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Everyone knows how crucial teamwork is for a company’s success; working alone just isn’t as effective as collaborating with others. Tackling a big project with colleagues allows for multiple perspectives, and that’s a significant advantage. However, it’s not enough to simply work on a task together.
To truly succeed, you need to set and achieve goals as a team. That’s where SMART goals come in. Below, you’ll find some teamwork SMART goal examples to get started and boost your team’s efficiency.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART goals aren’t dreams you wish to achieve someday; they’re realistic. SMART is an acronym representing an effective system for creating actionable objectives. Having a plan is excellent, but you might find the team fizzling out without clear purpose and organization even before getting close to the finish line. Here’s what each of the letters stands for:
SMART goals are specific, addressing the “five Ws” of “who, what, when, where, and why.” A simple objective is a great starting point, but you can use the letter S and its five Ws to develop it further. One example is asking yourself each of those questions as you discuss the task with your team.
Vague goals without a way to measure success and progress can eventually become too overwhelming. Your team will need some standards to compare themselves to, and designing a simple metric will give everyone a significant motivation boost. With some degree of measurability, everyone gets a sense of clarity, which contributes to precision and helps everyone work toward expectations.
Of course, when you set targets, it’s not advised to ask too much of your team. Hard work can go far, but it may not help your team achieve the impossible. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interest that the targets are accessible, even if they take some time.
Without an achievable goal, you’ll start feeling frustrated, and everyone will gradually give up due to the inability to tackle the enormous task. Moderation is key.
Your team’s goal should be relevant to the company’s mission and vision to make it a worthy challenge. If your team knows how important their project is to the bigger picture, you’ll find them more likely to give their all.
Working toward a goal takes time, and time is valuable. Your colleagues must know that working toward this target is worth their hours. If they understand the vision, everyone will also collaborate more effectively.
Every practical goal has a deadline, and deadlines are meant to boost productivity and give us a sense of urgency. Daily, weekly, and even monthly plans should lead to annual objectives. How many of these layers is contingent on your project’s time frame.
With time limits in place, you can help everyone avoid procrastination and provide a source of motivation.
SMART goals have several advantages, especially for improving teamwork in the office. First, success increases significantly by setting realistic and achievable goals for the team.
We also have a detailed guide to SMART goals you can find by clicking here. It contains plenty of information on the use of these creative objectives.
Why SMART Goals Are Important for Improving Teamwork in the Workplace
When teams first start working on an assignment, they’re often at their best, with enthusiasm levels at their highest. However, as time passes and they labor toward the goal, managers will gradually find that motivation dissipates. However, SMART goals can alleviate this problem and keep workers motivated as they reach milestone after milestone.
Without SMART goals, creating a solid objective can become difficult. That’s not to say managers can’t succeed without the SMART goal system. However, it’s much easier using this framework.
The SMART goal system makes creating achievable objectives incredibly straightforward. Everyone can ask themselves the questions and move forward from there.
Even older, non-SMART goals can be salvaged or given upgrades to make them more accessible. By running them through this method, you’ll be surprised how your team will react. They’ll be more likely to invest time and effort toward these new goals.
SMART goals with a clear end vision are highly effective for both the manager and the team. Managers can direct more resources toward the bigger picture when everyone knows what to do. As a result, the risk of getting distracted becomes more negligible.
Clear objectives also improve time management. By adhering to the schedule, all team members will allocate time toward the proper goals.
One rarely discussed benefit of SMART goals is how they promote critical thinking. When setting these goals up, every team member is encouraged to provide their input and perspective. As a team leader, it’s your responsibility to hear everyone out and consider all the options.
Thus, when everyone makes suggestions with SMART goals in mind, you can gather the cream of the crop and implement them for the whole team. Managers can even discover new and creative ways to achieve goals they never considered.
5 SMART Goal Examples for Improving Teamwork in the Workplace
This section will contain several teamwork SMART goals examples. These practical tips are bound to boost collaboration for your team.
1. Reduce Worker Overtime
“We will work toward reducing worker overtime by 30% by September, which is in two months. To do this, we will focus on completing any incomplete projects before their deadlines. After this, we can tackle the less urgent assignments.”
S: This goal has a specific aim – to cut overtime.
M: The goal is measured by reducing overtime work by 30% by December.
A: This should be achievable by the team.
R: The goal will help workers become more time-efficient, boosting company profits.
T: The deadline is the month of September.
If your team isn’t performing at speeds you like and has to work overtime, you can try implementing this goal. A SMART goal like this tends to motivate the workers more, as they would prefer not to stay in the office for too long. The company will become more efficient after speeding up.
2. Boost Team Morale
“To boost team morale and help members get to know each other better, one member each week will plan an activity ahead of time for Friday. This activity is meant to be an icebreaker and will only take half an hour.”
S: The plan aims to improve teamwork.
M: The goal is measured by having one icebreaker activity per week each Friday.
A: This goal is highly achievable and good for team cohesion.
R: Playing games together will help coworkers get to know each other better and improve relationships.
T: The deadline is Friday of each week.
A team that can communicate adequately will work much better than a team of strangers. In addition, with the help of some fun icebreaker games, coworkers will find cooperating on projects more manageable. Thus, even some game time will contribute toward team morale.
Of course, the games have to be fun and not alienate anyone.
3. Give Feedback to Team Members
“As a manager, I’ll give each team member feedback once a week. I’ll let them know what they did correctly and some areas they can improve. This will help them become better at their jobs and improve communication.”
S: The goal is to improve feedback culture and provide growth opportunities.
M: Give each team member feedback once a week.
A: This goal can be achieved by any supervisor wanting to build trust with their employees.
R: As feedback helps team members grow, the team will know what to work on in the future. The team’s quality of work will increase.
T: The goal has a deadline of one week, to be repeated.
4. Make Sure Team Members Attend Workshops
“The company offers several workshops each year. By asking the team members to attend at least one workshop annually, they can learn advanced skills and better team effectiveness. These new skills should be focused on better teamwork when collaborating on projects.”
S: This goal will help all workers acquire better skills that they can use to improve teamwork on collaborative projects.
M: Team members will attend one workshop focused on improving teamwork skills.
A: The goal is easily achievable.
R: Since workshops can improve team members’ collaborative skills, it’s a great idea to ask colleagues to attend one. That way, the team’s performance will improve.
T: The deadline for this goal is the end of the current year.
5. Review Procedures and Processes
“As the team leader, I’ll organize a meeting twice a month to review our procedures and processes. If there’s room for improvement, we’ll implement some new ideas. Doing so will help everyone learn how to work together better than before.”
S: This goal will help coworkers better understand how other team members approach projects.
M: The team members will attend a meeting twice a month to review the standard operating procedure.
A: This goal is not too difficult to accomplish.
R: As teammates ought to know how to mesh with each other and collaborate efficiently on projects, it’s excellent for boosting numbers. Better numbers will drive company performance up as well.
T: This goal has a deadline of six months.
Final Thoughts on SMART Goals to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace
Our teamwork SMART goals examples will help you improve your coworkers’ collaboration skills. Setting these types of goals while looking at the bigger picture will also increase the chances of success. Feel free to experiment and listen to your colleagues’ feedback.
If you’re also interested in some SMART goals for communication, you can find them here.
And for some inspiration, here's our top picks for best songs about teams and working together and our roundup of teamwork quotes.
And if you want more SMART goal ideas and examples, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 15 Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Your Workplace
- 6 SMART Goals Examples to Support Diversity & Inclusion
- 15 SMART Goals Examples for HR (Human Resources) Professionals
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.