Why Healthcare Administrators Should Set SMART Goals

by Srikant Chellappa Sep 8,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

According to a recent study, the healthcare industry is the fastest growing sector of the economy, and is estimated to grow 19% between now and 2024 with an estimated 2.3 million new jobs.

With the increase in demand for more and more healthcare professionals, it has now become more important for healthcare administrators to come up with better employee management systems.

These systems could include various aspects like employee engagement, employee performance management, employee goal setting/ monitoring, real-time feedback etc. One of the most underrated aspects of employee management in any industry is setting goals for employees. Healthcare is no different. Administrative costs currently make up a major chunk of healthcare spending, especially in America.

Also read: 7 Steps To Setting Workplace Goals And Making Them Happen

In fact, healthcare administrative spending accounts for 8% of the GPD in the U.S., or more than $1.485 trillion from the data retrieved from 2016. The cost of healthcare administration in other nations is just three percent of the GPD, on average, according to healthcare revenue (News source – RevCycleIntelligence)

It has become very important to set effective goals for healthcare professionals and monitor them even more effectively. This is where Engagedly can help you. Measuring performance is one of the many important aspects of every industry. It is a continuous process that involves collecting and analyzing information regarding performance of individual employees or a specific department.

Administering the healthcare BPO department is hard work – harder than most of us can even imagine – and many healthcare professionals/ administrators put in massive amounts of effort to make sure they reach their full potential. What could actually help is, having a clear objective that will help you implement the right strategies and can give you the right direction.

Goal setting is a tedious and daunting process, if one is just starting off. But it should be considered as one of the most important tasks of a manager because of its numerous benefits.

What Are SMART Goals?

How do you measure performance? There are many employee performance metrics that are used to measure their performance from time to time like OKRs, KPI etc. No matter what the metrics are, they usually work only when they are SMART.

SMART is a methodology against which you can measure your goals. If your goals and objectives are SMART, then you’ve won half the battle.

The concept of SMART goals seems to have first originated from George T. Doran in 1981.  Take a look at the picture to your right where the S.M.A.R.T acronym has been expanded. Right now, those words can mean many different things. Let’s explore the concept a little further.

When you create employee goals and objectives – keeping the S.M.AR.T acronym in mind would be a good idea. But why would it be a good idea? Here is why.

  1. Specific – Have a specific purpose. If your goal isn’t specific, it’s going to be doomed from the start.
  2. Measurable – What is the point of setting a goal if you cannot measure it? When you can measure a goal, you will also be able to tell if the goal was met successfully or not.
  3. Achievable – There needs to be a sweet spot for your goals. They cannot be too easy but nor can they be too difficult. Your goal needs to make you break a light sweat and motivate yourself, not fill you with despair.
  4. Relevant – Goal-setting in itself is not enough – you must make sure that these goals are relevant to the people who will utilize them. And of course, they must also align with organizational goals and help with organization growth.
  5. Time-Bound – Goals cannot be forever without any end in sight. There needs to be a time period during which the goal can be carried out and the objective met. More importantly, when goals are time-bound, they also tend to be motivating.

It is not that the SMART acronym is without its faults and critics. However, it is important to note that despite being first established 30 years or so ago – the acronym still holds value today. It acts as a checklist of sorts and by keeping it in mind when writing your objectives, you are essentially creating a crude version of a good objective that has all the necessary information. All it needs is refining!

The next big question is, how to get started? Here’s a list that can help.


According to recent research done by Gallup, only about half of employees understand their job expectations and, even more concerning, managers aren’t even sure of what is expected of them! Especially when you consider that among employees who strongly agree that their manager helps them set performance goals, 67% are engaged.

Managers should involve employees in the goal setting process from start-to-end. They should encourage employees to come up with their short-term and long-term goals. In this way, the goals won’t seem enforced, and there would be better chances of achieving it. Employees feel a sense of commitment to their goals. Involving employees in goal setting will allow for setting job-specific goals, which will help to increase productivity.

Also Read: Are Your Employees Setting Strong And Effective Goals?

Align The Goals To Organizational Goals

Goal alignment is one of the most important aspect of goal setting because it allows users to not only align their goals with organization goals but it also allows them to see the big picture. For example, if one of the organization’s main goals is breaking into an as yet untapped market, the ability to align goals shows an employee how exactly they are contributing to this specific goal.

There are software that allow you to see how the progress on your individual goals contribute to organizational/ department goals.

Plan Progress

Once goal setting has been completed for the employees, the next step is to create a plan to achieve them. Goal complexity and duration are the two major factors that should be considered in the plan. If the goals are long-term, which involves complex projects, then as a manager you should be able to break them down into smaller goals for your employees. Milestones should be added to long-term goals so that they seem more achievable. Risks associated with each goal should be assessed, and an appropriate contingency plan should be made.

Feedback After Monitoring

One of the vital parts of employee goal setting is tracking their progress and actively help them with their goals. You can also choose to use a software that allows you to track employee progress on goals effectively by sending out notification to goal assigners each time the someone checks in on the goal and giving the goal assigners the ability to comment on each goal check-in.

Also read: How to write good employee goals and objectives

The ability to comment on goals allows both managers and employees to have a discussion about the goal and the progress that is being made. Commenting is an easy way to foster communication without having to formalize it.


Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you with your goal setting? Then request for a live demo

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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