Crafting SMART Goals that Allow Your Team to Be More Human

In life and in work is important to set goals for yourself that are measurable and attainable. But how do you keep your sights set on the big goals and not beat yourself up over the little losses?

“Metrics must meet three criteria to be useful in a business plan: they must be actionable, accessible and auditable.”

The Business Collective

In sales, I set goals for my team (monthly, quarterly, and yearly). Some months those goals are hit early on and I joke about taking the next few weeks off. During other months, I do not reach my goal. As a perfectionist, that is extremely hard to accept.

Based off a recent study done by Harvard University: 45% of Americans set goals, 17% of Americans infrequently set goals, and 38% of Americans do not set goals both in life and in work. Even worse, most business managers do not know what their company’s main goal is. In fact, 2 out of 3 managers could not explain the main goal of their company, according to a London Business School article. This is because too many goals are set. Luckily, at Swift Kick we don’t have that problem, and we all help one another.

So what is the best way to keep the big picture goal in mind, and not get bogged down by little things?

The answer is setting SMART goals

  1. S- Specific– what exactly is the goal? Answer the W question words for yourself. Who is involved? What is it? Why do I need this to happen? When is it happening? Where and how will I get it all done?
  2. M- Measurable– What does success look like, and how can you measure success?
  3. A- Attainable- Is this goal able to be achieved? Is it reasonable?
  4. R- Relevant- Does this need to get done now?
  5. T- Timely– Can you achieve this goal in a reasonable amount of time?

Once you have answered these questions for yourself, it is much easier to focus on the larger goal at hand. For example, even if I have a rough month in sales, but am doing all my action steps and am successful for the quarter, it is a win. I achieved my SMART goals. As my dance teacher says when I get frustrated over a little move in the combination, “Let that go.” So once you have set a goal for yourself, do your action steps, and forget the little losses so you can keep your eye on the big picture.

Room for Being Human

The reason I find setting large SMART goals to be so helpful is because it leaves time and space for human things to happen. I can’t make someone answer their email when I need them to because I do not know what is going on in their personal lives. As employees, we need to be human first. So understanding and empathizing where people are coming from is very important. Also, by setting these large goals, I can still achieve them even when life throws a wrench in my week: getting sick, family emergency, etc. This concept is called “Two Hat Theory,” about which Tom wrote a great article.

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