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Appraising your staff

essentials

How to use the SMART method to


formulate pertinent objectives
that motivate your staff

Knowing how to set pertinent and rewarding objectives is one of the key factors for the success
of an appraisal interview. It will allow you to motivate your staff and to evaluate them in a factual
way throughout the following year and during all their intermediary
interviews. Use the SMART method to properly formulate an objective.

The SMART method


Setting SMART objectives means setting objectives that
are
Specific
Measurable
Accessible
Realistic
Time-based

S as in specific
It is not uncommon to see staff fail because the objectives
they are assigned are not formulated well enough.
For an objective to be well formed, it needs to be specific,
which means:

Simple: it answers the question What?

Precise: it answers the question Who?

Concrete: it answers the question Where?
For example, instead of saying I must improve my
communication with the rest of the team next year, which
is not specific, you could say I must take care to circulate
the information that I hold among the rest of my team next
year. We know who and where: the members of the team.
We know what: information.

meeting for sharing information with my colleagues at least


once a week. We know when: In five months and we know
how much: at least once a week.
Distinguish between an objective and an intention.
It is the M and T rules that make it possible to
distinguish them. Unlike an objective, an intention is not
measurable and rarely registered in time in a precise way.
It is therefore not controllable, as we cannot measure its
success in an objective manner.

For example, the proposition I must improve my
communication with the rest of the team next year is not
an objective but an intention.
To make an objective measurable, reformulate intentions
into objectives.

Start with the intention. For example: to improve
communication within my team. Transform it into
a daily task. For example: Organizing a meeting
to exchange information within the team.

Find the measurement criteria for the intentions
success on a daily basis. Here you could say:
Organizing an hour long informational meeting
every Monday morning.

M as in Measurable, T as in Time-based

A as in accessible

A properly formulated objective should be



Measurable, which means quantifiable: it
answers the question How much?

Registered in Time, which means dated and
classified by due date: it answers the question
When?
For example, instead of saying I must improve my
communication with the rest of the team next year, you could
say, In five months counting from today, I must organize a

A good objective must be accessible: you must set the stakes


at a level that your staff member can reach. What does that
mean? That other people have already reached this level of
performance within the company or in the market and that
your staff member also has the skills and means to achieve it.
An objective that is impossible to attain is worthless.

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How to use the SMART method to formulate


pertinent objectives that motivate
your staff

essentials

R as in Realistic
A good objective should be realistic, which means coherent
with the reality of the company. When you set an objective,
you should take the environment in which your company and
staff member are situated into account. This signifies two
things:

The objective should be in accord with the logic
of the market and the strategic orientations of the
company.

The objective should be adapted to your staff


members immediate environment. It should
be compatible with the objectives that you have
previously set them and with those that you have
given their colleagues.

The personalization of objectives


The more personalized your objectives are, the
more encouraging they are.

An objective can therefore be adapted to the


person it is destined for.

To personalize the objectives, you can play upon the


objectives degrees of accessibility and compatibility.
In fact:

what is accessible for one of your staff members
will not be for another.

what is compatible with one environment will not
be with another.

The objective can be more or less ambitious, all the while


remaining accessible.

An objective can be adapted to the environment


within which this person is developing.
The objective can be more or less personalized, all the while
remaining compatible.

10 golden rules
To set your staff members objectives, keep in mind
10 golden rules:

An objective should always be written in a simple
and concise fashion: a statement and a ratio on a
precise and concrete subject.

An objective is useful; it describes a result to be
attained for a client.

An objective should always be measurable,
quantifiable and accompanied by a timeframe for it
to be accomplished.

An objective should be ambitious in so far as that
is possible. It demands challenge and risk but
should always be realistic.

An objective should always be accepted, and
should encourage. It is the managers role to get
the staff member to subscribe to the objective. For
this, they should use the management mode that
is best adapted to the situation.

An objective always supposes there are means to


negotiate.
An objective whose goal is quantity (results) should
be weighted as much as possible by an objective
whose goal is quality (means).
An individual objective should always remain
coherent with the teams objectives.
O
 bjectives should not be too numerous and should
be arranged by order of priority.
An objective supposes the determination of an
obligatory step: follow up can provide corrections,
if necessary.

The contents of this page are the property of CrossKnowledge.


Any reproduction or representation for non-private use is strictly forbidden.

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