Goals drive businesses, and the right goals drive successful businesses.
But what is a good goal? How do you know the difference between a good goal and a less-than-optimal one?
That’s where SMART goals come in.
SMART goals use a five-point matrix to ensure a high degree of precision in formulating goals and setting metrics for those goals’ outcomes. This advanced goal-setting technique is an indispensable tool for business leaders and professionals.
This article will present 10 examples of smart goals for work.
A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It provides a structured approach to formulating objectives in a way that ensures maximum clarity, feasibility, and accountability.
The SMART goal framework was originally designed for work, but you can use it in your personal life too. The technique was developed to make corporate planning more effective by setting clearer and more attainable targets.
People are 42% more likely to achieve goals when they’re well-defined, written down, and include certain distinct elements. When organizations apply the SMART framework to their goal-setting process, they can see far better outcomes.
Let’s break the SMART goals concept down into its five components.
These five criteria are a powerful framework for superior goal setting.
Let’s analyze a random SMART goal to see how the components work together to create a highly specific, actionable, and measurable business goal.
This example is taken from the customer service department of an imaginary company. The overarching goal for the department is to improve customer satisfaction.
Restated as a SMART goal, this goal could read as follows: “Improve customer satisfaction ratings by 15% in the next six months through more training and feedback mechanisms.”
The SMART goal breakdown shows the details of each component:
This expanded breakdown provides a clear understanding of how a goal is formulated to fit the SMART criteria.
Here’s a collection of 10 examples of SMART goals for work. They cover a spectrum of areas, from management to operations.
SMART goal: “Identify potential cost savings opportunities to reduce operating expenses by 2% this year.”
SMART goal: “Increase our client base by 10% over the next quarter, measured by the number of new signed contracts.”
SMART goal: “Reduce departmental costs by 5% in the next fiscal year without compromising on quality of service.”
SMART goal: “Integrate a software system to streamline hybrid work management and boost employee experience by 20% within the next six months.”
SMART goal: “Improve our first-call resolution rate by 6% over the next quarter, measured by the number of issues resolved on the first interaction.”
SMART goal: “Improve website load times by 20% over the next three months by optimizing server resources and refining code.”
SMART goal: “Develop and launch two new product prototypes in Q4, collecting feedback from at least 100 potential customers.”
SMART goal: “Launch a new training module every quarter, and aim for each of these to receive a satisfaction rating of 90% or above from participating employees.”
SMART goal: “Reduce paperwork processing time by 25% over the next six months through the adoption of a new digital documentation system.”
SMART goal: “Reduce product defect rates from 4% to 2% over the next six months through improved quality control processes.”
The examples above demonstrate how SMART matrices are universally applicable in business settings. They provide a structured framework for each goal, regardless of the business area.
SMART goals are easy to compose by following the five criteria that form the backbone of the technique.
The following four tips will help you compose SMART goals effectively:
And lastly, here’s a helpful SMART goal template to follow:
Template: “By [time], I/we will [specific action/achievement], measured by [measurable criteria].”
Example: “By the end of Q2, we will increase our online followers by 15%, measured by our social media analytics dashboard.”
Once you’ve set your SMART goals, it’s important to monitor their progress. Without a system in place, even the best-laid plans can go awry.
Here’s how to keep track:
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Whenever you need to engage in goal setting — whether during the annual business planning cycle or your day-to-day operations — the SMART goal framework is a great tool for formulating targeted, effective objectives.
Coupling them with intuitive hybrid workplace management software like OfficeRnD Hybrid can help hybrid and remote teams achieve their SMART goals and ongoing success.
The SMART acronym dates back to 1981. It’s credited to George T. Doran’s work in a paper titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives.”
The answer to this question depends on the nature of the project. The “T” in SMART, which stands for “time-bound,” sets the intended duration, which varies for each goal.
Here’s a basic example that specifies two measurable outcomes: “Sell 50,000 copies of the new book in three months.”
SMART goals for work projects are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives that provide clear direction and benchmarks for success, ensuring teams have a clear understanding of expectations and deadlines.
To write a SMART goal, clearly define your objective to be Specific, ensure it is Measurable with criteria for success, make sure it is Achievable within your resources, ensure it is Relevant to your broader objectives, and set a Time-bound deadline for completion.
Here are five SMART goals tailored to different business activities:
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