Effective goal setting program for a leadership team

To have an effective goal setting program for a team, one must share the same vision, mission, values, and goals.  Goals are created to achieve the mission of the organization, so that they may get closer to their vision that they value.  The goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bounded.  Goal is the foundation of vision, mission, and values, so it should cover all the aspects to motivate the team.

As for me, a goal setting program for a leadership team requires SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound) as a checklist for all components of a structured goal, include initial, midterm, and final feedback, and consider individual team member’s values.

Let’s start with setting a SMART checklist.  First, goals should be simple and clearly define what needs to be done.  Be sure to explain what, how, and why.  Experiencing the roles of both a team member and a team leader, being told the reason “why” is a great way to keep the team members motivated.

The goal should also be measurable.  If you have used Microsoft project before, you probably have experience in measuring both short term and long term goals.  The due dates and required numbers are all tangible evidence that is measurable.

The goal should also be achievable.  You must factor in things like facilities, tools, manning, and more to see if the goal is achievable in the first place.  The “achievable” factor of SMART also ties into the factor “time bound”, because time is a major factor that you must consider when you want to know if the goal is achievable.

Not properly considering “achievable” and “time bound” factors will cause the team to not achieve its goals.  For example, If the time allotted to reach the goal is more than they need, teams may procrastinate, believing they have plenty of time.  This also applies if the goal is too easy for the team.

If the given time is too little or if it’s not achievable for the current team members, they may cheat or take unnecessary risks.  Worst of all, the team members may settle for less, when they are more than capable of providing higher quality work.

Lastly, the goal should be result focused.  The program should measure the outcomes and continuously monitored to see if it can be adjusted.  This is where the feedbacks ties into the program.

Feedbacks are needed so that the goals can be adjusted.  This is done so that the members won’t lose momentum and motivation if the goal seems too difficult to achieve.  During the feedback sessions, goals will be assessed and adjusted as necessary.  Time may also be adjusted to assess what is truly necessary to produce the behaviors needed for success.  The program needs to also calculate attrition as well as unaccounted tools needed to achieve the goal.  The program might have missed unaccounted liabilities as well as sunk costs.  This is something that needs to be addressed during the feedback, so that the initial, midterm, and final feedbacks can be compared to further improve the program.

Lastly, the program should consider individual team member’s values.  The program should be made with the team members and not for them, so that if there are any vague ideas, it can be elaborated.  There might also be other variable inputs that wouldn’t have come about without members input.  Members are individuals who might bring different values, beliefs, agendas, and experience to the team.

Each individual member should have specific goals assigned to them that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.  To do this, a culture should be created.  The program should help recognize and encourage behaviors that help everyone achieve their goals.  Ideas like implementing group competitions to celebrate and recognize impactful results is a great example.  Group activities will engage the team members to interact and will help each other recognize and utilize what others have that they don’t.

It’d be nice to implement program where the management will not only guide directions, but provide specific challenge that makes a particular person think outside the box.  This will energize that one individual because it will utilize his or her talent that no one knew about.  By placing each individual in multiple simulated roles or team activities, you can highlight each person’s talent.

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