How to Create SMART Goals for the New Year

The new year is approaching, making this a perfect time to start setting up some goals for your company. Many businesses have had a lot of success using the SMART system for creating company goals. If you haven’t heard of SMART goals or haven’t been sure how to implement them, there’s no time like the present to learn.

What Does SMART Mean?

SMART is an acronym that denotes the basic principles you should be considering when choosing a goal for your company. SMART goals have been around for some time — several decades, in fact, but new companies are discovering the ideas behind them and the benefits all the time. Although there are some variations, SMART typically stands for:

  • Simple
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-sensitive

When creating a goal for your company, ask yourself if it’s qualitative and quantifiable across each of these five dimensions. That way, you and your employees know not only what you need to do to achieve the goal, but how you’ll actually know if you’ve achieved it. This method allows you to more accurately track your progress and avoid “cheating,” by convincing yourself that you’re meeting desired goals when, in fact, you’re not.

Generating SMART Goals

To create a SMART goal, consider what’s important to your company. What are some of the most important things you want to accomplish? Then, see how the acronym applies to that goal:

  • Simple: Is your goal something that’s easy to explain and describe? Is it a single goal? You can have multiple SMART goals, but each one should be designed to achieve only one task. “Improve customer satisfaction and employee morale” is not a simple goal. It is two different goals that are difficult to quantify. In contrast, “increase sales of Product X by 10 percent” is a simple goal. It’s one thing that you’re trying to achieve, and everyone involved should know exactly who needs to work on it and how.
  • Measurable: Looking at the above example again, how do we know if we’ve improved employee morale enough to consider our goal completed? Is there a number we can attach to it? Contrast it with our other example. There can be no question whether or not sales of a product have increased by 10 percent.
  • Achievable: It’s great to reach for the stars, but a SMART goal must be realistic. Some managers might think, “Well, let’s set our goal to sell 50 percent more of Product X, and if we fall short, we’ll still probably sell 30 or 40 percent more.” Think of this in terms of something like losing weight. Are you more likely to get discouraged and give up if your measure of success is losing 50 pounds or losing 10? You can always set more ambitious goals once you’ve achieved the more reasonable ones.
  • Relevant: You want to choose a goal that will have a noticeable positive result for your company. “Hire 20 new employees” is a simple, achievable, measurable goal, but if you don’t really need 20 new employees, it’s not a good SMART goal.
  • Time-sensitive: There should be a deadline for your SMART goal, whether it’s a quarter, a year or some other measure. Without setting a clear time requirement, you’ll never know if you’re actually achieving your goals.

Once you get into the habit of creating SMART goals, it should become second nature and can often produce great results. Good luck in 2019 from Global Electronic Services!

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