EMS – Tips for Setting Meaningful Goals and Targets


Setting goals and targets is an essential step to create a culture of continuous improvement.  After you have analyzed the aspects and impacts associated with your property and assigned them a score, it is time to set some goals and targets.  Without a target, you will never know if you’ve been successful.

Yogi Berra said “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”.

The following are some tips for creating successful goals and targets:

  1. Write them down.  A goal is only a wish if you don’t write them down.
  2. Make them SMART goals, that is:
    • Specific – Make your goals specific and well defined.  A goal to reduce water consumption by 10% is an example of a specific goal.  This example will achieve better results than a vague goal of simply “reduce water consumption”.
    • Measurable – Put some numbers to it.  If you can’t measure it, it isn’t specific.  A specific number will allow you to review your progress and focus your team on the end target.
    • Assignable – Who is responsible for following through and completing the goal?
    • Realistic – It’s okay to create a vision for your organization which is based on “reaching for the stars”, but keep your goals realistic.  If everyone does their part, the goal should be attainable.
    • Time based – Set a specific deadline for when you expect to achieve the goal or target.
  3. Create specific action plans in alignment with and targeted at achieving your goals.  This is your roadmap for how you are going to get there.  For example, if you don’t have any specific actions or projects to reduce water consumption, how will you ever achieve the 10% reduction?
  4. Set milestones.  Where should you be with respect to your goal three months from now?
  5. Track your progress.  Set specific dates to review your progress and check progress against your milestones.  Do you need to make adjustments to achieve your goal?
  6. Review and communicate.  After you have reached your deadline, review the goals and evaluate how successful you were in achieving the desired outcomes.  Communicate the results with the team, and celebrate your successes.

Setting meaningful goals and targets will lead to a culture of continuous improvement within your organization.  What has helped you to set successful goals? Please share your comments and feedback below.


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