Relevant: Before you even set goals, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your core values and your life purpose because it’s these tools which ultimately decide how and what goals you choose for your life. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide any happiness. Goals that are in harmony with our life purpose do have the power to make us happy.
  • Timed: Without setting deadlines for your goals, you have no real compelling reason or motivation to start working on them. By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal, night and day, to bring you closer to achievement.



Some added tips to help the team succeed 


Every human gains a sense of accomplishment when a task is completed, a manager's job is to make tasks more manageable and achievable for his or her employees. If a job is too long and it looks like there isn’t an end in sight, a better method of handling situations like this is to break tasks down into smaller assignments, this method keeps the employee motivated and ensures that the sense of accomplishments will keep continue to remind them that progress is being made.


Recognition or reward

Everybody should be recognised for their individual accomplishments by the people around them, and especially above them. Studies by HR Magazine state one of the main reasons some employees are unhappy with their employers is because they feel they do not get the recognition they deserve. This is more likely to happen at a bigger organisation due to the number of employees, however it still should be noted that regardless of size, recognition is a big factor of motivation.

A simple recognition or reward may just be what is needed in order to keep your employees internally focused on the task, it also raises a person’s self-esteem, improves their self-image, and motivates them to do even more and better in the future.


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