By now, most of you will have realized the importance of setting goals. Done correctly, goals act as powerful motivational tools that can drive and focus staff to achieve business objectives.
Without goals, your teams will waste energy and effort in unimportant or non-strategic areas, while mission-critical projects start being neglected.
Most firms that use goals follow the SMART format: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC and TIME-BOUNDED. For example, ‘Increase new sales by 5% in 2016’ is a SMART goal, whereas, ‘sell more’ is not.
While SMART goals are an effective way to motivate staff, they have been shown to have their limitations in that they are often not fully integrated into the organization’s evaluation and reward process. What we mean by this is that they are given out informally, not recorded or revisited, and often forgotten. They gather dust in some filing cabinet and lose their effectiveness entirely.
That’s why a new SMARTER format of goal setting has been established, which stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bounded and EVALUATED AND REVISED.
Under this new SMARTER format, an inherent part of the goal setting process should be establishing a review and recognition process. This means that at the time the goal is set, a 3 month (or less) review/recognize/reward/revision date should also be set and recorded transparently, and ideally in a cloud based performance management system.
Under the SMARTER format, at the review date, goals should be either recognized, rewarded or revised and then reset (if necessary) for the following 3 month period. In many ways the SMART goal-setting process is inadequate and moving to the more complete SMARTER objective management process should deliver incrementally better performance.