HR Administration

Dear Workforce We Use the SMART Format For Setting Goals. Which Appraisal System Best Suits Us?

By Staff Report

Sep. 7, 2011

Dear Smarter:

The first step in your appraisal system should be to establish goals, and to make them “SMART.” The acronym stands for goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

In construction, the organizational structure is typically based upon projects. Therefore, a company’s performance management system usually follows the project framework. Because each project has its own goals—including revenue, budget and timelines—you will likely want to develop goals on a project-by-project basis. It is the job of management to align the overall project goals, the manager goals and the individual goals to bring the project home on time and on budget.

Your company should make the overall project-based goals clearly visible to the members of each project team. Within the project, individuals should then be assigned specific responsibility to do their part to achieve the overall project goals.

Writing SMART goals

One special consideration in a project-based business is that the timing of performance feedback and goal setting typically follows the timeline of the projects. And because a project may wrap up at any time during the year, when people are reassigned from one project to the next, they usually must also update their goals.

Specific goals:

• Are concise.

• State a clearly observable result.

• Identify a specific reference point from which to track progress.

Measurable goals:

• Quantify the expected result (includes number, percentage and frequency).

• Describe the criteria by which the result will be evaluated.

Attainable goals are:

• Challenging, but within reach of the person doing the work.

• Have a realistic time frame.

• Do not present unrealistic barriers to achievement.

Relevant goals are:

• Aligned across the company from individual goals through higher goals and strategies.

• Integrate the company’s values into the objectives.

Time-bound goals:

• Identify the expected deadline for completion.

• Identify the frequency or duration of the project.

SOURCE: Patsy Svare, managing director, Chatfield Group, Glenview, Illinois

LEARN MORE: It can be helpful to remember the role that job analysis can play in defining roles and responsibilities.

Workforce Management Online, March 2011Register Now!

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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