Writing and Training Managers in SMART objectives

How do we start training and developing our managers in writing SMART objectives?

Setting and writing goals and objectives

Correct size ball for the appropriate goal?

Please also see How to Write SMART objectives. So how do we go about training managers in 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.”

Writing and Training Managers in SMART objectives
My reply to this was essentially…

It all depends 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. It 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 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
READ  What is Performance Management? CIPD Research

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? The problem is somewhere else? E.g. lack of clear goals, understanding of the process, 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?

How to Write SMART objectives.

First Published on: Sep 23, 2008

About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is founder of RapidBI
Mike is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.
Check out his linkedin profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemorrisonrapidbi

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