Setting clear goals with remote teams helps keep them focused and on the right track. The best method involves using SMART goals. If you are not familiar with these yet, here is a brief overview:
Specific – Goals need to be clearly outlined so employees know what to strive for.
Measurable –What will the successful completion of the goal look like? If it is subjective “Need to get better client ratings”, there is room to argue if they have indeed succeeded reaching the goal. Is .001% increase in ratings successful? It is better than a zero. Instead set a metric such as “Need to have at least 85% “Excellent” client ratings.
Attainable – On the flip side, if goals are too hard, ones in which most people are unlikely to reach them, people won’t feel motivated to try. Is asking the team to “Increase your business by 100% this year” really feasible? Make sure you set reasonable goals that people can obtain.
Results Oriented (or Relevant) – The goal needs to serve a purpose. If a goal is something that everyone does anyway (e.g., “Spell check your emails”), it isn’t very motivating and becomes more of a busy work task in tracking it. These types of things should just be noted in an overall team process handbook, or in training. Instead, you want your goals to motivate people to stretch.
Time Based – This can be another subjective area. Make sure it is clear and concise when each metric should be obtained. “You need to have at least 85% ‘Excellent’ client ratings by the last day of the month.” Everyone is better motivated when they can keep a deadline date or timeframe in sight.
When setting goals for your team or individuals, use the SMART goal criteria to make sure they are clear, effective, and motivating.
by Jenny Douras