HR advice, business advice and mentoring advice is floating around the internet by the truckload. Some of it is in this Blog. Some of it is helpful and some of it can be difficult to apply. Too often, we attend conferences or read books telling us to “focus” or “work harder” but there isn’t much information out there on how to execute.
“Execution is the game.” - Gary Vaynerchuck
It’s great to have a philosophy and values, but coming up with an action plan to implement these things and reach goals can often be daunting.
SMART plans are a flexible and effective way to not only set goals, but enforce accountability so they actually get done.
A word of warning: Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a “planning specialist” who has folders up folders and word docs with the most perfectly laid out SMART plans the universe has ever seen but they never come to fruition. Plans don’t achieve goals. Work - in alignment and controlled by plans - achieves goals.
SMART is an acronym:
Specific: A detailed and concise statement of what you are trying to get done. Name the who, what, where and when and why of the goals you are setting out to achieve.
Measurable: Without a yardstick by which to measure success you never know if you are getting anywhere. An obvious yardstick is profit. Depending on your goals, profit might not be the best things to look at. For instance, if you are launching a mentoring program one of the metrics you might monitor would be retention rates.
Achievable: Sketch out achievable targets and step-by-step actions which will eventually lead to the obtaining of your goals. This step can be referred to as the “attainable” step. The key is to lay out real actions that you are going to take, such as “Call every client this week and survey them for referrals.”
Responsible: To get an “achievable” step done it needs to be assigned to someone. For example that action step: “Call every client this week and survey them for referrals” could be assigned to a Sales Rep. That Sales Rep needs to be held responsible and followed up with to ensure he gets the action step completed. TIP: Get reports and summaries written up after each action step is taken so you can control and supervise what’s happening.
Time: The actions steps and targets set need to be set against time. For example: “Target X needs to get done by Friday.” Without timetables and deadlines, actions can drag out forever.
SMART plans are great tool to achieve goals. You can use them to map out how you are going to get where you want to go with your life and/or company. They also can act as a great organizational tool. Effective managers will take SMART plans and distribute copies to all the staff of a department who are involved. This way, everyone knows what the other team members are doing and thinking. Everyone can see which action steps everyone is responsible for. SMART plans also can make meetings much for effective and concise as they can be used as an outline by managers to guide the meeting so it doesn’t lag or bounce around aimlessly.
Have some goals you want to achieve? Does your team need direction? Try writing out a SMART plan and using it to get results.
Mentor Resources can help any company to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.
Reach out to us today for Free Demonstration of our software.