Setting the Goal
While setting the actual goal may seem like the easiest task, there are a few important strategies that have proven to make achieving the goal easier. When setting goals, make sure they are specific, consistent and challenging. A proven way of setting is following the SMART method:
Specifics help us to focus efforts and clearly define what it is we are going to do. When setting a goal, be sure to clearly define:
What: What it is you want to accomplish. (Tip: use action words when defining this: Organize, Develop, etc).
Why: What is the specific reason why you want to accomplish this? What is the purpose? How does it connect the individual to the organization?
How: How are you going to go about achieving the goal? What resources are available?
Who: It is also important to identify who needs to be involved in accomplishing this specific goal. Is there interdependence involved? This needs to be clearly communicated. How is each employee involved in achieving that goal?
Making the goal as specific as possible will help you in measuring your employees progress towards achieving the goal.
The key to making sure your goal is manageable and attainable is making sure it is measurable. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress, these can be milestones you create. By being able to assess the progress you will be able to ensure your employees are staying on the right track. Reaching milestones will also increase motivation to move on towards completing the goal.
Is this goal realistic? Is it reachable given their current situation and resources? A goal needs to challenge; achievable goals will motivate your employees, where as impossible goals can become meaningless and are often ignored. For this reason it is important to ensure that the goals you have set are realistic to your employees. Do they have the knowledge, the abilities, and the skills to obtain these goals?
Goals should push the knowledge and skills of your employee, but not break them. As mentioned earlier, making the goal and its success to the company relevant to the individual. Seeing this connection will give your employees a better understanding of their connection to the success of the company and motivation do accomplish the goal.
Structuring goals around a specific time frame provides a sense of urgency to the goal; motivating your employee to get started right away and target to work towards. When setting the time frame make sure that it is measurable, attainable and realistic. A commitment to deadlines helps employees focus on working towards completion.
What is the time frame of the goal?
When are you going to start, finish?
When establishing this section it is always a good idea to set up weekly milestones, these will also offer a good check in opportunity.