It may seem silly, but business and sport are much the same — everyone works together to achieve a common goal. But when those goals aren’t clearly defined, things can get murky. With SMART goals and initiatives, teams can streamline their productivity and in turn improve performance. In other words, it’s easy to score when the team is running in the same direction.
But what exactly is a SMART goal? And what are some examples of SMART goals? Learn about the SMART framework with examples that can be used within your organisation to win that championship trophy.
SMART isn’t just an adjective — it’s also an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For a professional goal to be SMART, it must meet all five of these criteria points.
Broad goals are fine, but if you want real results, it’s specificity that lets the team know what to focus on. Tread carefully — you never want a SMART goal to be too specific that it becomes unattainable.
Good SMART goals are always measurable. What’s the point in setting a goal without the ability to measure your progress or success?
Aspirations are great, but at the end of the day it’s important to be realistic about the goals we are setting. Can your team actually score 20 points per game?
We’re talking big-picture thinking. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I setting this goal?’ and ‘Will it deliver success in the long term?’.
Deadlines aren’t as stressful as they seem. Time is money, so in order to track progress on your goal, you’ll need to have a start and end date.
We go into even more depth on SMART goals in our guide on making goals bottom-up.
It’s all about streamlining. Goal setting is most effective when everyone’s working toward a common target. When you set professional SMART goals, you’re not only making your goals clearer but also more approachable. Goals — whether they are professional or personal — are much harder to achieve if they aren’t specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
Now that you understand the ins and outs of SMART goals for work and why they are necessary to succeed, here are some SMART goals examples to set you off on the right foot.
General goal — Turn my hobby into a business.
SMART goal — Start an online confectionery business by building out a website and creating social pages. Spend 2 hours on this each day to prepare for an April 5 launch.
General goal — Grow social media presence.
SMART goal — Grow social media presence by 30% by reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram by June 30.
General goal — Improve employee relations and office morale.
SMART goal — Boost team morale and improve relations after two years of working from home by spending $1,000/month for three months on team-building activities and conducting a feedback survey.
General goal — Increase traffic to the website.
SMART goal — Generate revenue by increasing the number of visits to our landing page by 15% by EOFY.
General goal — Reduce churn rate.
SMART goal — Increase customer retention rate by 10% in the next quarter by qualifying leads.
There’s no one best example of SMART goals, but (at least in our opinion) there is one best way of using them …
Presenting OKRs, the famous goal-setting methodology that embraces the SMART framework with proven results. How? OKRs have introduced a two-step approach to goal setting, hidden in its name. O stands for Objectives and KRs stands for Key Results.
Objectives may look something like what we’ve called ‘general goals’ in our examples. They’re the guiding light for your team. Key results are your SMART goals framed as targets to help measure the success of your objectives. There are multiple KRs per O, helping you break down your goals into digestible pieces.
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OKRs are becoming the standard for setting goals, so how do you go about implementing them?
OKRs and KPIs may sometimes use the same metrics, but they have a different purpose.