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Have you got an inkling that your team could be even more productive or effective? Do you have hard working, talented and motivated team members who aren’t reaching their full potential, individually or collectively? A lack of clear and specific goals may be what’s holding them back.

We know that having goals gives us direction for our efforts and focus. Stating a goal (or even better, writing it down) helps us intensify our focus and determination to reach it – thus increasing our likelihood of success!

Experiment with goal setting at every level of your organization to:

  • have a greater chance at meeting your company’s strategic objectives
  • increase employee engagement, inviting collaboration from your team in setting the goals so each team member buys-in to their goals
  • develop a rewards structure that’s aligned with your organization’s strategic goals
  • create opportunities for team collaboration to meet team goals (for team rewards)
  • create moments for team celebration

Set high-level, organizational goals first. Then encourage the team to brainstorm their team and individual

Take a look at the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model and give yourself and your team the best chance at success.



– No vague, wishy-washy goals! To set a specific goal, answer the five “W” questions:

Who- Who is involved?
What- What exactly do you want to accomplish?
Where- Identify a location or area for the activity.
When-  Create a specific timeframe or deadline.
Why- Identify distinct reasons, a specific purpose, or benefits of accomplishing the set goal.


– How will you know when you’ve been successful – or whether you are on the right track? Establish the criteria and milestones for measuring your progress while you work towards your goal.

How creating milestones can help measure progress:

You stay on track and committed to your timeline
You know if you need to course-correct or make changes to the plan.
You see what’s working best for you and your team as you go, so you can do more of what works.


– When you identify your goal and determine how you are going to achieve your goal, you see how attainable it is, how much effort it will require, and what skills are needed too.

Look at the workload required to achieve your goal and be sure that it will not get in the way of other priorities or projects you have underway. Ensure you have sufficient time to dedicate to achieving your goal.


– A realistic goal should represent an objective you are both willing and able to work toward. Just because you have set a very ambitious goal, does not mean it is unrealistic. As long as you have the time, energy, and determination to put into it, you can achieve your goal.


– No goal is achievable if you don’t prioritize the time for it. All goals should have a detailed time frame or deadline.

If you have estimated a timeline but then notice that events or circumstances are pushing you off course, don’t worry! You can simply adjust your timelines and course-correct to plot a new pathway with new target milestones.

SMART Goals provide the clarity and focus needed to maximize the return on your efforts. They also help you avoid overlooking small or large details that will impact your progress toward achieving your goals. The SMART model is a great tool for keeping your goals top of mind as you prioritize your work and activities, and it can also help build team cohesion when the goals are team-based!