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Top Tips for Setting Goals

January 7, 2015

top tips for setting goals in performance management and personal life

What goals did your organization set last year? Did you reach them? Setting goals is an integral part of having a focused, organized, and driven team. While it may seem easy, too often managers and executives miss this opportunity to grow the company and its employees. This article will provide you with the resources you need to set ambitious, yet realistic, goals to strive to achieve. It will cover everything from determining how to set goals for your group and each individual to overcoming obstacles that crop up along the way.

Using the SMART Method

At any level, it is important to first know what framework to use to set your goals before going through the process of developing them. A widely accepted method for goal setting is the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, trackable and time bound) method. The SMART method identifies the criteria each goal must satisfy when forming objectives. It allows you to have a reference point for your goals and is a valuable tool for everyone when setting goals in your organization:

What is the SMART Method to Achieve Goals?

How Do You Use the SMART Method to Create Goals? Action Plan to Achievement

Setting Goals

Once you have the proper reference point in mind, you are ready to start setting goals. Using the SMART method will help you establish what you are trying to accomplish this year. Make sure to set goals for your group or company overall, as well as each individual employee. The individual goals should allow each member of your team to make meaningful contributions to the overall goals, and this will enable your team to feel their work truly makes a difference. These articles will help you establish essential, yet reasonable, objectives:

3 Questions to Help in Setting Effective Performance Goals for Your Team

Striving for Excellence, Not Perfection

Align Your Team with Your Goals

Once your goals are set, the next step is to ensure that everyone on your team knows what they are responsible for, and are prepared for the task at hand. If your team is aligned properly with your goals, they are more likely to be engaged, happy, and productive. A team with disinterested workers is one that is destined for failure. You can help steer your team towards your business goals through training and regular interaction that reminds them of the goals you have set. This article will help you align your team with your goals–so that it truly is all hands on deck:

3 Tips to Align Your Training with Business Goals

Reaching Your Goals

So, the goals are set, and you’re ready to work. How do you get from where you are now to where you need to be? Hard work is always important, but you also need to work smart. Everything you do should be tailored for reaching your goals, and nothing should be “busy work.” You will certainly face obstacles along the way, but these articles will help you avoid the pitfalls that threaten to derail goals and help you stay on track towards success:

8 Ways to Stay on Track with Your Resolutions

Meet Your Business Goals with Forecasting: Creating a Forecasting System

Mark Murphy on How to Get to Where You Want to Be

Establishing strong objectives allows you to have something to work towards. Avoid stagnation in your organization by inspiring your team to grow personally and professionally. Their engagement is your gain. You should also set goals for yourself, so that you can lead by example and grow with your company along the way. There will be challenges and situations that are out of your control, but with the right goals established, your team will be dedicated, enthusiastic, and ready to take on anything.

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Is your team reaching the goals you set out to accomplish? Get more from your employees with these AMA resources and seminars.
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About The Author

Chris Brown is a content marketing coordinator at the American Management Association. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Marketing and a minor in Italian.

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