Setting goals for your employees are important because it allows you, as the manager, to assess your employees’ performance. Perhaps more importantly, employee evaluations let your employees know what is expected of them and how to accomplish the goals set for them.

However, for employee evaluations to be effective you must write solid, achievable, and appropriate goals based on each employee (or job title.) This shows the employee what is important to you and the company. It also allows them to take ownership of their position for the next year. It sets a standard for what should be achieved, and also, how to surpass that expectation to become an exemplary employee. In this post, I will discuss how to set goals for the upcoming year.

The famous artist Pablo Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously react. There is no other route to success.”

According to the SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives” was the title and was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham.

So what are SMART goals and how can you use them to help your employees achieve the objectives of your company?

To make sure your goals are clearly written and attainable, each one should be:

· Specific (simple, sensible, and significant)

· Measurable (meaningful and motivating)

· Achievable (agreed, attainable)

· Relevant (reasonable, realistic, resourced, and results-based)

· Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

Some authors have recently expanded SMART to SMARTER which includes:

· Evaluated

· Reviewed

These additional attributes emphasize the importance of not only the SMART goals but also the evaluation and review elements that are part of an employee evaluation.

How Can You Use SMART Goals:

1. Specific

To start coming up with a goal you must know what you specifically want to achieve. Start by asking these five important questions:

· What do you want the employee to accomplish?

· Why does this need to be accomplished?

· Who does this goal involve?

· Where will the job be performed?

· Which resources are needed to achieve the goal?

2. Measurable

The goals must be measurable. Measurability will help your employees stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement when they achieve the goal. This also allows you and your employee to know when they have gone above and beyond the goal.

3. Achievable

Achievable goals should stretch your employees’ abilities but still be possible to achieve.

An achievable goal should answer questions such as:

· How can my employee accomplish this goal?

· How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial or time limitations

4. Relevant

To ensure that a goal is achieved, you must make sure it is relevant to your employee and doesn’t contradict any other goals set for the employee. Your employee must also be in control of accomplishing their goal. The goal can’t be, “Get a promotion” when the employee isn’t in control of that outcome.

A relevant goal can answer yes to the following questions:

· Does this seem worthwhile?

· Is this the right time to achieve this goal?

· Does this match our other efforts and needs of the company?

· Is this employee the right person to reach this goal?

5. Time Bound

It is always important to come up with a time frame when participating in goal setting activities. There should be a target date to achieve the goal so it gives the employee something to meet or beat.

A time-bound goal should usually answer the following questions:

· When?

· What can the employee do in six months from now?

· What can the employee do in six weeks from now?

· What can the employee do today?

Now that we have discussed SMART (ER) goals, let’s discuss the types of goals that should be written for employees. Employee evaluations should have both performance and development goals.

Performance goals are:

· Appropriate to the level of your employee

· Related to their jobs responsibilities

· Aligned with the higher goals of your company

Development goals are:

· Professional development goals

· Support higher level performance in the employee’s current job and career advancement

There are different types and qualities that should be incorporated into goals. How do you write them?

Use this SMART Goal Formula

Goal Statement What makes it Smart?
Do Specific action taken
In Order To Accomplish a measurable and relevant result
By Within certain time frame

And make sure it’s achievable!

Creating appropriate and achievable goals is important in doing employee evaluations. It is important to set goals that align with your company’s goals. An easy way to ensure your goals are appropriate is to use SMART goals. You should set consistent goals for employees with similar job titles. Finally, it is important to reward employees that achieve their goals, and even more important to work closely with employees who did not reach the goals you set.

To free up time to work with your employees you can hire the Payroll Source Group.

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