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A team didn’t reach their targets again. Advice to the frustrated leader included “lower the targets!”
While the comment was meant to be amusing, it is one of the secrets of setting reachable targets:
Link targets to organization’s goals – If your team doesn’t see links between what they do and the big goals, they will be demotivated.
Set large goals & smaller milestones on the way to the large goals – Without sub-goals, the targets can seem unreachable and your team may not try as hard.
Make all goals measurable – If you can’t measure something, how will you know you have achieved it. There is a famous quote about jazz: “you’ll know it when you hear it.” It isn’t the same for goals, you won’t necessary know it when you’ve reach them.
Use SMART goals – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound. This helps keep the goals realistic.
State goals positively – People are more motivated towards something instead of away from something. Instead of measuring “fewer customer complaints,” aim for “increased customer satisfaction.”
Put goals in writing – This crystallizes them and gives them more power.
Ask for input – Get your team involved in setting goals, this makes the targets more realistic.
Limit number of goals – You can’t make measurable progress on 16 goals at the same time, choose 3-5 goals
Review targets regularly – If they targets are not reachable, then lower them. If the targets are too easy, then raise them!
A great leader ensures that the targets are reasonable. And they also support the team throughout the year to ensure that the environment & other barriers are not stopping the team from achieving their targets.
To read what to do after targets are set click on: How to Help Your Teams Meet Targets
If you'd like some "fine tuning" of your leadership skills contact me at Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
Photo by Valerie MacLeod
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