How do we start training and developing our managers in writing SMART objectives?
Please also see Writing SMART objectives. So how do we go about training managers in developing and writing SMART objectives?
This is always an interesting topic. the following was recently posted on a community forum:
“We are currently reviewing our appraisal process. We have realised our line managers need training on how to set clear SMART objectives. Has anyone got any information that they have used to train managers on this area?
I am looking for something to use that is clear and easy to understand. For the managers to be able to go away and set SMART objectives during employee appraisals.
Any help or information would be great.”
My reply to this was essentially…
It all depends on what type of objectives you want to train the managers in.
I have found that most trainers think you can train the acronym and that is job done. It is not.
It is a great starting point. The SMART acronym is NOT an end in itself. In reality, SMART is more than an acronym. It is a tool to develop people, improve clarity and increase productivity.
The SMART objective approach is more than just a formula. It’s more of a philosophy that takes some getting used to Managers need to understand the context in which they are operating. This needs to be a fundamental part of any training or development solution. For example, managers rarely have a problem with the SMART but have problem deriving the context. In which case I would run different sessions –
- Writing SMARTer learning objectives
- Writing SMARTer performance goals… etc
Where is the real problem?
A manager’s ability or inability to write effective objectives is usually a symptom of another problem. Why do many of those in learning and development insist on training people in techniques? Is the problem somewhere else? E.g. lack of clear goals, understanding of the process, the wrong person without the skills, attitude?
As professionals, we in learning and development and consultants need to get smarter ourselves. We have to stop putting plasters (Band-aids) on wounds that need a different solution. Stitches anyone?
Look at a complete Training Needs Analysis. It is easy to jump to a solution that says training in writing is the issue.
Training managers in smart objectives
So what will you do when training managers in writing SMART objectives?
First Published on: Sep 23, 2008