As a manager, it’s your job to help your employees learn, grow and thrive. You’re no stranger to setting goals to push them toward their full potential, but even those made with the best of intentions often fall by the wayside.
Standard goals are often vague in nature, creating ample room for interpretation. This doesn’t work, because employees can’t be held accountable for meeting unclear objectives.
Find out why S.M.A.R.T. goals produce the best results.
What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?
Help employees realize the success you know they’re capable of by making their goals S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific. State exactly what you want the person to accomplish. For example, saying you want a packer to achieve 100 percent accuracy when preparing shipments is a specific goal, whereas simply asking them to be more careful when completing this task is not.
- Measurable. It’s hard to know how an employee is progressing toward their goal if there’s no way to measure it. If you think creatively, most goals can be quantified, so find a way to attach a number value to every objective, so their development — or lack thereof — can be easily assessed.
- Achievable. Tasking people with unrealistic goals sets them up to fail. Before assigning an objective, make sure it’s something the person can be reasonably expected to accomplish. If it’s too weighty, break it down into a smaller aim to avoid overwhelming them.
- Relevant. Goals are made to help people advance their careers, so they need to tie into the big picture. When creating objectives, take employees’ future plans into account, because it doesn’t make sense to steer them down a path they don’t need to be on.
- Time-Bound. A goal without a timeframe is largely useless, because there’s a very good chance it will never be accomplished. Hold people accountable for achieving these targets by setting a date for completion. This creates a sense of urgency that inspires action.
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