Goal Setting: Training and Job Aid

I have been working on this project to develop a performance goal setting process. In association with this process, there will also be goal setting training. The process will kick off during training with the goal setting cycle starting shortly after.

But I got thinking. In my years of business, I have seen goal setting emerge, maintain, and disappear as an organizational practise many times. Sometimes there can be practical reasons for this, such as the cycle being too frequent that it becomes onerous to maintain. Making it less frequent should then make it more likely to be sustainable…right?

I’m not so sure. Goal setting is a skill. If you don’t use it often, it could be easy to forget the best practises. And if backslide and start doling out vague or ambiguous goals, the process quickly becomes meaningless and will be dropped to save morale.

As with many, I follow and teach the SMART goal setting method. Even though this nice mnemonic should guide users to create clear goals, it can be difficult to remember the best practises associated with each element.

So it occurred to me—why can’t the goal setting form also operate as a job aid? Instead of creating a generic form that has spaces to outline the goal and deadline, why not create a form that requires users to fill out each element of SMART. Not only does this help ensure SMART goals are being created, but breaking down the goals like this on the form can help managers discuss and get employee buy in as it’s transparent.

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