Creating Effective Goals in the workplace

Writing Effective Goals

Developing goals begins with creating well designed and written goal statements; specifying the aims, objectives or targets you want to achieve. These goal statements deal with various aspects of your life such as career, personal, financial and so on. An Action Plan should accompany every goal statement, specifying the strategies needed and means for reaching your ends.

One system used successfully by leaders and people who wish to apply goal setting principles into their lives is the SMART system. By ensuring your goal statements are SMART, you create a system for managing each action step and increasing the potential to achieve these goals. Developing well designed goals or objectives provide an effective basis for planning. A common approach is to use SMART principles i.e.:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic, and
  • Time Bound

In a work team, goals must be communicated to all people involved with the work plan or whose work could be affected by any changes involved.  Goals also need to be constantly revised to make sure that each of the SMART criteria is satisfied. This will create far greater clarity for all concerned.  You are more likely to stick with and achieve your goals if you develop them yourself. You are also in a position to influence others such as team members, so encourage them to participate actively in setting their own goals and contributing to team goals.  Individuals who feel that they have some ownership or say in setting their own goals, are more likely to be motivated to accomplish them, leading to performance improvement.