Human Resources: Making Employee Goals SMART in 2017

Posted by | Thursday, January 12, 2017
Human Resources: Making Employee Goals SMART in 2017

We're into 2017, and the time is now for  Human Resources departments to encourage management and employees to set company and departmental goals for the year. Unfortunately, not all goals are created equal.   The statistics show that only 8% of individuals who make resolutions in the new year accomplish them, with the rest infrequently or never meeting their goals. These kinds of statistics have the potential to demoralize the entire office.

So, how can workers make goals that they're more likely to succeed at initially and maintain in the future? The good news is that there's a way to help employees with goal setting. The key is that they need to make their goals SMART.

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

Specific. Employees need to make clearly definable goals. Instead of saying "I'll be a better worker," they should define how they plan to improve their office performance. Narrowing the focus of goals makes them easier to achieve.
Measurable. It's hard to succeed at a goal without creating measurable data for success. If an employee's goal is to be more timely to meetings, it's hard for them to know how frequently they need to be on time to meet them. However, if they decide they need to be on time 90% of the time, they can measure their success.
Attainable. Many workers strive for perfection, but the reality is that no one is perfect 100% of the time. Had the worker above created a goal to be on time 100% of the time, with no errors, they likely would have stumbled at some point. However, a goal of being on time 90% of the time is attainable.
Realistic. Good goals are realistic to an employee's position level and strengths. Mail room workers will probably feel disappointed if they plan to get promoted to CEO in 2017, and a talented engineer might not publish a novel immediately. However, both workers can aim for goals and promotions that are realistic in their current scope of employment.
Time-Sensitive. When goals have an end point, they motivate employees to work to achieve them. The length of time could range from a week to a year, depending on the ambitiousness of the goal. Without an end date, it's harder to make goals measurable, attainable, or realistic.

By educating other departments about SMART goals, your company will be on their way to high levels of achievement in 2017. May you have a wonderful new year!

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