SMART Goals: How to Execute Effectively as an Employee

SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely – are key to helping employees successfully achieve what they want to achieve in the workplace and for the rest of their career path. According to Indeed, “goal setting is a helpful way to build the career you want.” Designing such parameters will help employees figure out what exactly they want to achieve during their journey at the organization they work at. It’s natural for employees to have the drive to achieve their professional desires. However, the set goals for those professional desires need to be realistic and practical. These goals are a wonderful tool to provide employees with clarity and focus on what they want to achieve in life. This blog will talk about how employees can create effective and realistic SMART goals for themselves to incorporate into their daily work routine.

Breaking Down the Acronym – S.M.A.R.T.

S – Specific

Employees need to be crystal clear and, more importantly, specific in terms of what they want to achieve. For example, an intern may say “I want to be a permanent employee in my current organization,” which is a rather vague goal. To make it more specific, the intern could say “I want to be the director of the marketing team.” Narrowing it down to the nitty-gritty details will help the employee more effectively scope out the necessary steps to achieve said goal.

M – Measurable

Once the employee has that specific aim in mind, the next step is for them to measure their progress. For example, if the employee’s goal is to become the CEO of the organization, they could measure their progress by the number of promotions they have received, interviews completed, and the years of work experience obtained to reach a high-level position. Setting such targets will give employees the chance to re-evaluate and rethink the steps they have taken over the course of their path to achieving their goals at hand.

A – Achievable

The goals employees choose to set need to be reasonable and, more importantly, doable. According to Entrepreneur, “this means there are practical actions employees can take to reach the goal.” Looking back on the intern example, the intern would need to have knowledge of the necessary skills for them to upgrade to a permanent employee position. Before they start, employees need to decide whether they wish to achieve the goal at their present time or later in the future. This decision is the key for employees in terms of creating the timeline necessary for their goals to be achieved.

R – Relevant

When employees decide to set goals for themselves, they need to decide whether the goals are relevant. Entrepreneur implies that setting relevant goals will “help your company fulfill its main purpose and mission.” As cliche as it sounds, changes in priorities are inevitable. Employees don’t necessarily stick to the same projects for long. Other tasks and assignments take over as higher priorities. The goal set in mind needs to be relevant to the priority at hand.

T – Timely

Goals need to come with deadlines. Dragging them on for an extended period will only result in boredom and frustration for the employee. Indeed suggests that “setting an end-date will provide the employee motivation and help them prioritize.” Going back to the intern example, if the goal in mind is to become a permanent employee, they could potentially give themselves a deadline of six months. If the goal has not been achieved at the end of six months, the employee could consider reflecting on the reasons why they did not achieve the goal within the given deadline.

Setting SMART Goals

When employees choose to create their goals, they should consider following the SMART acronym. By using the acronym, they are more likely to achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively. Below are more tips and tricks for employees to make progress on their SMART goals.

Create a Calendar

Creating a calendar-based schedule will help the employee work backward and figure out how to prioritize. This time management system will not only keep the employee motivated but also accountable for every step of the way. Accountability is based on the employee’s words and their face value. When employees announce their goals, they need to make sure they can stick to the promises that come along with them. This shows the level of reliability that their teammates and colleagues can entrust to them. It’s imperative that employees create a calendar that they can stick to. This will give them a game plan of how they wish to achieve their goals.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Once the vision of the result is set in place, employees need to prioritize the importance of each task for that goal. For example, if the employee is an intern and their goal is to get upgraded to a permanent employee position, they will need to shift their focus to upskilling and interacting with the right people. Managers and leaders look out for the effort made by the intern to make their final decision on whether to upgrade them to a permanent position.

Reward Yourself

No achievement is a small achievement. Employees need to ensure they reward themselves throughout the process. According to Forbes, “when employees succeed, they should celebrate.” Waiting until the entire goal is achieved puts too much pressure on the conclusion of the goal. If an employee finds themself making progress, they should be able to reward themselves with a pat on the back or a short sigh of relief. Celebrating the success of little things will keep the employee motivated to continue along and make even more progress in the future steps they have created for their goals.

Evaluating S.M.A.R.T. Goals with PxidaEX

A key element for employees to succeed in their workplace is for them to create and achieve SMART goals. Mentors and managers are there to be their guiding light, but the result is up to the employee. With PxidaEX’s work-life surveys, mentors and managers can get a clear idea of where employees struggle the most and where they can help step up their game. Sign up for a free trial today!