This is a guest post by Erin Palmer, Erin Works at Bisk Education/Villanova University
How SMART Goals Can Increase Employee Engagement
Getting your company’s employees to be engaged can be a tough task. Deadlines and heavy workloads could lead to workers doing the bare minimum just to get by. However, there is evidence that employees who are more engaged in their jobs tend to produce a better end-product.
While there are numerous motivational “tricks” to keep employees engaged, most leave an individual feeling unfulfilled. We recommend the use of SMART goals for a more thorough and reliable tool for increasing employee engagement.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART goals are essentially detailed, measurable plans with a deadline attached to them. While a traditional goal such as, “I want to get a promotion” is nice in theory, it doesn’t include a concrete means to an end. SMART goals have five essential characteristics:
1. Specific – Goals are streamlined and specific. No blanket statements here.
2. Measurable – The goal’s progress is measurable in some concrete way.
3. Attainable – It’s one that you can actually achieve and is realistic.
4. Relevant – A goal should have some relevance to who you are. A goal that requires you to completely change who you are as a person might not be a relevant one.
5. Time Bound – An element of time has to be included, otherwise you have no deadline to push you toward obtaining it.
Why a SMART goal?
SMART goals promote learning for employees. Instead of just being rated on performance, individuals will work to understand weaknesses and try to improve when necessary. Employees embrace their goals as a benchmark for success. Having a clear objective is reassuring that they’re on the right path.
These goals are a way for employees to individually contribute to the company’s success. While they feel like a bigger part of the team, they also recognize that they’re achieving personal success and possible promotion within the company.
Interaction is another important reason why SMART goals help in increasing employee engagement. As they work toward their goals, employees will get feedback on their progress. Managers will interact closely with everyone and start developing better relationships. Workers are more likely to voice their own ideas and feedback when they’re having regular conversations with higher-ups.
Team morale will be better as well. It starts with the employee-manager interactions and trickles downward. Team members working on projects will begin to ask more questions and help each other when their work environment promotes such action.
Since everyone is trying to accomplishing their goals, employees will learn new tactics that help them in doing the job. They may even develop better ways to accomplish tasks associated with the job and increase overall productivity for the company. Brainstorming sessions between employees or with managers will become commonplace. The SMART goals help workers understand that others in the company may have better ways of doing the same tasks they’re doing.
Employees are looking for a chance to grow. Who wants to do the same job for years and years without ever learning something new or advancing within the company? SMART goals keep everyone motivated and striving for greatness. Coupled with encouragement from the company, SMART goals will lead to happier, engaged employees – something every business should seek to accomplish.
University Alliance, a worldwide leader in interactive education, provided this article. SMART goals are very popular in project management so to learn more about them consider taking a project management certification course or even an MBA in Project Management.