How to Write Perfect Smart Goals (Example) - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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how to write smart goals

How to Write Perfect Smart Goals (Example)

In this modern world, anyone would know that in order to get from A to B you’ll need a set of clearly defined goals. Why? Because goals are basically a list of “what to do’s” to get you to where you want to be. Goals are generally easy to write because people know exactly what they want and they know it’ll only involve doing one or two things to get it.

What are Smart Goals?

SMART goals on the other hand, are not particularly easy to write. SMART goals need a bit of time and attention in making it “SMART”. Having your SMART goals, “SMART” is what will ensure of its effectiveness in helping you achieve what you want. The reason as to why we push towards this effectiveness is so that the progress in the middle to helping you get to where you want to be is considerably noticeable. To put it into perspective, if your aim was to lose weight by the end of the month you’d want your daily/weekly goal management to be set in a way where gains are noticeably different, right?

Another problem with common goals is that they’re not clearly understood (whether they be set by others or by the individual themselves). It’s a problem that’s common in the modern workplace. With that being said, how do you expect your company to move forward with these problems being major setbacks?

What makes a goal, SMART?

In case you haven’t noticed, SMART represents an acronym and not a term to let us know it’s intelligent. There are many versions of what SMART represents. Across different companies, they define them differently to one another – it all comes down to your company’s preference for goal management. So what are SMART goals?

S – Specific: The goal has to be specific in terms of what the employee needs to do. When identifying the specifics of the goal, we should avoid terms that are general. At this stage of goal setting, it is all about details.

M – Measurable: By being measurable it’s meant to be taken as a way of counting the positive differences in your progress. It’s meant to be quantifiable, so think along the lines of figures!

A – Achievable: The goal set out for your employee to achieve has to be within their capabilities. During this stage of setting the goal, you need to be able to see whether they are able to successfully complete it. Keep in mind, this consideration has to take into account the resources, skill and time the employee has to complete it.

  • Agree Upon: An alternative perspective is that both you and your employee have to agree on the goal being set. This is where both share thoughts on what the employee CAN and is willing do.

R – Realistic: Let’s not have your employees grow wings in order to get from A to B, it’s unrealistic. The goal has to be practical, results-oriented and within your employee’s abilities to achieve.

  • Relevant: An alternative perspective is that the goal has to be relevant to what you or your company wants accomplished. It has to be aligned and connected to the overall objective that you or your company wants to be accomplished.

T – Time-frame: Goals have to have a time-frame with which it’s to be completed by. It could be set for a week, month, bi-monthly or year. Without a time-frame, the goal is never going to be achieved.

Example of  SMART goals

Having examined the elements of a SMART goal, let’s take a look at an example.

– Company Goal – To improve customer satisfaction ratings for product XYZ by the end of 2017.

– Individual Goal – Create an easy to read and understand manual for customers over the launch of product XYZ.

– The goal will involve running technical trials and creating documents that identify problems. During this stage it will also involve going through quality control. These documents will then be given to the company’s product manager to examine and redesign. Once approved and another trail is run, reports will be generated that correlate with the product’s step-by-step functionality.

– The due date is the product’s release date on August 16th, 2017.

Support SMART goals by designing your employee review form

A performance review is common throughout many workplaces. It’s a way of letting employers see where strengths and weaknesses lie in different employees. It’ll also let you (as an employer) re-design and reallocate activities that’ll be more in line with what your employee is capable of doing.

In other words, creating a performance review (or employee evaluation form) can help you support SMART goals. So what can you do to help support writing SMART goals for your employees? In your employee performance appraisal form, provide:

  1. A definition of what a SMART goal is
  2. Give an example of a SMART goal
  3. Outline the importance of the goal and how it’s linked to an organisational goal overall.
  4. Outline how its success will be measured
  5. Give a due date.
  6. Allocate goals to specific employees.


Alexi Gavrielatos

Business Development at EmployeeConnect