The ART of Effective Goal Setting

Regular readers of HR Bartender know I’m a fan of SMART
goal setting. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, actionable,
responsible, and time bound. I think it’s a very flexible model and can be used
for multiple activities – everything from operational plans to meeting minutes
to individual goals.

Last year, at Saba
Software’s Insight Conference, I learned a new way to use SMART. And that’s
to write it backwards. Yep, turn SMART into TRAMS. While the letters still
represent the same concepts, it does allow us to approach goal setting a little

Time bound. When do we need
to have something done? Meaning, what’s our deadline? Often a deadline drives what
actions the organization is able to take.

Responsible. Who needs to be
involved? Those people need to be in the room during the decision making and
goal setting process.

Actionable. What are we
trying to accomplish? In addition, this is an opportunity for the organization
to ensure that the team has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the job

Measurable. What’s the
expected outcome? Then, the organization should define how they will measure
the outcome and where the data will come from.

Specific. Is the goal easy
to understand? Everyone on the team needs to be able to talk about the goal and
how it will be accomplished.

When I use the traditional SMART model, I think of it as a goal
setting guide. Specific – What do we want to do? Measurable – How will we know
when we get there? Actionable – What are the steps or actions we need to take? Responsible
– Who will do them? And time bound – When will it be done? SMART goes from high
level ideas to the nitty gritty details.

With TRAMS, it feels more like goal achievement. Time bound
– When do we want to see results? Responsible – Who’s on the team? Actionable –
What are we going to do? Measurable – What outcomes are we hoping for? And
specific – Can everyone understand it? TRAMS takes the conversation from
details to a plan of action.

Depending on your situation, both SMART and TRAMS can be
good. Now more than ever, organizations and individuals are going to want a
proven goal setting model to help them stay focused. This approach allows
users to take a model they already know and flex it to meet their specific

Right now, employees might be trying to adjust to a new
normal, such
as working from home. These changes do take some getting used to. But at
some point, employees will want to focus on being productive because it feels
good to get stuff done. That’s where goal setting comes in.

Organizations and managers have a goal of helping and supporting their employees. Part of that includes giving them tools – like SMART and TRAMS. Not only will it help employees work though temporary and short-term changes, but it will help them accomplish the organization’s big long-term projects.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Arts District in Miami, FL
The post The ART of Effective Goal Setting appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 22nd March 2020, 18:01


About Christian

Talent Scout, Human Resource Management, Talent Management , Learning & Development, Organisational Development, Change Management, Psychology, Neuropsychology.

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