One way for a leader to enhance employee engagement is to build performance management based on SMART goals. Employees are more likely to own the goals and be actively engaged in achieving them if they are allowed to co-create those goals. Let me briefly explain SMART goals as it pertains to setting expectations for performance and employee engagement:
S- Specific: Goals should be very specific in nature and easy to understand.
M- Measurable: Goals must be easily measurable either in results or frequency or both and there needs to be an easy way to access the number.
A- Attainable: Goals must be within the power and influence of the person responsible for the goal.
R- Realistic: The goal must be a stretch goal but not so much that it is impossible to hit. It must be realistic.
T- Time bound: The goal must have time parameters.
So, let me give you a couple examples of leadership behaviors set in a SMART goal format.
Example one: Let’s pretend you have a sales manager who leads 20 sales people and you believe that customers are critically important to your success. One SMART goal you might encourage is for the sales manager to execute 10 business reviews per quarter from top 50 customers. If you run the SMART test past this statement you will see it is passes.
Example two: You have a COO of a 100 employee company and you ask him to execute a SMART goal of encouraging the constituent’s heart. A SMART goal might be: Write 5 personal handwritten notes to different employees every week for 26 weeks then repeat.
The best way to write these goals is WITH your leaders. Resist the temptation to dictate the goals but teach them the SMART goal method and create them alongside them. With this practice you will truly get higher levels of employee engagement at all levels.