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How to Link Employee Strengths with Goals

Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting? The acronym is no coincidence for how profoundly it can improve employee performance.

Before we dig into what S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting stands for and how it can improve employee achievement, we’re going to throw another layer into the mix.

Together with your employees, identify what their core strengths are. For example, excellent communication skills, determination, creativity, dedication, curiosity — the list goes on and on.

Determining your employee’s strengths together is key, as it will inform a more accurate depiction of what they perceive as a strength versus how others perceive them.

Linking Strengths & Goals

Once your employee has identified their core strength, it’s time to implement it into the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model:


We can all agree a specific goal is better than one which is broad and ambiguous. Ask your employee to think about how they can link their strength to a specific goal.

For example, if their strength is communication, their goal can be to understand how to improve the client experience, by talking with their clients and gaining their feedback.


Tracking progress is an important aspect of ensuring your goal is getting achieved. Following our same example, the employee can keep a checklist or schedule of when and who they will contact, as well as when a client has been contacted.

The employee could also share their schedule with the team, to stay accountable and share their progress (cue communication skills.)


A great goal should be one that is challenging, yet still feasible. No matter how great your communication skills, it may be hard to have a face-to-face meeting with every client. Consider the limitations to your goal in regards to your strength and adjust accordingly.


Don’t lose sight of your goal’s relevancy for the sake of honing a skill. With consideration to our example, if the employee wants to learn about the client experience, they can ask questions about services, communication, timeliness, etc., but whether or not they like the restaurant of your last meeting probably doesn’t need to be a priority in the discussion.


Add a sense of urgency to the goal, to ensure its completion. Leaving the timeframe up in the air makes the matter seem less pressing or important and can potentially get brushed under the rug. This is perhaps the most important step and should not be overlooked.

In Summary

  • Work with your employee to identify their core strength.
  • Link their core strength to a workplace goal using the S.M.A.R.T. system:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-Bound

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How to Link Employee Strengths with Goals
Are your team members setting the right goals for their strengths? When employees link their strengths with their goals, the chances of success skyrocket!

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