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6 Tips for Setting Team Goals that are More than SMART

person climbing stairsIn a previous blog, we acknowledged the importance of SMART goals and their significance in TMS’ formalised change management process. To refresh, SMART stands for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. The blog also explores how SMART goals are effective when setting and sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

While SMART goals are crucial to developing structured and accountable goals for individuals and teams, there are many other factors that require consideration. Today’s blog explores six tips which will make your team goals SMARTer.



  1. Ask yourself, ‘what do I want to achieve?’
    Before any team communication, genuinely consider the purpose of the goals you aim to set for your team. If your goal is to become more productive further ask yourself why.
    Find the root cause and use this to pitch to your team. Your display of dedication and thought toward this goal will inspire your team to see its importance.
  2. Treat your first meeting with high importance.
    This is where sharing your vision with the team and gaining commitment is key. Where possible, hold this meeting face-to-face.
    Ensure you are motivating your team and allowing an open dialogue throughout the meeting. Allocate extra time following this meeting to accommodate additional questions and concerns.
    Do not finalise goals at the end of a short staff meeting; take time to develop the goals thoroughly. Document any goal decisions in your meeting notes. Encourage team members to set individual SMART sub-goals which are aligned with the team goal. Ensure your team goals are aligned with corporate direction.
  3. Set specific deadlines.
    As recognised by the ‘T’ in SMART, making your goals time-bound is critical. Set your targets in accordance to its workload. Take your time when developing your team timelines. Do not be shy of setting smaller and more frequent deadlines; this can keep your team motivated and will allow your team to see progress much sooner.
  4. Develop a methodology for gathering and analysing data.
    This will allow team members to understand how the goals were achieved and agree as to whether the desired outcome was accomplished.
    Try using a project-planning tool, which uses visuals or infographics to represent project milestones, require actions and deliverables. Make the commitment to using these tools correctly and your team will follow.
  5. Meet and review goal process and remaining actions.
    Help your team stay focused by keeping track of your goals. This will also allow you to review plans frequently. As life, technology, markets, demands and the economy all change, it is important to review and adapt your goals to account for changing circumstances.
  6. Learn from your mistakes
    The reality is, not all goals will be achieved. Upon reflection, some goals may have been developed wrongly or, unforeseen circumstances prevent these goals from being achieved. It is important to reflect on why the goals were not met and how to avoid hindrance in the future.Overall, team goals require teamwork meaning every team member must put in the required work, as Helen Keller once said, ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’.

If your team or organisation needs help with team goal setting, please contact us to find out more about our team development services.


About the author

TMS Consulting