Managers need to set great goals to succeed as they make day-to-day decisions that affect the organization. And it is not just about having them, but also achieving them on time. The SMART model is one way of ensuring that your goals are achievable by making them specific, measurable, action-oriented with timeframes, relevant, and trackable.
It also means that there is accountability for achieving those smart goals. However, many managers struggle with setting smart goals because they don’t always know how best to word and reach them.
What Should a Manager do to set Smart Motivational Goals?
A manager should set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, “increase sales by 20% in the next quarter” is a specific goal that can be measured (you can track sales numbers), is achievable (it’s not impossible), is relevant to the company’s overall success, and has a timeline attached to it.
“Be more productive” or “be more creative” are not specific goals, and are therefore harder to measure and achieve.
To determine if your goals are smart and motivating, there are some questions you need to ask yourself. First, are your goals excite and energize you? Are you eager to get started on them? Second, do your goals align with what you trying to achieve?
Third, do your goals challenge and inspire you to step up and have a go? And fourth, are your goals realistically attainable? If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then chances are good that you have set smart motivational goals.
What are Good Examples of Smart Goals?
Here are 19 good examples of smart goals for managers:
1. Reducing Customer Complaints
Reduce customer complaints by 5% in the first quarter of this year. You will do this by reviewing all customer complaints received during the previous quarter.
Then identifying trends and how to better prevent them, then train your staff on new processes to ensure customer dissatisfaction issues do not occur again.
2. Improving Customer Service Productivity
Improve productivity by 20% in August by re-examining existing processes and procedures to reduce wait time for customers and improve the quality of service.
This will be measured by determining the number of calls completed per hour or the amount of time spent on each call.
Read also: 14 Key Areas of Improvement for Managers
3. Reducing Expenses
Keep our expenses under control this year by monitoring regularly for unusual spending patterns that could lead to budget overruns in addition to performing an annual audit for all supplies expenses.
This will be measured by the net change in operating expenses from this month to last month.
4. Increasing Employee Engagement
Increase employee engagement from the current level of 73% to 80% within six months.
To do this, you will hold an annual employee engagement survey twice a year and make sure that all employees are engaged in the following five areas; achieving company goals, management’s leadership, my rewards, my career, communication with management.
5. Improving Quality Control
Improve quality control over the food served at the staff restaurant by implementing a standardized training program for all employees in handling food and ensuring thorough sanitization of all equipment before use.
The training program should be carried out within a month from today and must not take longer than two weeks to complete.
6. Creating Measurable Goals for Team Leaders
Create a list of 10 measurable goals for your team leaders that each should achieve within the next three months.
Each goal should have a target date, and all team leaders should meet with you each month to review how they are performing against set goals or targets.
7. Holding a One-on-One Meeting with Every Employee
Good examples of smart goals include having a one-on-one meeting with every employee at least once per month. Set a SMART goal to have at least two one-on-one meetings with each employee per month.
Ensure that everyone knows their goals and how you will measure the performance against them.
8. Meeting Monthly with Department Heads
Hold regular meetings with all department heads on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, for instance.
The meeting should last for 30 minutes, focus on reviewing the progress made in each department over the previous month and setting some new goals or targets for the following month.
9. Improve your Relationship with Employees
Set a goal to have one positive conversation with each of your employees every day and keep track of the conversation in your journal.
Track the outcome of each conversation in your journal (whether it was positive or negative and what you learned from it).
10. Enhancing Focus and Concentration
Set a goal to meditate for 5 minutes every day at 10:00 am and again at 2:00 pm. Keep track of how long you can concentrate during these sessions in your journal.
Each week, try to improve this time by 1 minute until you have reached 15 minutes per session (5 times per week).
11. Managing Emails Effectively
Set a goal to reduce the amount of time spent reading emails by 25% for a month (from 40 hours to 30 hours).
Record the total number of emails received and sent and how much time spent reading and writing emails.
Compile this information into a report that shows your progress from the beginning to the end of the month.
12. Teaching Team Members something New
Set a goal to teach at least five different team members something they didn’t know before (be specific). For example, make sure you train five other people about Project 2020 or the latest Microsoft Word.
Keep track of how many hours spent in training sessions across the whole month. The number should be realistically achievable for yourself as well as others.
13. Increasing the Number of Sales Calls
Increase the number of sales calls made in a day by 10% (for example, from 5 to 6 calls). Keep track of the number of sales calls made for the whole month, and you should find that the number has increased.
14. Learning Leadership Skills
Good examples of smart goals include having monthly meetings with employees and learn their opinions about how you can improve from their perspectives. Use these meetings to gain some leadership skills.
Agree on an action plan with measurable targets to make sure you are on the right track. Your performance will be reviewed every three months by your manager.
15. Providing Training to your Direct Reports
Provide a minimum of 12 hours of training to your direct reports and their subordinates.
Keep a record of the number of hours you spend on each activity, including the number of days, weeks, and months you spent training new skills to employees.
16. Completing your Certification
Get certified as a Certified Financial Planner by completing a training course and passing the exam this year. By doing so, you will be able to serve clients better with comprehensive financial planning advice.
17. Improving Your Presentation Skills
Prepare at least ten presentation templates for different client meetings, workshops, or conferences to summarize complex information in an easy-to-understand way.
And practice two times a day how to comfortably present each template to clients within one minute.
Start at 3 minutes and gradually lower that to 2 minutes until you can confidently deliver each template within a one-minute target.
18. Asking Employees to Identify the 5 top Goals
Ask employees to identify the five goals they want to accomplish in the next three months and create a plan to achieve their goals.
You will meet with each employee individually to discuss their goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.
You will coach employees on setting realistic expectations, identifying priorities, and delegating tasks to leverage the strengths of other team members.
19. Building more Productive Habits
Set at least one realistic goal each month to build a productive habit. For example, you may decide that you will spend no more than one hour reading and replying to emails every day.
You could also define your purpose and put key reminders around your office desk to make sure you don’t forget why you are working hard to achieve your goals.
It’s difficult to set goals when there are so many obstacles in the way. However, by identifying these potential issues and determining how to proceed around them, you can achieve your goal with ease.
One thing that often holds people from achieving their goals is fear of failure or lack of confidence.
So, don’t let fear control you and plan ahead to ensure that you are making progress towards these goals.