Being SMART With Your Employees

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 31, 2009

Bad performance reviews are rarely welcomed—especially when they’re unexpected. Employees who believe they are performing satisfactorily, only to receive poor reviews, will not be happy. Worse, they could lose faith in their managers and become disengaged from their jobs altogether. Therefore, it is imperative that you, as a manager, do a few simple things to ensure that your employees constantly know where they stand.

  • Establish SMART objectives. The acronym SMART stands for the following:
    • S = Specific. Define what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, who needs to be involved, and what the reasons or benefits are for accomplishing this goal.
    • M = Measurable. Establish concrete criteria for achieving the goal.
    • A = Attainable. The individual must have the skills and resources necessary to achieve the goal.
    • R = Realistic. To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.
    • T = Timebound. A goal must have a timeframe for accomplishment. With no timeframe, there is no sense of urgency.
  • Create a process and timeframe for review and feedback. This could range from weekly status updates on projects, to monthly planning sessions, to formal quarterly reviews. I have long held the belief that we should operate under a managerial philosophy of no surprises. When you deliver your formal review at the end of the year, it should contain feedback that you have articulated previously.
  • Maintain the process that you create. Too often, managers establish a timetable for review but allow it to lapse because other priorities overtake them.

Human capital is one of a company’s most valuable assets. Managers cannot forget that and must remember that employees should be a No. 1 priority.

Bob Kustka
President
The Fusion Factor
Norwell, Mass.

Reader Comments

homer

April 1, 2009 12:52 AM

they are all nothing but s.m.a.r.t. over at home depot,been that way since nardelly brought in the hr people!

cna training

May 23, 2010 3:34 AM

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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