Best Practice Guide: Getting Started with SMART Goals
When it comes to goal-setting, SMART goals have ruled the roost for most businesses over the last 40+ years. But what exactly are SMART goals?
Our Getting Started Guide will help shine a light on some of the basics of SMART goals, including:
- What exactly are SMART goals?
- What are the five elements of SMART?
- What a great SMART goal looks like for an HR manager
What are SMART goals?
Developed in the early 1980’s the SMART goal framework is a tried and tested goal-setting process that helps leaders and managers build more successful teams. By setting objectives and creating a clear plan on how your people will hit their targets, managers and employees can better decide how to spend their time and resources. The framework is simple to follow and implement thanks to the handy acronym that details the process:
How to set goals using the SMART framework
Firstly, your goals need to be clear and provide you with a concise aim that will give you a sense of direction. If you simply set a goal to improve website traffic, it won't give you enough guidance to stay motivated or recognise when you've reached your objective. Instead, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do we want to achieve?
- Who needs to be involved?
- How are we going to achieve this?
- What challenges might we face?
In order for your goals to be effective they need to be measurable. That way you can assess your success and know whether or not you have achieved your objectives. Therefore, you should consider:
- How will we know when we’ve been successful?
- What measures will we use to assess performance?
All too often we set targets that are unachievable (hello New Year resolutions!). Key to a great SMART goal is setting smaller objectives that we will actually be able to complete. Ask yourself:
- How can I accomplish this goal?
- How realistic is the goal?
Why do you want to achieve this goal? Smaller goals should be always relevant to the broader goals you want to achieve, or the ones your company and team is striving for.
- Do my goals align to the team, department and organisational targets?
- Is the task worthwhile?
- Does this add value?
Every goal needs to have a time frame. It is imperative for your time management and project management in the company to make them time- based. Ask questions such as:
- When do I aim to achieve this goal?
- What milestones will impact this?
- What can I achieve in a year?
3 examples of SMART goals for HR
Increase employee retention rate by 10% within the next 12 months
Specific: The goal focuses on increasing employee retention rate.
Measurable: The goal targets a 10% increase, measured through regular performance reviews and feedback.
Achievable: The HR manager can develop and implement new strategies to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.
Relevant: The goal aligns with the HR manager's responsibility to maintain a strong and motivated workforce.
Time-bound: The goal is set to be achieved within 12 months.
Reduce the time-to-hire for new employees by 25% within the next six months
Specific: The goal targets the reduction of the time-to-hire for new employees.
Measurable: The goal targets a 25% reduction, measured by tracking the recruitment process.
Achievable: The HR manager can optimise recruitment processes, streamline candidate screening, and implement an applicant tracking system to achieve the target.
Relevant: The goal aligns with the HR manager's responsibility to attract and hire the right talent efficiently.
Time-bound: The goal is set to be achieved within the next six months.
Increase diversity in the workplace by 15% within the next year
Specific: The goal focuses on increasing diversity in the workplace.
Measurable: The goal targets a 15% increase in diversity, measured through regular diversity reports.
Achievable: The HR manager can develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as unconscious bias training and outreach to diverse candidates.
Relevant: The goal aligns with the HR manager's responsibility to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Time-bound: The goal is set to be achieved within the next year.
SMART goals in Weekly10
SMART goals are super simple to set and use in Weekly10. They're one of 3 goal-setting frameworks that are available as part of our engagement and performance management platform. We also support Objectives and Key Results (OKR), and Hybrid Goals.
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