Are you working SMART? And by this readers, I am not talking where you are up to intellectually!
I am talking SMART goals – one of those lovely business acronyms you are bound to have stumbled across at one point or other during a training session over the years, but are likely to have shelved soon after.
Let me refresh your memory on what it stands for in relation to goal setting:
I was a trainer for seven years, and me and SMART became close in that time, making many a session go more smoothly than if I had not employed it’s services.
Non SMART target for next session – “have a go at the Food Safety workbook”
Learner translation – I will pick up workbook, maybe open it, probably decide it is too hard and not bother. Potentially lose it. When did I need to do it by? She never said. Therefore, won’t bother.
RESULT – non completion of work, falling behind expected schedule for completion. More pressure on myself and also the learner as double the work for next visit.
SMART target would be – “Read section one of Food Safety workbook and complete questions 1 to 3 at the end of the section, ready to review on our next visit – 14th March.”
Specific – YES – Read section 1, complete questions 1 to 3
Measurable – YES – measurable by completion of questions successfully
Achievable – YES – the appointment is 3 weeks away, I estimate it will take 30 minutes based on my experience, so timescale enables this
Realistic – YES – I feel my learner will have 30 minutes free in next 3 weeks to complete this
Timebound – YES – deadline date of 14th March
RESULT – we are both clear on the expected outcome and there is accountability on both sides.
My point – get SMART with your clients!
Without saying the words, ask the right questions of your clients to enable SMART objectives to come from a brief.
‘Create social media content’ becomes
‘Create and schedule three posts per week for Facebook – Sunday, Wednesday and Friday 8pm. Schedule four weeks’ worth. Scheduling to be completed by 3rd March’
What could go wrong?
If you don’t ask the right questions to get the specifics of the task from your client, one or both sides of the table is going to be left feeling short changed. Either the client, from a perceived sense of your Virtual Assistant service falling short, or yourself for not charging the correct Virtual Assistant fees for what has become a larger than anticipated task.
If you need any help setting SMART targets, get in touch!