There’s a good reason why sports like hockey and soccer use the term “goal” to describe points scored, hopefully toward a victory. In business, as in athletics, goal setting can also be really, really good – or woefully disastrous – just like seeing your opponent shoot the puck through the net instead of you. In fact, when it comes to marketplace competition, this comparison is very applicable.
You score enough – and you win. But if your scoring strategy fails, well, you go home with a letter “L” next to your track record. And nobody wants that, ever.
- When done well, goal setting is magic. It’s powerful and positive, and it leads to increased engagement, enthusiasm, and results. But when it falls short, it can backfire and undermine your success, which was the whole point of doing it in the first place. Poor goal setting can result in confusion, frustration, and a dangerous lack of credibility in your company’s leadership.
Be SMART When Setting Goals
The acronym SMART is often used in reference to goal setting. Why? Another good reason: Because it works.
SMART stands for goals that are:
- Specific: This makes your goals clearer and easier to understand for everyone involved, and it’s key to effective, ongoing planning.
- Measurable: Be sure your goals define which evidence will prove that you’re making progress toward achieving them, as well as enable you to reevaluate them if and when needed.
- Achievable: You need goals that can be reasonably accomplished within a given time frame.
- Relevant: Goals are worthless unless they clearly align with company values and objectives.
- Time Based: Set goals that have realistic end dates. This will help in numerous ways, including effective task prioritization and motivation.
If you lose sight of smartness when goal setting, you’ll find yourself investing time, energy, creativity, and money into the wrong things.
Don’t Get Carried Away
When it comes to setting goals, quality trumps quantity every time. Because, if you set too many goals, then none of them are a priority. And that’s where all focus is lost.
Companies – and people – with too many goals suffer these consequences:
- They feel disorganized and stressed, and like they can never accomplish a complete task.
- They don’t know what they should focus on next. Effective prioritization goes out the window.
- They fall prey to simply checking tasks off a list, losing sight of where their actions fit into the bigger picture of helping your business to succeed.
Again, nobody wants to see things headed in that direction, right?
Do you need more insight as you set goals for your business headed into the new year? The PrideStaff Modesto team is here to help you stay on track and avoid costly missteps. Contact us today, so we can help you set the right strategic direction for your business and your workforce.