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Setting Resolutions That Work

January 01, 2016

Almost half of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent actually achieve them. Those aren’t great odds, but don’t let them deter you (after all, they’re much better than your chances of winning Powerball, right?). Setting goals is important, particularly workplace resolutions. Goals offer a roadmap for employee expectations and can significantly reduce conflict and confusion between employees and their managers. So stop floating through work, and set performance goals that help you to become a more effective employee.

One tried-and-true method for setting performance goals is following SMART criteria. SMART is a mnemonic acronym that stands for:

Specific

Be very specific about your performance goals: What are they? What results do you hope to achieve? What steps will you take to get there?

Measurable

How will you measure your performance? Without metrics, there's no way of knowing if you're accomplishing anything. You need a specific, quantitative performance measure. One example is returning 100 percent of customer inquiries within a 24-hour period.

Attainable

This is a big one. Be realistic about your goals. Remember, performance goals relate to your current job responsibilities. Take your past performance into account. Boosting your customer service rating by 250 percent might be unrealistic, for example.

Relevant

Ask yourself whether your performance goals align with your department’s or company's goals. It’s also important to make sure your goals are relevant to you. The closer they align to your specific job duties, the more committed you’ll be to achieving them.

Time-based

Goals need specific deadlines. Aaron Burr once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” You need deadlines to keep you on track and motivated. Make sure to break down your goals into smaller tasks and set deadlines for those as well.

Once you've set your performance goals, you need to be vigilant about revisiting them. Some people display them by their desk so they receive a daily reminder. Others share their goals for some accountability from their peers. Set up iCal or other mobile alerts to remind you of upcoming deadlines. Whatever your method, keeping reminders nearby can help you on the road to success.

Setting actionable, achievable, measurable goals is a key aspect of professional development. At Pacific Office Automation, we help our customers boost their productivity and shatter performance goals. As an award-winning office solutions provider, we are always looking for highly motivated, goal-oriented employees to join our fast-growing team. To find out more about career opportunities at Pacific Office, contact us today.

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