“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
If your team cannot achieve their goals, there is a chance that they are not creating the correct goals. Whenever your team is creating goals, they will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When they combine the elements of SMART goals, your team will have a greater chance of success.
Goals need to be specific. Your team will not be able to reach their goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve our performance” is too broad. The team cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides the team as they try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.
Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “how much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.
Goals must always be attainable. It is important that the team creates goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, the team will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.
It is important that the team set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to the team’s abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that the team has access to the tools necessary to meet their goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.
Your team should always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frames, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourages the team to move forward in order to meet the deadline they have established. Once a time frame has been reached, the team should take the time to reevaluate the goal.