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What Managers Should Focus On While Setting SMART Goals For Teamwork

5 min read
Last Updated on 28 January, 2021
What Managers Should Focus On While Setting SMART Goals For Teamwork

It is hard for any manager to measure ‘success’ without a clear idea of what you want the team to accomplish. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, one should consider setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) for the team. It offers meaning not only to the organization but also to the individual team members working to achieve them.

However, merely goal setting for employees won't be enough. It only helps when you address the ‘what' to be done, the 'how' and the 'when' for each purpose individually for each purpose.

One must consider looking at the goal like this-

"Are our goals sufficiently specialized to achieve the company's objectives and challenge my team?"

Infact, we suggest that the 'why' be answered too. Demonstrate that achieving these goals will add value to the business and 'in what ways' team members will benefit from reaching them.

Studies have shown that 90 percent of the time, people who design goals that are both precise and demanding achieve better efficiency.

Some of the common priorities that managers need to concentrate on while setting SMART goals for team performance are as follows.

12 Things To Consider While Setting SMART Goals For Teamwork

1. Take input from employees in setting SMART goals

Workers feel respected when management takes their input in goal setting. They perform 3x times better when they know that their organization listens to their voice. They become more involved and more responsible.

Read our blog on: Employee Voice: How to Listen and it’s Benefits

2. Identify areas of opportunity for growth.

As a manager, you must also recognize each team member's development potential and link it to their measurable goals. You give them the chance to measure their progress by making it measurable, with the implementation of SMART goals for teamwork, and amplifying each person all along the process.

3. Promote creativity

"By the end of the first financial quarter of 2021, let's aim to generate 30% revenue in our overall business in both India and the U.K. through leads obtained from targeted Facebook and Google advertising. We will also have a friendly contest between the Indian and the U.K. Team: the team that hits the target first gets a $2K bonus to be divided!"

SMART goals like this create an opportunity for team members to accomplish the objective and encourage the team's competitiveness and creativity at work. The goal is precise and specialized so that its achievement will benefit both the teams and the organization.

4. Solicit feedback.

Look for inputs from team members. As a manager or leader, you should be able to make changes based on your staff's information. Only when everyone is comfortable engaging and communication is frank and transparent, will progress occur.

Read our blog on: Effective Feedback: Key Elements to Keep in Mind

5. Be there for your team.

Your team should believe you are an essential part of their support system. Ensure the communication lines are available, meet with team members regularly to assess their progress, and ensure they are moving in the right direction.

6. Build autonomous teams

Create accountable team members who, without being micromanaged, can trust their judgment and run with their ideas.

According to Talya Bauer and Berrin Erdogan of FlatWorldKnowledge.com, organizations such as Trader Joe's have noticed that giving workers autonomy in their decision making improve motivation. Managers do not have to follow a hands-off approach entirely but allow leniency among employees can make them feel empowered. Infact, allowing autonomy can act as a reward will ultimately help you get where you want your company to go.

Read our blog on: Fostering a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace

7. Upskill and reskill employees

Upskilling and reskilling profoundly empower and keeps everyone involved with your company. It will help them grow professionally and personally with their expertise and experience.

Listen to our podcast on: Why Upskilling and Reskilling are the future of workplace

8. Discuss how you can improve things

After you achieve a goal, sit down with the team and discuss what progressed, what did not, and what you can achieve better the next time. Throughout the process, were benchmarks identified at the right points? Were enough extra resources brought in to perform what members of the team could not do? The second time around, think about how things could run more seamlessly.

9. Make use of OKRs

The more detailed and challenging your goals are, the more likely you will be motivated to accomplish them.

So, don't just limit yourselves to a SMART goal. Make the whole process a little more intense by making use of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results.) We all know that we are more likely to do something if we set it as a goal. So we should use the SMART approach when designing our OKR to make sure that what we set out to do is not impossible!

Rick Klau (partner at Google Ventures) explains,

Personal OKRs define what the person is working on. Team OKRs define priorities for the team, not just a collection of individual OKRs. Company OKRs are big picture, a top-level focus for the entire company. Company OKRs are big picture, a top-level focus for the entire company.

These OKRs help connects each team's objectives to the business goal so that each employee would evaluate his/her contribution to the company.

10. Improve communication skills

Work on improving communication skills for both yourself and your team members. Building straightforward communication will take 90 percent of the stress out of your day. To allocate the workload, it could entail a weekly planning meeting, or it could mean absolutely no meetings at all or a regular write-up of what is done and what is outstanding from each employee.

11. Learn to recognize

Appreciation, small rewards, and truly constructive feedback improve employee engagement and keep the team on track for success. Many employers introduce continual reward systems designed to recognize employees for a number of accomplishments in order to demonstrate gratitude.

Automate and simplify the employee rewards and recognition program with an easy-to-use and customizable cloud-based solution from Vantage Rewards.

12. Enjoy the process

When setting SMART goals, managers give too much attention to the result. That leaves the whole team pressurized. That's neither great for employee morale nor the development of healthy company culture.

Yes, it is vital to concentrate on the result, but one should qualitatively evaluate the process for achieving it. The secret to a successful team is to learn how to execute SMART goals and enjoy the process.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a podcast host and content creator at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest in research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com