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On SMART objectives, specific & realistic

Objectives in performance management systems should be SMART. This stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound. Wikipedia quotes the original idea as appearing in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.

The two most important for us as employees/union reps is the specific and realistic criteria. Without a concrete measurement neither management nor the employee can know if these goals are achieved. Unrealistic goals, especially those for which the employee/worker has no control are also unfair. For instance, we might contest that a financial target relying on customer response is unfair as the employee/worker has no control on either whom their customers are, or on their decision making processes and thus the goal is unachievable. We might also contest the goal of 100% accuracy as unrealistic and the time limits offered for improvement can also make reasonable & fair goals become unrealistic.

Posted: 4th December 2020

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