8 Examples of SMART Goals (and How to Set Them)

by Shamsul
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This post will provide eight examples of SMART Goals and explain how to use them effectively.

Setting goals is one of the cornerstones of productive and stimulating work on a daily basis. And as a manager, it is also one of your key roles: transforming the strategic objectives of the company into operational objectives, collective for your team, but also individual.

Only how many times have you set yourself goals that seemed very reasonable to you, only to realize that you did not have the means to achieve them?

Or to set goals that, in the end, never see the light of day because you postpone reaching them indefinitely?

It is to deal with this type of concern that the SMART objectives method exists.

In this article, discover this method, as well as 8 examples of inspiring SMART goals, which will help you become more productive in your professional (and even personal) life.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART goal concept was created by George T. Doran and first published in an article in Management Review.

It is a concept that makes it possible to plan clear objectives which will be understood by all the stakeholders of a project. Their other advantage? These objectives can be closely monitored to verify whether or not they have been achieved.

Want to set such objectives, motivating and challenging at the same time?

All you have to do is formulate an objective so that it meets the 5 criteria of the acronym “S.M.A.R.T,” namely:

Specific. Your objective must be specific enough for us to understand its purpose.
Measurable. You must be able to attach a metric to your objective, which allows you to measure whether it has been achieved or not.

Ambitious. Your goal should be a challenge for the person concerned and should not be too easy to achieve to be motivating enough.

Realistic. Your goal must also not be out of reach and must be able to be fulfilled under the conditions given to the person to whom it is set.

Temporally defined. You must determine a time period at the end of which you can measure the achievement of the objective.

To regularly take stock of these objectives and improve your daily management, set up follow-up interviews. A real highlight between the manager and the employee, the one-to-one interviews aim to discuss, coach, and take a step back from the actions and missions of the moment.

How Do You Set Your SMART Goals?

The method for setting SMART goals is not complicated but will require careful thought about the resources you have at your disposal, the timing of your projects, as well as the obstacles you may encounter.

Start by writing down a broad goal as it comes to mind. This will not necessarily meet the definition of a SMART objective.

Thereafter, you will be able to develop this objective by following the 5 criteria of this method to make it more clear and precise.

To Make Your Goal:

Specific: Think about the specific purpose of the goal. What will concretely serve the purpose of achieving this objective?
Measurable: Link your goal to a key metric that you can accurately measure.

Ambitious: Observe the resources at your disposal to achieve this objective and measure the effort required to do so.

Realistic: Identify the obstacles that may block the achievement of your objective.

Time-bound: Set a deadline for your project.

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8 Examples of SMART Goals to Inspire You:

Need to see this method in action? Let’s start by detailing the transition from a basic objective to a SMART objective, following the method described above.

Let’s say you are a sales manager, and your basic, broad objective is “I want my team to be more productive.

Now Let’s Add the 5 Criteria of the SMART Method:

To make it “Specific,” focus on a specific purpose. The objective can then become “I want my team to be more productive when it comes to handling leads.”

1- To make it Measurable, the objective then becomes “I want my team to spend 30% less time processing leads”.
2- To make it Ambitious, ask yourself if this 30% objective presents a strong enough challenge to be stimulating.
3- To make it Realistic, ask yourself if this 30% goal is achievable.
4- To make it Time-bound: Phrase this goal with a notion of time, like “I want my team to spend 30% less time on lead processing by the end of next quarter.”

Need More Examples of SMART Goals?

Here are a few.

no, Don’t say, “I want to drive traffic to the company’s website.”
Yes. Instead, say, “I want to increase organic traffic to the company website by 20% within 3 months.”

No. Do not say: “I want to improve the Quality of Life at Work or the social climate in my team”.
Yes Say instead: “I want to increase my team’s eNPS by X% within X months”.

No. Do not say: “I want this employee to become more autonomous in his time management”.
Yes Say instead: “I want to improve such employee in skills on time management, and that he can be autonomous on the subject by the end of the quarter”.

No. Do not say: “I want to work on the loyalty of our customers”.
yes, Say instead: “I want to increase the retention rate of our customers by X% by the end of the year.”

No. Do not say: “I want to improve my annual evaluation process”.
yes, Say instead: “I want to implement a new annual evaluation grid, in collaboration with HR, by the end of the quarter, and have conducted X interviews with employees to test its viability by the end of the year.”

No. Do not say: “I want to improve the effectiveness of my meetings.”
Yes. Break the initial objective into several parts, and instead say:
“I want my meetings to be X minutes shorter by the end of the term.”
and “I want to set up a meeting minutes process by the end of the quarter.”

No. Do not say: “I want to increase the efficiency of my recruitment process”.
Yes. Break the initial objective into several parts, and instead say:
“I want to collect X% more qualified applications by the end of the year.”
and “I want to increase the acceptance rate of my job offers by X% by the end of the year.”

Armed with this method and these inspiring examples, you are ready to set goals that are both motivating and effective to increase daily productivity in your projects!

Finally, to monitor the achievement of these objectives over time, do not forget to carry out regular interviews with your teams. Do not wait for the annual interviews to realize that the objectives set were too ambitious or unachievable. Whether HR or managerial, interviews are also real management tools to help you achieve your performance objectives.

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