A Winning Team Makes S.M.A.R.T. Goals


S. M.A.R.T. goals! Today we have a guest post from the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance. The University of Notre Dame offers higher education opportunities through a variety of online executive certificates, including leadership and management, and negotiations. You can find out more about the courses they offer at this link http://www.notredameonline.com/

S.M.A.R.T. goals

A Winning Team Makes S.M.A.R.T. Goals

When applying S.M.A.R.T goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound – to project management and organisational team building, leaders should take a deeper look at the application of motivation in the creation of effective work groups. Similar to an established sports team that plays as a cohesive unit achieving goals as a group – that is simply unattainable alone – a strong leader can use motivation to propel the momentum of team goals forward. Keep these tips in mind when building a team of excellence:

1. Motivation is a planned activity

Just as a well orchestrated series of athletic exercises builds the stamina and cohesion of a sports team, a thoughtful goal-setting program sets the pace for individuals and work groups. Each individual should identify clear goals that are precisely aligned to his or her work description. From there, managers take on the role of coach and mentor by providing ongoing feedback. It is important to understand if, and when, “time outs” to make goal adjustment are necessary. Motivation is an ongoing person-to-person activity. On an individual level, the specific needs of an employee should be satisfied, while maintaining focus on the team’s overall objectives.

2. Motivation requires versatility

Any certified and seasoned business process manager can vouch that excellent communication skills are vital for long term success. Effective leaders understand the nuances of each team member’s role and skill set, and how those skills and perspectives fit into the larger picture. Goal-setting, monitoring, and evaluation should reflect ongoing motivation that is specific and relevant to an individual’s position within the company. Every person in the organisation needs to feel that his or her contribution is important and valued. Keeping track of progress in the form of reports can help others on the team and in the company celebrate achievements. This also highlights problem areas that require redirection or strategy improvement.

3. Motivation builds collective success, not necessarily a finite “Win”

Effective motivation within the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework recognises that achieving benchmarks such as increased efficiency, profitability, and marketability is about the process, not the final destination. All effective goals dovetail into more extensive ambitions that involve sustained stamina and a dedication to the values-driven commitment of every level of contribution. Some goals will be tailored, traded for other goals, and some will be so long-reaching that exceptional ongoing motivation is vital to ensure forward momentum. An effective leader needs to understand and apply a versatile skill set when coordinating with other leaders and when energising employees. When goals cannot be achieved, the learning process involved can be just as significant as the initial goal. “SMART” leaders make the most of teachable moments.

4. Coaches need motivation too

Seasoned team leaders will tell you that one of the secrets to professional longevity is taking time to feed yourself professionally. Every great coach takes time out to recharge. You will be more effective over the long haul if you schedule time to regularly do what you need to do to replenish your motivational reserves. Your team demands your time, energy, and attention. You owe it to yourself and your team to plan – schedule time in a way that is conducive to longevity. Staggered reviews, budgeted down time, and invigorating networking events are all notable ways to sustain motivational skills.

In combination with implementing specific goals that are attainable and are easily tracked, motivating employees requires skill, versatility, and stamina. While your daily coaching life may not be as exciting as travelling the circuit with a professional sports team, carefully examining the many facets of motivation when applying S.M.A.R.T. goals to your team is imperative. Motivation skills that are up to par ensure that your team finds its own special brand of excellence and plays the game with pride, dedication, and commitment for many years to come.

The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance, has provided this article. The University of Notre Dame offers higher education opportunities through a variety of online executive certificates, including leadership and management, and negotiations. To find out additional information about the courses offered please visit http://www.notredameonline.com/