Whether you are a small business owner or a manager of a larger company – the challenge of setting meaningful objectives is the same. Often we hear from our clients that they find themselves staring at a blank piece of paper with no ideas. And the result is a list of work activities that are just part of the job role.
So how do you make objective setting meaningful?
All you need to do is ask yourself one question. What do you want to achieve?
Objectives should be seen as a “Statement of Achievement”. Write your statement of achievement in one or two succinct lines, including a timescale of course! (and where applicable get your staff to write their own to bring to the discussion).
Once you have your Statement of Achievement you need to make sure it is SMART. Many of us know SMART but do we use SMART? And for those that have not yet come across this five letter acronym ask yourself the following:-
- Is it Specific? – so the person has no doubt about what they are expected to achieve.
- Is it Measurable? – can they say when they have achieved it?
- Is it Achievable? – is it in their control to achieve and what do they need to do it?
- Is it Relevant? – will they understand the purpose?
- Is it Time bound? – do they know when to achieve it by?
Does it have to be Annual Objectives?
Depending on your business or working situation you may, like Jewel, find objective setting for a different timescale works better for you.
At Jewel we like the ‘power of three’ and use our 3×3 method where we set three objectives every three months. This makes it an ongoing, dynamic process. This also means that objectives are reviewed regularly. They are broken down into ‘chunks’ of achievement – which we find much more motivating!
We call them our WAGs! Worthwhile Achievable Goals.
By setting WAGs via the 3×3 process and using SMART as a checklist it means we can set meaningful objectives at anytime. Not just at the yearly appraisal. This makes it a more dynamic process over the year and more motivating for you and the staff member.
One thing that we keep coming across is the lack of review of this process. This is vital to keeping you and your team motivated.
The review process not only gives you a chance to pat yourself (or your staff member) on the back throughout the year, but it also allows for any challenges to be discussed so that objectives can be assessed for achievability. If you leave yourself or your staff with an unachievable objective it will demotivate you / them.
Contact us if you have any questions about the processes mentioned in this blog.