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Kate Devyatkina

CEO at 100pcnt

August 09, 2019How To

Writing goals for work the S.M.A.R.T. way

OKR and SMART goals are considered as two of the most popular and widely used frameworks for company goal setting. In this article, I’ll outline all the information about the latter and show you examples of smart goals for employees at all levels. 

The SMART system of goal setting requires to apply SMART objectives to describe in detail the way a goal is going to be accomplished. How do you write a SMART goal? What is the criteria of the SMART system?

  • 1. Specific

    What do you want to achieve precisely? If you make a more specific description, you’ll have more chances to bring your goals to life. 

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    An example of a SMART goal, in terms of its specification: “I want to earn $60.000 per month for the next 5 years by developing new directions,” but not “I want to be a billionaire.”

  • 2. Measurable

    How can your SMART goals be measured? Is it actually measurable? Measurable types of goals are what you exactly identify and what you will see and get when the goal will be finally achieved. To make it measurable, you’ll need to break your goal into measurable elements. 

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    SMART personal goals example: "I’m going to run 4 miles everyday and train 1 hour with a personal trainer, so that I can be prepared to run a marathon in September." Here is a really bad example of personal SMART goal: "Be prepared for a marathon."

  • 3. Achievable or actionable

    What are the actions that need to be taken to reach the goal? What do you need to undertake to achieve it? For writing achievable SMART goals, you need to weigh and understand the time and effort you’ll spend accomplishing that goal. In case you don’t have the money, talent, or time, you may feel miserable because of failure. 

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    When writing performance goals, make them a little bit overstated, but realistic and go for them confidently. They should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but not stressed or desperate. SMART goal example: "Manage the department budget to accomplish 85% of service results by the end of the year and to stay within appropriations." Personal SMART goal example: "I am planning to lose 1.5 lbs. every week by training twice a week and by choosing healthy meal options."

  • 4. Realistic or relevant

    Is it relevant for you to reach these SMART performance goals? Is it relevant for your team, company, and job duties? It is you who will decide whether one or another goal is relevant for you and whether you have a personality and ability to reach it, or a team that is skilled enough to make it happen.  

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    How do you write SMART goals according to their aspect of relevance? "I want to earn money at the stock market." (Since I like finances and am quite resistant to stress.) This was one of the personal SMART goal examples.  If some of your skills are not there, you can plan to improve them. If you are lacking some resources, you can find a way to find them. The main question is how do you write SMART goals so that they are more effective? Why do you want to achieve it?

  • 5. Time-bound

    What is the time-frame? Is there a deadline, time limit? If so, don't forget to mention it when writing smart goals. Time is priceless. Make a plan of everything you are going to do. Deadlines are quite effective when driving people to action. 

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    An example of smart goals for employees is: "Provide high-quality customer service leading to a 90% customer satisfaction rating on courtesy, accuracy, and timeliness, measured on an ongoing basis."Personal smart goal examples: "Draft an outline for my second short story this Friday; by November, 13, 2019, chair the planning team for my professional association’s conference to increase my team leadership and communication skills to prepare for greater management responsibilities."More goals for work examples are shown below. Don’t forget to set deadlines, either for your team or yourself, and honor to them. Of course, also be sure to keep the time-frame flexible and realistic so you can keep morale high.
    Now, you understand how to write goals, keeping in mind all the aspects and criteria of SMART goal setting. Setting smart goals will hopefully make your organization more motivated, productive and engaged overall. To sum up, I’d like to show you how to write goals for work, personal goals, performance goals, etc. First, you have to form an overall goal and combine it with some details based on the SMART system of goal setting.

    Examples of a smart goal for work:

    “Win Five Projects Per Month”
    - Specific: Win five projects per month
    - Measurable: We know that to get to five, we need to make 15 proposals, 29 pitches, and 55 warm prospects. These are examples of smart goals at work, and numbers can vary.
    - Attainable: Last year we averaged 4,3 projects a month, and we have been growing at 15%, so a growth rate of 10% is very attainable. This data we fix in examples of goals for work.
    - Relevant: The size and the number of the projects we win each month directly ties to our top and bottom line.
    - Time-bound: Now, we measure our performance on a monthly basis― t’s incredibly important for contingency planning and staffing.

    This is the work goals example. Writing down measurable objectives and goals will help you stay encouraged and stay on track.

    Example of performance goals:
    "Provide oversight, direction, and support to the call center in such a way that 94% of calls are answered within 0,50 seconds and less than 3% of calls result in complaints. This is a good example of performance goals, because it contains all five criteria of SMART goal setting."

    Examples of smart goals for managers:
    "By January 1, 20XX, design and pilot a new outreach strategy using social media to increase by 25% the usage of our programs by our clients."

    Examples of smart goals for employees:
    "By October 13, 2019, help participate and develop a cross-training for the assistant team to learn procedures across all departments so that all critical functions are covered during absences."

    These smart goal examples for employees, managers, personal goals, etc. are strong and effective tools that lend you the clarity, motivation, and focus needed to set achievable project goals. It can also transform the way that you and your team work together to complete milestones, deliverables, and tasks. 

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