Grace Smith
January 22, 2024

Goals can make or break your organization. Once you choose a goal, it precedes over every task and sub-task your employees do for a period of time. If you don't pay attention to the quality of your goals, it can also impact the quality of the outputs you create.

So how do you ensure your goals are up to the mark? By making them SMART, of course! Let us discuss how SMART goals can enhance team productivity and give your company a complete makeover in just a matter of time!

Digging Up S.M.A.R.T Goals

To work towards a goal means to work with a sense of purpose and direction. This applies to organizations and individuals alike.

Employees of a goal-oriented organization are 6.7 times more likely to feel super happy about their firm and 6.5 times more likely to recommend the organization as a great workplace.

But how do we make sure the goals we set are actually achieved? By making them SMART!

S.M.A.R.T (it’s an acronym which we will get into soon) goal setting is a method used by companies to set their goals in a more systematic way, which brings in quicker and better results. 

Specific

Narrowing down goals into specific and simple statements makes them easy to understand and easy to achieve. Companies must make sure that they do not overcomplicate goals. Rather than being vague and all over the place, make your goals precise and specific. It helps employees grasp the meaning of the goal at once, leaving little room for misinterpretation. 

Measurable

When you set a goal for your team, ensure that it can be measured using specific tools or metrics. No matter how qualitative your goals are, assign quantitative values to them so that you can precisely measure how far you have come.

Your goal might be increasing employee engagement. But how do you measure it? Attach a quantitative element to the goal, like increasing employee engagement by 5% in the coming two months. Now, conduct feedback surveys every month to see the response rates. It can be used as a way to measure the effectiveness of your goal. 

Achievable

Of course, every goal you set for your team or your organization must be doable. If they are set too high, chances are that the level of participation among employees, as well as their morale, decreases.

If goals seem too far-fetched and unrealistic, employees might not even give it a try for fear of failure or underperformance. What you can do instead is break down the big goal into smaller, more doable goals that can be spread out over a period of months. Whats the point of setting goals if there is no means of achieving them after all, right?

Relevant

Now, don't confuse it with the ‘achievable’ pat of SMART goals because some people mistake R for realistic. But that’s not what R signifies.

Before you set a goal, make sure that it has actual relevance. If the goal has nothing to do with the long-term success of your company or the objectives your team aims to achieve, then there is no point in trying to go forward with it.

Relevancy makes your goals align with the company's goals and values. 

Time Bound

Setting a timeline makes a goal more effective in an instant. It helps set a roadmap for the events and also makes it easy to set milestones.

For example, if your goal is to increase customer satisfaction by 10%, making it time-bound by adding a deadline makes the goal more achievable.

Say you want to achieve this goal in 6 months. You can set smaller tasks and spread them through these six months. It makes tracking the progress of the goal easier as well. 

How DO S.M.A.R.T Goals Actually Work?

37% of survey respondents from Betterworks said that greater visibility and employee goals would spur their performance. Come to think of it, transparent goals and clear expectations help employees work more productively.

Rather than setting a plain goal like ‘increase website traffic’, make it S.M.A.R.T. To do so, gain a clear understanding of what your company wants to achieve by attaining this goal. Understand your goal clearly and then add S.M.A.R.T elements to it:

  • Specific: Increase the organic traffic of the website
  • Measurable: Increase the organic traffic of the website by 25%
  • Attainable: Increase the organic traffic of the website by 25% with the help of digital marketing team
  • Relevant: The goal can be relevant for a company looking to expand its online reach through which they can find the right clients for business
  • Time Bound:  Increase the organic traffic of the website by 25% with the help of the digital marketing team in 3 months

The final goal is much clearer than the initial one, right? Now you can announce this goal to your team and schedule the tasks in the calendar. You can track the progress of the same weekly and make alterations when felt necessary. 

5 Ways S.M.A.R.T Goals Increase Workforce Productivity

SMART goals are not just to make goal setting more effective. It has an actual and measurable impact on the productivity of your organization. You might not guess it at first, but setting clear goals that are actually doable, increases the level of employee engagement and productivity. Let us see how SMART goals manage to do so: 

1. Team communication and collaboration increases

Goals are achieved as a team and not in isolation. When we set SMART goals, individual tasks are assigned to the employees, along with tasks that are to be done as a group. The latter part makes it imperative for employees to communicate with each other and work in unison. It makes them realize that even the individual work they do is part of the big picture.

SMART goals prevent any scope for miscommunication or misinterpretation as they clearly list out the roles and outputs expected from each employee. This clarity paves the way for better communication and collaboration among team members, thereby increasing productivity.

2. Employees have more chance of achieving objectives

Put yourself in your employee’s shoes for a minute. Imagine giving them a vague goal and asking them to work towards the same. Even if the employee honestly wants to do good work, they cannot.

On the other hand, if the goals are clear and specific, with a clear description of what is expected from each employee, it increases the level of confidence employees have in themselves.

This, in turn, helps them work more actively towards achieving the organizational goal. In other words, there is a higher chance of employees doing their work correctly when the goals are SMART.

3. Enables employees to develop personally and professionally 

Each new goal asks for a different skill set from employees. These goals, when divided into further sub-tasks, diversify the daily tasks an employee has to do in order to achieve the same. In doing multiple tasks for multiple goals for a long period of time, employees develop a wide array of skills, which makes them not only specialists in their fields but experts as well.

It helps them manage time efficiently and get better at what they do. At the end of the day, SMART goals help employees become better both as a person and as a professional. 

4. Makes tracking work progress easy

When a manager announces a SMART goal, it means that the company can do SMART goal tracking as well. The efficiency of teams can be gauged with ease with the help of such goals.

As there is an element of specificity attached to these goals, employees can track their own progress and analyze how they fare when compared to the progress made by the team. Companies can efficiently track the progress of projects and prepare for contingencies with the help of SMART goals. 

5. Gives the team a direction to focus on

In a world filled with distractions, finding the right thing to focus on is crucial. When you set SMART goals for employees, it gives them a sense of direction and purpose. It makes them more productive because they have a clear goal to achieve in front of them. 

You may also like: Goals for managers: A quick guide to setting and achieving them

Get S.M.A.R.T 

Make SMART goals the lifeblood of your organization. Even if you have to put in extra time and effort in making them super specific, we promise you, it is totally worth it. Your employees will have a purpose, and their engagement levels will increase.

SMART goal tracking becomes easier, and so does measuring the progress of your company toward success. Don't believe me? Then ask your employees! Let’s conduct a quick yet customized employee survey with the help of ThriveSparrow and understand where your employees stand in terms of SMART goals. Once you get a nod from their side, go at full throttle!