Setting SMART Employee Goals

Setting SMART Employee Goals 

Setting SMART Employee Goals: SMART

This Mnemonic acronym is an extremely helpful tool for managers or supervisors who are responsible for their employees’ performance evaluations and professional development.  When taken the proper time and attention, this tool can increase the quality of performance evaluations.  Not only is a manager rating an employee on their job competencies, but they are also holding that employee accountable to reach new heights.  When done property, SMART goals can increase your company’s productivity levels.

Avoid Rating Biases and Errors

1.) Specific –

Create a clear and focused goal. Ask:  Who?  What?  Where?  When?  Why?  There should be no question or miscommunication on what the goal meant a year from now.

2.) Measurable –

Give specific measurements to reach, such as “brand-new sales: increase sales by 10%”.  You must currently have (or create) a way to compare your measurements.  Using this sales example, you must know current sales and planned sales in order to create a way to measure new sales. 

You must be able to create a way to track the goal as well.  Not only does it help the employee to stay on track, but this will be the only way that you can truly know if the employee has reached the result that you have set out to attain.

3.) Attainable –

Consider present restrictions such as workload, knowledge, schedule and the tools available.  Ask the employee if they are ready to work towards a lofty/high goal.  If so, you can break the goal down into smaller steps in order to reach this goal.  Mentorship should also be used when discussing lofty goals.  When someone reaches a high goal that they did not think was possible, it is extremely satisfying to both the person and their mentor.

Creating Job Descriptions

4.) Realistic/Relevant –

Ask yourself, is this goal relevant to the employee’s job, the companies needs and the employee’s future career path.

5.) Time-Bound –

The goal should be time-based.  The deadline will allow you to break down tasks by date (possibly by quarters or months), which will help the employee to meet the ultimate goal.  This timeline will enable the employee to keep the goal in front of them.  It will also create a sense of urgency that will help to push them to a new level.  Setting SMART Employee Goals


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