Building Businesses and People to be the best they can be!

Posts tagged ‘SMART Goals’

The Last One!!

Our last letter in the acronym SMART is the letter T. It stands for Timely and is critical in tying up the entire SMART package! If you get all of the other parts spot on and miss this one, you might as well have forgotten them all. Here’s why: If a Goal is going to be productive and motivating it must be time bound, it has to have the accountability factor. Nothing says accountability like a time frame to complete the Goal in. The time frame tells the Employee that they need to perform and will need to have it completed at a specific time.


Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, in 6 months, etc. Putting an end point on the Goal gives a clear target to work towards. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen as the feeling is they can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now. Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic as well.

 Once you set your realistic end time, you will need to set a half-way point in the time line for a check-up. The mid-point meeting is crucial to both you and the Employee. It tells them that you care about the end result and that you are going to help them if there is any type of problem preventing them from successful completion. During the mid-point meeting make sure you review the Goal, current progress towards the Goal, ensure all resources are available and being accessed by the Employee as needed and that there are no barriers that you are unaware of with the Employee. This is also a great time to give some encouragement and show the Team Member that you are there for them and rooting them on to victory!!

Be Real!!

As we continue our journey exploring SMART Goals for Employee Coaching and Motivation, we look at the next step. A Goal needs to be Realistic, not only for you, but in the eyes of the Employee as well. Often we set Goals at a level that we, as Management, want to see them. The problem is, we have to understand that each of our Employees are different and will react to and accomplish the Goals in their own unique way. Next we need to realize as a Leader, it’s okay for our Team Members to be different and unique. All we need to do is tailor our approach and planning in that manner. Success is just a step away when we learn to work in the uniqueness of our Team Member on our journey to our Goals!!


 This is not a synonym for “easy.” Realistic, in this case, means “doable.” It means that the learning curve is not a vertical slope; that the skills and resources needed to do the work are available; that the project fits with the overall strategy and Goals of the organization. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn’t break them.

 Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the Goal realistic. The Goal needs to be realistic for where they are at the moment. Start with a reasonable sales goal based on a 3 week average. Then gradually step them up over the coming weeks so that at the end of a month’s time, they have sizeable increase. The key is, “\meeting them where they are so you can lead they to where they need to be”!

 Be sure the goals that you make are ones that require some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, and it is hard to bring them back from there! Too low, though, sends the message that you aren’t very confident in the person’s abilities. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying_achievement, but reasonable enough to ensure future buy-in!!

Continuing with SMART Goals

Sorry I missed posting yesterday friends.  I had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate 7 Habits for Highly Effective People with a wonderful group in Missouri! It was an awesome day and great growth happened in us all!

So today, we will be looking at two more steps in the SMART Goals process to get us back on schedule. Today we briefly examine making Goals Measurable and Attainable. Let’s begin, shall we?



If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole Goal statement is a measure for the project; if the Goal is accomplished, then it is a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the Goal. Choose a Goal with measurable progress, so you can see the changeoccur. Remember, when you are working with Goals for an Employee, you must not forget to involve them in the process of setting the Goals. One of the classic mistakes in the Goal process is delivering preset Goals to a person and expecting them to have ownership, let alone a will to achieve them. Even if the Goal is handed down from a Corporate mandate, you as a Leader can still involve the Employee in the Goal setting process by simply asking them the ways in which they think they can meet or surpass the Goal. As you include them in the implementation phase by gathering their ideas for their personal success, you can add your guidance and promote ownership in a Goal that they had no control over setting.

Make sure you are very specific in what your Goal is so you know when you have reached it: “Sales of item X must increase by 13% over last week. This will be measured by comparing close of business numbers each day to ensure we are on track to exceed the weekly total by close of business Friday.” This shows the specific target to be measured. “I want to develop a positive attitude” is not as measurable as it is too vague. Establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress toward the attainment of each Goal you set. When you measure the progress, you stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs the Team on to continued efforts required to reach other Goals.



When delivering Goals always indicate the importance of meeting those Goals to whomever you are speaking to. As you stress the importance of the Goals, people begin to figure out ways to make them happen. They begin to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them as you Coach the journey. Soon they begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities that bring themselves closer to the achievement of the Goals.

Goals which are too far out of reach probably won’t get the commitment needed to achieve it. Although it may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much means the subconscious will keep reminding the Team of this fact and will stop them from even giving it their best shot.

A goal needs to stretch a person slightly so they feel it can be done, (but it will take additional work and effort!) as well as a real commitment. For instance, if the aim was to increase production 500% in one week, we all know that isn’t achievable. But setting a Goal to increase by 50% in one week, then aiming to increase a further 50%, will keep it achievable for the Team. It won’t be long before you have increased production by that 500% but it came in smaller, more manageable chunks, thus, the Team is able to stay motivated in reaching the once too large Goal. This is the way to set Goals and keep people motivated to reaching them!!



Goals. What’s the purpose??

One sure way to ensure the best possible opportunity to motivate, and improve performance in an employee, is to use Goals. Starting today we will begin to look at SMART Goals.

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

          SMART Goals are Goals that have the above qualities. The Goal process itself calls for accountability from both the Leader and the Employee. Over the next few days we will look at what “SMART” means as well as examine the accountability piece of the process. Today we look at the word, Specific.




Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. It is important that you make sure the Employee is clear on what is expected from them. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what needs to be done.

 Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model!


WHAT do they need to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.


WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish? Make sure you explain the benefits possible for the Company/ Organization and the Employee. It is important that the Employee see that you are looking at this as a Win-Win situation and you care about THEIR success!


HOW are you going to do it? (By……what date/time). Field and answer all the questions the Employee may have. Remember, you want them to succeed and making sure they know all they need to know is the key!

Ensure the goals you set are very specific, clear and easy to understand. Instead of setting a goal to increase sales or profits, set the amount of increase you want to see by when and how. Such as, “Stan, I would like to see your sales increase by 10% over last week by the close of business Friday. If you make the extra 10 cold calls each day and make sure you are suggestive selling the close item of the week on each call as we discussed, I am confident that you will succeed. Do you have any further questions I can answer for you?”

With this approach, you can increase the production of your employees, improve your work environment, and show your Team you care about their personal success!

We will look at the “M, Measurable” on the next blog!!

Until then,