At Kinark, we understand that the quality of our services is dependent on the quality of our people. It’s why we strive to hire the best, welcome them into the fold, support their continued professional development, and recognize extraordinary contributions and performance.
It all starts with developing a shared understanding of what we are here to achieve together. Last year, we introduced a best practice approach to help us better align and focus our employees’ work and development on our strategic goals using the SMART* Goal-setting and Performance Development model.
The SMART methodology is one of the most frequently used in the world today. It has helped us to firmly embed the agency’s strategic goals throughout the organization, and staff to better understand how their work relates and contributes to the achievement of our shared goals.
From Vision to goals to day-to-day action
The annual SMART goal-setting process is one in which all Kinark staff participate, with SMART goals being developed first by the Executive team based on the organization’s strategic goals, which then cascade downward and throughout the agency. All staff establish both work-related and professional development goals for themselves.
As Tonnia Brogan, Kinark’s Manager of Human Resources Operations explains, “If we each work to achieve our individual goals, to fulfill our roles and make our individual contributions, in time, we will collectively achieve our goals and realize our Vision.”
As a Client Service Supervisor in Durham, Lara Awoleye says, “It helps me focus on our goals – on what’s important. It reminds me that we are constantly evaluating our work, which is connected to a bigger picture, a greater purpose.”
Wassay Shefa, a Clinical Therapist who reports to Awoleye, echoes her observations. “Now I can see the link between the bigger goal that Kinark is trying to achieve as a best treatment provider and my focus on service quality, our professional development and our day-to-day work.”
Each staff member reviews their SMART goals and progress made towards achieving them with their manager twice a year. These discussions focus on the relationship between individual and organizational goals, and identifying key learnings and/or areas for development.
“Defining specific, measurable work goals that are directly linked to Kinark’s strategic goals helps all of us stay focused on what matters most, and on what will make the biggest difference to the clients and families we serve,” says Brogan.
*SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based