The SMART goals setting technique is known worldwide and has proven to be very useful. Whether it is used to set business, personal, relational or any other goals, if used in the correct way, you can expect great results. Strategic planning is key to ensuring every company’s long-term viability, and goal setting is an indispensable step toward fulfilling those plans. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there.
The SMART system was first introduced to the business world in the early 1980s. This goal setting technique is highly effective. Unframed Business Coaches and Industrial Psychologists often make use of the technique during development sessions to ensure businesses and employees set effective goals.
What is a SMART Goal?
In order for a goal to be “smart,” it must meet five requirements.
- Your goal must be Specific
- Your goal must be Measureble
- Your goal must be Achieveable
- Your goal must be Relevant
- Your goal must be Timely
Specific. Goals must be precise. So, if your strategic plan includes growing the business, your goals must then explicitly state how you’ll do so. For each goal, define the “5 Ws” — who, what, where, when and why.
Measurable. Setting goals is of little value if you can’t easily assess your progress toward them. Pair each goal with one or more metrics to measure progress and success. This may mean increasing revenue by a certain percentage, expanding your customer base by winning a certain number of new accounts, or something else.
Achievable. Unrealistically aggressive goals can crush motivation. No one wants to put time and effort into something that’s likely to fail. Ensure your goals can be accomplished, but don’t make them too easy. The best ones are usually somewhat of a stretch but still doable. Rely on your own business experience and the feedback from your trusted managers to find the right balance.
Relevant. Let’s say you identify a goal that you know you can achieve. Before locking it in, ask whether and how it will move your business forward. Again, goals should directly and clearly support your long-term strategic plan. Sometimes companies can be tempted by “low-hanging fruit” — goals that are easy to accomplish but lead nowhere.
Timely. Assign each goal a deadline. Doing so will motivate those involved by creating a sense of urgency. Also, once you’ve established a deadline, work backward and set periodic milestones to help everyone pace themselves toward the goal.
Eye on the future
Strategic planning, and the goal setting that goes along with it, might seem like a waste of time. But even if your business is thriving now, it’s important to keep an eye on the future, and that means long-term strategic planning that includes SMART goals.
Are You Ready to Create Smarter Goals Than Ever?
Now that we’ve reviewed the five requirements to setting SMART goals, it’s time to get started. By creating specific goals that you can measure, you’re able to better see the state of your business.
But setting goals is just the beginning. You’ll need to make a plan that breaks down what steps you need to take in order to reach those goals. If you need help setting SMART goals, Unframed would love to help.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your SMART goal-setting session(s) today!