Businesses are started with just a primary aim. That primary aim is to make a profit.
And the main drivers of a business organization are the employees. It doesn’t really matter if yours is a one-man business or a large business; profit can only be made if the employees do what they are supposed to do.
Maybe you are an entrepreneur or a manager at a company, your number one aim is to focus on how to maximize the performance and productivity of all the employees you are in charge of.
For people at the workplace to perform at optimal levels, it is required for the businesses to set goals.
And setting goals is not enough, it is important that businesses set SMART goals. We have taught everything you need to know on how to set SMART goals.
It is crucial that the goals that are set at the workplace are SMART. And before we delve into some SMART goals examples for work, let’s take a quick detour and see the importance of setting smart goals at work.
What you'll learn
Benefits of making your goals SMART at work
SMART goals at work help to create focus of attention
Due to the specific nature of SMART goals, it helps both the employees and employers to know what they are supposed to be doing at a given time.
Think of a scenario whereby your employer doesn’t set any goal for you. And even when the employer set goals, the goals aren’t SMART enough.
You’d get to work and wander around. You’ll hop from one task to another and at the end of the day; you’ll feel like you haven’t achieved anything.
But if you are given SMART goals at work, because of their specific nature, you’ll be able to know exactly what you are supposed to focus your attention on for the day, week, or month.
When attention is this focused on a particular goal, the likelihood of achieving that goal is very high.
For instance, at the beginning of the week, your manager comes in and says that the organizational goal is to improve the company’s customer base.
And that was it!!
No starting point, no plan, no deadline, nothing.
A lot of confusion will definitely set in and all the units and departments involved will likely start scrambling.
But if the manager had said something like; “For this week, the marketing and sales department are going to cold call prospects that are living in Florida from 10.00 am to 1:00 pm everyday for the week”.
This goal is different from the first one. Can you spot the difference?
The second goal is more specific and actionable. It has a definite plan already built in it. It is directed to two particular department and it has a definite deadline. This goal is SMART in nature and these types of goals will definitely help to increase focus.
It is easier for the departments involved to know where to start and there’s a chance of achieving this goal rather than the first one.
SMART goals help tremendously in resources management and time management.
Aside from the human resources available, the next most important factor for any business is Time.
Most companies are struggling with how to manage their working hours and make the most of it.
What they don’t know is that most of this waste of time is largely down to not setting SMART goals for their employees.
When everyone is clear on what they have to do, time spent on decision making is greatly reduced. SMART goals will help to reduce decision fatigue for both managers and employees.
An organization that has it as its culture to set SMART goals will have a definite plan in achieving those goals. And as recent neuroscience researches have shown, planning automatically saves 7 hours you would spend on a goal if you hadn’t planned beforehand.
Also, the planning part of the SMART goal setting process will reveal who, or which department will be best suited to undertake the goal.
This will save the company from giving the task best suited to Mr. A, to Mr. B.
SMART goals help the business organization to easily measure growth
SMART goals are always measurable goals. If a goal given to you at your place of work is not measurable, then it’s not yet a SMART goal.
So, because of the ability to measure SMART goals, the organization can easily measure progress and growth as each and every goal is being completed.
SMART goals will provide a useful insight into what the company or business has been able to achieve over a given period of time.
This useful insight will help the company to plot their next course of action and also know if the company is still in line with its overall goals and the projections originally made.
SMART goals at work provide feedback and this can help to identify what’s not working
Because SMART goals can be easily measured, it can serve as a source of feedback for what’s not working.
If the goals are not being accomplished, you can easily identify why the goal is not being accomplished.
It can give insight into why the particular team or personnel assigned to that goal is struggling.
And with this, the company can make an informed decision on what is needed to be done to facilitate progress on that goal.
This can be either to get the team that is struggling help, change the personnel or team allocated to that goal, change the resources provided, or change the goal altogether.
SMART goals help to increase motivation in the workplace
Businesses can only thrive when the staffs are motivated.
Imagine being an employee of a company that keeps giving you different assignments over and over again. And as you are finishing each assignment, there’s no way of knowing what the result is.
After a long time doing this, would you be motivated to do the next assignment?
This dip in motivation is likely to occur if the company doesn’t adopt the culture of setting measurable, specific, and actionable goals.
With SMART goals, after the completion of each milestone/goal, you are able to know the level of completion of that goal.
In other words, with the feedback that is built-in the SMART goal setting system, it is easier to know how you are doing with your tasks and assignments.
You know when you are succeeding. And one thing about success is that it usually breeds and improves motivation.
With each SMART goal that is marked as completed, there is an accompanying feeling of accomplishment that boosts motivational levels in the workplace.
SMART goals are planned and action-driven
When the procrastination factor sets into a business, deadlines start getting pushed; targets won’t be met, customer care becomes affected, and the profit margin of the business starts suffering.
But, no matter how bad procrastination gets, the cure for it is to start taking action.
This is where SMART goals come in. With SMART goals, building a plan for achieving the goals is involved. And this step helps to encourage taking action on those plans/systems.
Hence, it is easier for everyone involved to act instead of procrastinating because they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
SMART goals promote teamwork and help to keep the communication line open in the workplace
When your team use SMART goals, everybody is clear on what they are supposed to do to achieve that goal.
This will make every member of the team as crucial to the success of the organization as they can possibly be.
Since there is a feedback mechanism in SMART goals, it is easier for the team leader or manager to quickly identify team members that are performing the best or those that are struggling.
In-depth SMART goals examples for work
Now that we know that it is good to make our goals SMART in the workplace, the next question is how to set SMART goals.
Setting SMART goals at work might be difficult for some people. So, at this juncture, you get to see various SMART goals examples for work. This will help you when you are setting the next SMART goal at your place of work.
What I want you to know when it comes to setting SMART goals for work is that it should cut across all the layers of the business. Starting from the leadership to the managers. Also, non-manager employees should imbibe the culture of making their goals SMART.
Note that all the SMART goals that will be mentioned here have an element of specificity, measure, action, and time factor.
Leadership SMART goals examples
- Organize a rapport-building training for my team members every last Thursday of the month at 2 pm in the seminar room. This will be done till the end of the 2nd Quarter of the year. The seminar will be conducted by Mr. X of the HR department, who is a certified communication expert. I will have to negotiate with Mr. X on his availability and how much the company will pay him for the training. This training will help to improve my team’s performance in the following ways; improve customer relation by reducing customer complaints by 20%, and sales should increase by 10%.
SMART analysis of the above goal:
Specific: (what) Rapport-building seminar, (who) my team members, (when) 2 pm every last Thursday of the month, (where) at the seminar room.
Measurable: how many seminars are we supposed to successfully conduct until the end of the 2nd quarter. Also, when we hit our target of reducing customer complaints by 20% and increase sales by 10%, we mark the goal as completed.
Actionable: (How) Negotiate with Mr. X of the HR department. Then leverage his knowledge on the topic to impact my team.
Relevance: (Why) to improve my team’s customer relation and sale’s performance.
Time-bound: Till the end of the 2nd quarter.
Alternate “vague” version of the goal
The above goal could easily have come in this alternate “vague” version;
• “Improve my team’s performance in customer relation and sales”.
Can you see the difference between the two types of goals?
Marketing and sales SMART goals examples
- During the next two months, the marketing department should get customer feedback by reaching out to 5 customers daily. Get feedback through phone calls and e-mail on product experience and ask how they think the product can be improved to make their lives better.
SMART analysis of the goal
Specific: (what) get customer feedback on product experience and possible product improvement, (who) the customers that have used our products before, (when) Everyday for the next two months.
Measurable: when the marketing department has reached out to 5 customers in a day.
Actionable: (how) through phone calls and e-mail
Relevance: (why) it will help the company to develop better products, it will better the lives of our customers, and it will ultimately lead to more sales.
Time-bound: The next two months
Alternate “vague” version of the goal
- Get customer feedback on our products.
Another Marketing and Sales SMART goals example
- Create two targeted lead magnets and design a more engaging and catchy opt-in form to increase e-mail subscription to the company’s website by 20%. This should have been completed by the ending of next month and will be assigned to Mr. X and his team. This will help to increase lead generation which will later increase sales through the company’s website.
SMART analysis of the goal
Specific: (what) Increase e-mail subscription to the company’s website by 20%, (who) Mr. X and his team.
Measurable: increase by 20% of the number of what the company’s website e-mail subscription list currently is.
Actionable: (how) Create two targeted lead magnets, design a more engaging and catchy opt-in form,
Relevance: (why) Increase sales through the company’s website
Time-bound: the end of next month
Alternate “vague” version of the goal
- Increase the company’s sales through the company’s website.
Further recommendations on SMART goals examples for work
I hope that with the few examples that have been given above, you can now differentiate a SMART goal from goal that doesn’t have all the elements of SMART in it.
Click here to see more smart goals examples for your work or business, if you need more examples.