You’ve done it. You have worked hard on the objectives of your team and made them S.M.A.R.T. Everyone knows what they are and have gone away happy from your 1-2-1 with them. You have gone away knowing what is going to get done and when because each part of the objective has been covered, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Good work you…

But then, after the objective setting, in the performance stage you begin to realize that the objectives aren’t quite being met. This could be for many reasons, do your team know how to meet the objective? Have they got the skills to go ahead? You ask yourself what was it you missed…


S.M.A.R.T objectives work really well for organisation’s but there is one thing missing, and it is really big. The motivation to go ahead and complete what needs to be done. Do they really want to meet this goal that has been set.

If we change “Measurable” to “Motivating” we can then begin to get even better results by knowing that everyone is not just going away happy but motivated to complete the task or goal. This doesn’t mean that we remove the measures, we can change “Time-bound” to “Trackable” and now you have a close to perfect S.M.A.R.T objective.

Because S.M.A.R.T goals are S.M.A.R.T through being Specific and Trackable, review the goal in that order—S.T.R.A.M. Thinking S.T.R.A.M (vs. S.M.A.R.T) will actually help you write SMART goals.

  • Specific:
    • What exactly is the goal or task and what does a good job look like?
    • Is it an outcome? Does it explain how much or, how well, someone will do something?
  • Trackable:
    • Does the goal describe how and when you measure progress?
  • Motivating:
    • Will the goal add or drain energy for the person completing it?
    • Does it make people want to go the extra mile, are they passionate about wanting to complete the goal?
    • Is the goal significant? Most people want to know they are making a difference
  • Attainable:
    • Is it realistic that the person can complete the goal?
    • Are there any barriers that will top the goal from being completed?
  • Relevant:
    • Is the goal aligned with the needs of the business as well as the individual?
    • Once the goal is complete will it have had a significant effect on results?

The R, A, and M criteria for a SMART goal or task should be discussed, but probably won’t be visible in the written goal statement.

Rate your goal setting skills on a scale from 0 to 100. If your team members had an “applause-o-meter,” how much applause would they give you for your goal setting skills?

Take a look at the goals that are in place and if they are really S.M.A.R.T?