Implement SMARTER Goals in your Training Program

Without something to work toward success is not only difficult to measure but almost impossible to attain.  No matter the profession having specific goals in place is proven to be the most reliable way to do what you say you’re going to do.  Goals allow you to make a map of where you are heading and allow you to stay on course more efficiently than just trying to do something vaguely.  The more specific your goal is, the easier it is for you to create the right road map.    

Working toward your A&P is daunting. On day one you’re looking at years of training in front of you.  After receiving your license you’re still looking at a lifetime of on the job training and recertification trainings and moving on to more complex engines or specializing in different areas all while moving your career forward.

People who run aviation operations that employ aviation mechanics need to be intimately aware of the training requirements and personal career goals for all of their mechanics.  Without training schedules which are set by goals, the facility would falter quickly.

Let’s take a look at what kind of goals to set and why their worth your time to do right.  At Northrop Rice we set SMARTER goals; which mean our goals are specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, timely, extending and rewarding. 

Why Your Goals and Objectives Should Be SMARTER

Specific:
Any time you set a goal it needs to be specific, not vague.  It’s easy to say “I want to make more money next year” but the goal should be stated as “I want to have a 10% increase in pay within the next 12 months”.  By setting a goal that is specific you will be able to identify ways in which to achieve that goal, rather than blindly trying to make more money, in this case.

Measurable:
By being able to measure the goal, you can more easily track whether or not you are on pace to hit it.  The example above is both specific and measurable.  It’s quite easy to track how much money you’re making in 12 months compared to right now.  While this is a simplified example, it works for any scenario and likely will be tied to the specific portion of the SMARTER concept in most cases.

Acceptable:
Before you set a goal, ask yourself whether this goal is acceptable to you.  Is it something you are willing to work for?  Sometimes a goal is born of necessity. If you own a facility that employs mechanics, it’s your responsibility to ensure that every plane that passes through is being serviced correctly.  You do this by making sure that your mechanics are properly trained and certified.  Therefore, one of your SMARTER goals will need to be to set up a training program for your company.  Certainly that will be acceptable, because otherwise your business will not succeed.

Realistic:
If a goal is unattainable it simply won’t be reached.  Make sure when you define your goals that they can be met within reason. 

Time frame:
Adding a time frame to a goal allows for accountability.  You can’t aimlessly work toward your goal for years if you expect to achieve it. By saying you’ll get your A&P in 18 months you’re much more likely to earn it by then rather than by not giving yourself a time frame.

Extending:
It’s important that your goal stretches your capabilities. For example, saying “I want to run a mile every day for one month” might be acceptable for someone who has barely begun running, but for someone who has a few marathons under their belt would become bored with this goal quite quickly because it does nothing for them.  

Rewarding:
By attaining your A&P you could be rewarded with a job.  By running a marathon you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment.  By getting paid 10% more within the next 12 months you’ll be rewarded with more financial security.  Whatever you’re working for must be worth working for or else it will likely never be finished.

By disciplining yourself to come up with SMARTER goals you will be more easily disciplined to follow through with your aspirations and be successful.  Whether you are just beginning your journey toward your A&P, trying to learn the avionics of a 767 or trying to ensure that every mechanic at your FBO maintains currency, by starting with SMARTER goals you’ll be more likely to succeed.

Northrop Rice has over 40 years of aviation training experience and expertise in the classroom.  We provide strong theory and practical learning techniques.  Click here to contact us to find out how we can help you with efficient and effective training that both strengthens your workforce and qualifies them to FAA standards.

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