Setting SMART objectives is crucial for any business, as it creates structure and it can make your dreams become an achievable reality. However, some businesses might struggle to understand how to set SMART objectives. This is a common issue amongst new entrepreneurs, starting up their first businesses.
In this article, we will briefly explain what are SMART objectives and the limitations when letting employees come up with objectives.
Objectives have to be:
Specific: Having specific goals means that you know exactly what you are after and what you want to achieve. This gives the company direction and a destination to aim for. When drafting your goal you have to keep in mind the five Ws: why, who, what, where and which.
Measurable: ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. This means that you can predict the process and somewhat the outcome expected. This can be ideal to refine your idea and decide what you truly want to reach.
Attainable: Your goal has to be realistic enough to be achievable. You have to make sure you know how you can accomplish that objective and how likely to succeed does the business have based on market and financial research.
Relevant: Is the goal worthwhile and do you have the necessary requirements to back it up and reach your goal? Do you have the right tools and is the objective aligned with the company’s objectives?
Timely: A time-bound objective instills motivation and a need to finish it before a stated time. Deadlines help managers prioritize what projects come first and plan more effectively.
Another method that companies use to come up with innovative and unique objectives is, to let their employees come up with team objectives. Encouraging employees to come up with company objectives has many benefits, but one has to ensure that the employees’ objectives are in line with the organization’s objectives and not be subjective.
When employees come up with team objectives the following limitations might occur;
- Disagreement between the staff – The key is to discuss with the collective group and analyze which decision is best for the company. In the end, the manager should take the final decision.
- Unrealistic – can be from employee point of view to impress.
- Non-challenging targets – employees come up with safe and easy targets
- Over burdening themselves – Setting too high expectations and unable to reach them. Employees will have no one else to blame if they fail. Could be demotivating.
- Individuals imposing self-targets on team – some of the target would be more self-centered rather than for the company (unhealthy competition within departments & self-rewarding)