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John began to research goal-setting theory and learned that for goals to be successful as motivators there are several factors that are necessary (Redmond, 2011).  First, there must be acceptance and commitment to the goal.  Second, the goals must be specific in their language and must be directly related to a specific end result.  Third, they must be difficult enough to pose a challenge but not too difficult that they cannot be achieved.  Fourth, there needs to be feedback on when and how the goal was achieved.  The acronym used in goal-setting theory to make certain that goals affect these four factors is S.M.A.R.T.  John now needs to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals to apply this theory to the self-development, department development, and the store performance sections of the Professional Development Plan. John learned that the S.M.A.R.T. acronym meant that his goals needed to meet the following criteria:

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(Image Source Page: SMART)

As John continued to read more about each specific section of the S.M.A.R.T. goals, he decided to relate them to the way he felt about his current position and ways he can improve himself and his store to make his store better.

Self Development

First, John took a look at the two questions off of the PDP under self -development "What must I stop doing to be a more successful manager?" and "What must I continue to do well to be more successful?" Then he went to each specific category to see how he could relate that to the two questions.

Specific:

With goal specificity, John, as a manager can give his employees some control in this area.  Different departments might have different, specific goals.  Specific goals would include: Increasing the sales of a certain department over last year's sales. (This information is available through weekly reporting of the company.); have a month pass with zero on-the-job injuries; higher rates of positive customer feedback; lower absenteeism/tardiness.  

By giving his employees the autonomy to set their own goals, John will "ensure that the goals are not unreasonable" (Redmond, 2011)

Measurable:

Through the sales monitoring, attendance, number (or lack of) on the job injuries and customer feedback are all measurable factors that could be measured within targeted goals.  When John applies his questions, he can determine the following:

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John's can use measurements to compare his store's success with other stores and national benchmarks to identify areas that he is excelling in and he should evaluate each goal to make certain he will be able to continue to measure those items and make certain that he doesn't set new goals that would distract from current success areas. 

 Attainable:

By giving his employees the freedom to set goals (and in turn would make him a more successful manager), he must find goals that can be reasonably be achieved.  While the employees may give him feedback on whether or not the goals are realistic, he must ensure that the goals are difficult but not too difficult that would cause a drop in commitment.  "When commitment to a difficult goal lapses, performance would be expected to level off or decrease" (Redmond, 2011).  He then can analyze their goals in order to set his goals and make them attainable.  He would help his employees set goals, and then set his own goals to become a better manager and give himself more motivation.  John will need to evaluate his own as well as his employee's competency in each area to make certain the goals set can be achieved.

Realistic:

As in the attainable part of the goal, letting his employees set realistic goals, John can in turn set realistic and attainable goals.  Although it is important for John to set himself a certain degree of difficulty in his goals to have a higher motivation and "higher the performance" (Redmond, 2011), it is also just as crucial that he is realistic.  By evaluating his goals on a month to month basis, he can visualize more realistic goals and more successful outcomes.

Timely:

John's goals as well as the goals his employee's assist in setting must be related to a specific time-frame.  Setting goals within specific time frames also allows for periodic evaluation to see where he stands and how much further he needs to go, and what step is next.  If he applies the two questions ("What must I stop doing to be a more successful manager?" and "What must I continue to do well to be more successful?") to the timely aspect, he can evaluate and target a specific time frame that he must stop doing that is interfering with his success as well as what he should continue to do to be more successful.  

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John was to apply the S.M.A.R.T. theory concept to this part of the PDP and see what goals can be set to increase the performance of the Lowe's store he is in charge of managing.  The questions listed on the PDP under store performance included:"How can I improve overall store sales?" "How can I improve average ticket?" "What can I do to impact customer service?" and "What can I do to improve employee engagement?" He looked at each category to see how they could be defined using the S.M.A.R.T. theory.

Specific:

John decided that he needed to give his employees a chance to be involved within the company to make them feel like part of the team. While research has not necessarily shown that employee improves motivation John decided that having the employees involved would give them a sense of belonging. He hoped that this sense of belonging would improve the morale of the employees and in turn improve customer service. John set himself a goal to have monthly team meetings where the staff could give input on ideas they may have to improve Lowe's. John set a goal to develop a program that would allow each employee to learn more about their department so that they could better assist customers and know what the customers want and need when shopping within his particular store.

Measurable:

John was taught that if a goal is not measurable, it cannot be achieved (Reis, 2010). This is why John was going to review the team meetings after three months to see if the employees were inputting any ideas they have and how successful it was at carrying out those ideas. He would also learn as each meeting went on if the employees felt like they had input, if more and more input was given as the meetings went on. The team that was in charge of putting together the program about each department would return to the same employees within three months to see if their knowledge of their department has improved as well.

Attainable:

In order for the goals to be attainable, they must be assigned to a specific person or group capable of achieving that goal. The team meetings were going to be assigned to John himself since he was in charge of all the employees and he knew the best ways to improve their morale and receive their inputs. He assigned the tasks of "department knowledge" to a team of ten people who would ensure that each department received the knowledge, training, and expertise in their department. 

Realistic:

The two main goals set forth for store performance were realistic because they could actually happen. They were not goals that would turn people away due to the lack of interest.

Timely:

John set the time line to review each goal's progress in three months. This would allow him time to see if the goals were attainable or needed to be changed. John had a year to complete and work on the PDP. Allowing three months to see the progress would still give him ample time to change the goals if these specific goals were not working to improve the store performance.

                                                                                  

                          A proven method of maximizing your success in setting and achieving goals is to set SMART goals.  

Department Development

The guidelines given to aid him in developing S.M.A.R.T. goals for department development were the questions: How can I improve Attachment Rates? How can I improve Shrink Loss? What can I do to improve Specialty Sales?

 Specific:

For the Department Development, John sets specific goals to be achieved.  The goals to be achieved include:

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-Each department sales increase by 3-5% than previous "quarter" (previous three months.)

Measurable:

John will measure these Department Development goals as listed:

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same month, for sales growth.                                                                         

Attainable:

Through achievability, each department's goals will have the factor that John is comparing each department's sales, absenteeism, feedback, etc. rather than comparing them as total combined.  

Realistic:

Realistically, John has set attainable goals for the departments individually and as a whole.  By doing so, it will help him realistically achieve his goal of becoming a better supervisor.  Through his pragmatic goals and measurements, the department will have a very positive development as well as outcomes. 

John will be able to develop "project objective...work plans and implementation strategies consistent with departmental goals" (Indiana University) as well as be able to rationally "accomplish his goals "in a specified time frame," follow through and resolve "problems in a timely manner to keep project on track" (Indiana University). 

Timely:

John will be able to "resolve problems in a timely manner to keep project on track" (Indiana University).  With his goals having a time-frame kept in mind (measurements per so many weeks, months, quarters, etc.), a timely execution of succeeding will be practicable as well as very possibly successful.  

                                                                           

                                     (Image Source Page: [http://lowesjobapplication.net/|http://lowesjobapplication.net/])

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