Ok, so you have decided to create SMART targets for your people. Great acronyms have multiple definitions:
S - Specific, significant, stretching
M - Measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - Agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - Realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - Time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
All of these words are useful and I’m sure we all have learned them somewhere, and it STILL is difficult to assess the performance afterwards, right?
Here’s a way to look at it:
When you start the cycle and set out to create targets, make sure you have a conversation with your people starting with some simple questions:
- How will we know if you achieved these targets?
- What will it look like to achieve them 50% ?
- What will it mean to overachieve?
- What does it MEAN “to get better at…
You must have this discussion up front. Most assessment conversations (quarrels) goes bad because we don’t have a useful way of agreeing what the achievement IS – at the time we are in the assessment itself and the person’s promotion/salary increase etc is on the line.
This is like an investments – the real benefit will be seen at the end of the period.
The good news: You will get better at this. When you’ve had some really tricky assessment conversations where you couldn’t agree on how to measure the achievements, then you learn to do a better job setting SMART targets and AGREE on how to measure them.