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New (school) year, new goals

It’s the start of the new school year, which sadly means the wonderful empty morning motorways and homework-less evenings are coming to a close. Over the next few weeks, teachers will be encouraging their pupils to think about goals and objectives for the year ahead, but why stop there?

Despite it being a time that many dread, from the traffic jams and long commutes to the darkness as the days get shorter, why not use this time as an opportunity to set some milestones and targets for yourself, your team or your employees?

As any successful business will know, there is always room for development and growth and setting goals is crucial for success. Having clear well-defined goals can help your business grow, help everyone understand the direction the business is heading in, and ultimately help you achieve your objectives.

When it comes to setting goals with your team, a good place to start is the SMART system. All goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time-based. By following these steps, you can put a simple goal-setting process in place and, in turn, boost engagement, align strategy, and improve performance.

1. Specific - When setting goals, it is important for both you and your employees to have clear and established aims. The more specific a goal is, the better the chances of success. Avoid setting goals so broad that they are overwhelming or too difficult to set into action, or ones that are vague and don’t achieve anything specific.

2. Measurable – Once you have a goal set, it’s important to be able to measure the success or completion of the goal. If it’s something that will take several months to complete, consider breaking the goal down into milestones. This will allow you to keep track of the progress in the workplace, for both you as a leader and your team members.

3. Assignable – All goals must be assigned to someone, whether it be yourself, your team, or individuals. If you are working towards a goal as a team, remember to ensure that someone is responsible for implementing the actions, keeping those involved motivated and tracking the progress.

4. Relevant – It is important that any goals are relevant to the aims and objectives of the business. Ensuring employee goals are relevant is especially important when linking them to that of the department or the business as a whole. One way to motivate your employees is to make sure they know how their work is contributing to the bigger picture.

5. Time based - Every goal needs to have a deadline, to ensure that those involved have a target to work towards. If a goal lacks realistic timing, chances are it’s not going to succeed. Whether the goals are for yourself, or involve others, ensure that the appropriate time frame is provided so that neither you nor your team members are left feeling discouraged.

Whether you're embarking on a new project or welcoming new employees, these are great opportunities to think about what you want to achieve and the steps to be taken to do this. It's about understanding what the expected result will be, the time frame that needs to be devoted to reaching the end point, and the route for reaching the goal.

At Aspire, we are experienced in providing a range of leadership and management development solutions aligned to your exact needs and requirements. Explore our range of development solutions, take a look at some of the results we've helped our clients achieve or call 01422 241964 to speak to a member of the team about how we can support you to achieve your personal or business goals.

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