Why do New Year’s Resolutions so often fail? Because most resolutions don’t meet the criteria for a strong, achievable goal – a SMART goal:
S = Specific
Goals should be defined and articulated with a clear end result in mind.
M = Measurable
Every goal should be quantifiable.
A = Attainable
Goals should be realistically achievable, split into manageable steps.
R = Relevant
Employees’ goals should tie into the company’s objectives and make a tangible impact on the organization.
T = Time-Based
Goals should have a due date.
SMART goals are an invaluable tool for businesses. Regularly setting and accomplishing goals not only helps employees stay engaged and grow professionally, but also provides managers a framework for evaluating performance.
What does this acronym look like in action? Here are a few examples of SMART goals at work.
Overall Goal: Increase your brand’s social media following
- Specific: I will increase the number of followers on our social channels.
- Measurable: I will accomplish an increase of 10,000 followers on Instagram and 5,000 followers on Facebook.
- Goals can also have subtasks. For example: I will connect with 5 social media influencers who can help us grow our brand visibility, I will dedicate $20,000 of our budget to this objective.
- Attainable: You currently have 100,000 Instagram followers and 50,000 Facebook followers, so this goal would see an attainable 10% increase (as opposed to, say, an increase of 1 million followers, which is likely unattainable).
- Relevant: This goal will help the company achieve its overall goal of driving e-commerce sales.
- Time-Based: I will accomplish this goal by the end of this quarter.
Overall Goal: Become your company’s leading salesperson
- Specific: I will lead the company in sales.
- Measurable: I will increase my sales revenue by 30%.
- Attainable: Let’s say that between your first and second years with the company, you accomplished a 15% increase in sales. Now, with an additional year of experience under your belt, you could realistically double last year’s increase.
- Relevant: Increasing your sales numbers will help the company increase revenue and continue its year-over-year growth.
- Time-Based: I will increase my sales revenue by 30% by the end of Q4.
Overall Goal: Revamp the quarterly check-in process
- Specific: I want my company’s one-on-one check-ins to be more efficient and focused.
- Measurable: I will send out a five-question self-assessment to my employees three weeks before check-ins. I will give them two weeks to complete the assessment, then allow myself one week to review the assessments before we meet in person. Each meeting will be scheduled for 30 minutes.
- Attainable: Meetings are currently scheduled for one hour and typically unstructured. Employees are not asked to complete any assessment beforehand.
- Relevant: Ties into the company’s mission of improving communication between managers and employees.
- Time-Based: I will implement these changes for next quarter’s check-ins.
SMART goals work professionally, but they can help you achieve personal goals too. Here’s to SMARTer New Year’s Resolutions in 2019 and beyond!