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Time to Set a SMART Goal

As we approach the end of yet another year, it's time to get prepared for the next one.  One thing most safety-conscious companies do is set employee health and safety goals.  By doing so, companies are forced to review their current situation and increase awareness. Just doing this can greatly improve the possibility of reducing the frequency and severity of injuries. 

How you set your goals can vary by the number of people involved in the process.  While it can be cumbersome to include everyone, the truth is you have a better chance of succeeding if everyone is pulling on the rope.  The more owners, managers and especially front-line supervisors participating in any goal-setting process, the better the buy-in and the better chance you’ll succeed as an organization.  Let's face it, if owners, managers and front-line supervisors aren’t buying in, you are not going to meet the goal.

Some companies are small enough so that the decision-makers can knock out a set of goals in about an hour.  Larger businesses may need to get more creative and/or invest more time.  In either case, there are some basic things you should consider about setting a goal. We call them SMART goals.  Here is what comprises such a goal:

SMART Goal:
    Specific
    Measurable/Verifiable
    Agreed Upon
    Realistic
    Time-Framed

This approach is not new. MEMIC has been using SMART Goals for many years in our Leadership Training classes.  By touching on all five of these items you will be improving on the accuracy and overall ability to hit your target.  Incidentally, this same process can be used in the areas of productivity and quality as well. And with 2009 fast approaching, now is the time to set your goals.

Make sure you communicate the goals to everyone in the organization- not just at the beginning of the year, but repeatedly throughout the year.

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