SMART Goal Examples

SMART goal examples and templates: This is THE formula for setting smart goals that explains what they are. Don't write a SMART goal unless it meets these criteria.

My first boss told me, "If you're not growing, you're stagnating." Her point was that everyone should have goals to stretch them, that push you to do more and be more than you are today.

Without higher targets for yourself and your business, natural attrition sets in and customers continue to slowly stop using your services; without growth goals, your business or career eventually dies.

Focus is everything in life... what you focus on grows. So when you take the time to clarify what you want by creating goals, you streamline your focus on what's important to you and results follow.

Success rarely comes easily or in your sleep so getting started by creating goals to improve your results is extremely important. Don't forget that using some sort of daily planner will also help you track your progress and you can use the SMART goal examples below to help kick start your activity.

Before we get to how to write smart goals, we should agree on a SMART goals definition and what the acronym stands for.

SMART Goals Acronym:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Action Oriented
  • R - Realistic
  • T- Time Sensitive
  • "What Are SMART Goals?"

    Life is simple when your achievements are pass/fail or black/white. When you're paid on commission for every item you sell, or each item produced, you get used to that.

    For people whose performance is judged by more variables than that, the world is much more gray.

    The way many companies choose to evaluate more "gray area" positions with qualitative aspects as well as production targets, is to objectively judge as many areas of performance as possible.

    SMART goals play an important goal in improving business growth by setting individual goals for employees. Goals can push an average employee to higher performance who has unfulfilled potential.For more ideas, check out my article on employee evaluation phrases.

    Well chosen goals help improve productivity.

    SMART goals examples are specific and measurable instead of vague. They require action rather than just doing a job and seeing what happens; they stretch people, but are realistic given recent performance and, all SMART goal examples have a deadline.

    How To Write SMART goals

    The best process for setting goals guarantees a fair deal to the person you are evaluating. There are a few criteria to consider when learning how to write SMART goals:

    1) Carefully Consider Recent Performance - Realistic Goals Motivate, Unreasonably Demanding Goals Demean

    2) Set Goals That Can Be Evaluated Objectively - No Judgment Calls, Just Numeric or Yes/No

    3) Set A Deadline - Deadlines Push People To Stretch To Reach The Goal

    4) Growth Goals Are Important - If They Are Already Performing At That Level, It's Not A Goal

    5) Serve An Important Purpose - Take The Time To Set Goals That Tie Into A Bigger Picture Of Your Business

    Develop SMART goals for your employees by reviewing your division's or company's goals, then breaking that down into necessary action steps that each employee can take to help meet that goal.

    Clear and precisely defined goals are important to both people being on the same page and understanding expectations. People who know what is expected of them can move from using a simple to-do list to focusing their energy on specific SMART goals.

    So if your company has a goal to increase sales of a product by 5%, set SMART goals that are specific actions each employee can take to move toward that. Your tech people may have a goal of a specific number of ride-alongs with your salespeople to present the product to clients.

    Your administrative assistant may have a goal of producing and providing reporting on the sales figures for your team every Monday. Your salespeople may have call goals and client presentation goals. In case you'd like some more thoughts on the subject I compiled a list of SMART goal examples below.

    SMART Goal Examples

    • Develop an on-boarding plan for new employees and submit in writing by June 6th

    • Create realistic budget objectives using last year's expenses as a baseline: submit by January 1st

    • Increase contract completion for customers from current 85% to 95%: Monthly

    • Face-to-face visit with all current clients and discuss business needs: Quarterly

    • Attend one advanced training session for on-the-job technical skills: By Next Review

    • Lead two new-hire orientation sessions: Monthly

    • Reduce department expenses by 5% from last year by fiscal year end. Last Year Results: ______ Current Goal:_______ Yearly

    • Increase collection of accounts receivable to 95% of billed revenue Monthly

    • Work with sales to set new credit terms for our top three accounts:
      1. Acme Products 2. Success Books 3. Binford Tools By Next Review

    • Negotiate contract with outside supplier of payroll to reduce total cost by September 1st

    • Keep employee handbook current, adapting it to changing conditions as necessary by April 20th

    • Meet with executive team monthly with prepared presentation on personnel costs

    • Work with hotels and obtain discount off of current rate of $X for company travel by next review

    • Develop a strategic marketing plan for upcoming trade show by July 7th

    • Coordinate with warehouse to permit just-in-time inventory replenishment plan by May 31st

    I hope the SMART goal examples above have been helpful. SMART performance goals will help drive your business forward when you use them regularly with your staff. You can't afford to let a bad economy destroy your business or career; The SMART goal examples above can help propel your team to success!

    Be sure to check out my articles on how to choose a planner once you or your employees have your goals established because weekly planners can help you ensure you're planning time to meet your goals.

    Read Another Time Management Article:

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    Time Management for Managers

    How Efficient Are Your Meetings

    How To Measure Productivity

    Productive Work Habits

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