8 examples of SMART performance goals for success

Goal setting is an important part of both personal and professional development. However, it is not enough to set vague, arbitrary goals with deadlines; you need to set achievable goals - SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable and Attainable: Short for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
8 examples of SMART performance goals | Amwork

If you are struggling to set SMART performance goals for your team members or even yourself, here are some examples

1. Increase productivity by 20% within six months

Specific: This target specifies a percentage rather than a general reference to increasing productivity.

Measurable: Instead of using the term productivity in an undefined way, you should be able to quantify what it means to your team, especially when it comes to productivity and efficiency. Try to conceptualize productivity as the number of tasks completed in a given period of time, rather than how many hours an employee works.

Achievable: A goal is attainable because it is a small target that can be achieved with hard work, focus and dedication. Goals like 'double productivity' are much harder to achieve and will ultimately be demoralizing for the team.

Related: Productivity is a goal that teams can always invest in as it affects their personal and professional work ethic. However, always collect data to see if productivity can be improved. If your team is already highly productive, it may be more beneficial to choose a different goal.

Be time-bound: a six-month timeline provides ample room to measure, analyze and, if necessary, change the target.

2. Attend a professional development event every three months

Specific: This objective does not direct the team to attend networking events more often.

Measurable: One event is enough and it is an easily achievable goal because you know exactly when, where and how it will start and end.

Achievable: Even if you and your team are busy, attending just one event per quarter is a reasonable commitment that allows time for preparation.

Relevant: Find a professional development event that is an excellent source of skills development and networking for your team.

Futuristic: Stating that you will reach your goals each quarter ensures that you don't just set a goal and forget about it a few months later.

3. Increase sales by 10% in the next quarter

Specific: You are not aiming for the stars with this SMART performance goal. If you just want to increase overall sales by a certain percentage, but want to make it a more specific goal (e.g. sales of a specific product), this is a good way to go.

Measurable: If you have a system for tracking sales, you have an easy way to measure progress on this goal.

Achievable: this goal is achievable. This is because 10% is not an extremely difficult figure to reach on a large scale.

Before setting this course, use historical data to understand exactly what the market was like and how difficult it was to increase sales. Then, if necessary, modify your goals and make them meaningful in the context of your team.

Set a deadline: one quarter for preparation and one quarter for implementation, giving you six months to realize this goal.

4. Complete a course or qualification to learn a new skill in the next two months.

Specific: This specific goal isn't just about learning a new skill — you'll know when the goal starts and ends.

Be measurable: Learning a new skill is not just about a vague sense of achievement. It is about doing and completing a specific course.

Achievable: no matter how difficult the skill is, simply completing a course has the parameters of how you study it.

Relevant: the new skill is always relevant to your career, personal life and current job.

With a deadline: because a long timeline full of self-centered activities can lead to procrastination.

5. Within two weeks, find five knowledge gaps that competitors are filling.

Specific: not only research your competitors, but use your time wisely by knowing exactly what knowledge gaps you have that various competitors have found solutions for.

Measurable: You are free to choose how many knowledge gaps to find, but set a specific number to justify your goal.

Attainable: This goal is highly feasible as it is research-based and primarily a brainstorming exercise.

Relevant: being a current competitor solving a current problem is extremely important. The knowledge gap you are looking for is likely to be something your team or department is interested in (e.g. IT teams look for IT knowledge gaps), which makes the goal more relatable.

With a deadline: If you can't meet the two-week deadline due to busy times, it's perfectly acceptable to extend this goal to a month. Alternatively, you can start the goal when there is not a lot of work to be done and meet the two-week deadline.

The bottom line is that SMART performance goals will get you nowhere without the right format for tracking, managing and evaluating them. Whether you are trying to increase sales, learn a new skill or attend a development course, the best tools should be used — using Hive Goals to create a goal tree with sub-goals will centralize and automate achieving your goals. You can also use data from other systems integrated into the Hive workspace to see which goals are at risk.

6. Organize monthly cross-training sessions.

Specific: The aim is to share knowledge and develop cross-functional skills with team members. Sessions can be scheduled monthly and cover topics such as marketing, product management, customer service, etc.

Measurable: Tracking the number of team members attending the sessions and the feedback they provide after the sessions can be used as a key point to measure the success of the objective. You can also evaluate the effectiveness of the sessions by measuring the improvement in cross-departmental skills.

Achievable: The goal of this objective is to ensure that everyone on the team is trained to fill in when a colleague is unavailable due to illness, PTO, vacation, etc. Encourage teams to take turns leading sessions and sharing their expertise until all team members are fully cross-functionally trained.

Relevance: Professional development is essential for your team to excel in their respective fields. By developing cross-functional skills, team members can better understand the business as a whole and improve their problem-solving skills.

Time constraints: Monthly knowledge sharing sessions set specific timeframes and frequencies to achieve goals. It also helps team members understand other members' workflows, routines and potential obstacles.

7. A new feedback and recognition system will be introduced in the next three months.

Specific: Set up a new system within a specific time frame. The aim is to improve communication, motivation and employee engagement within the organization.

Measurable:  Track progress and collect feedback from employees on the new system, as well as monitor the frequency and effectiveness of feedback and recognition in terms of how it affects the way work is done.

Achievable: a three-month timeline to fully plan, develop and implement the new system. This process can be broken down into smaller tasks, such as conducting a survey in the first month, engaging in one-to-one dialog with employees in the second month, and initiating recognition badges and award ceremonies to celebrate team achievements. This can be achieved by allocating resources, involving key stakeholders and ensuring effective communication throughout the process.

Related: Establishing feedback and recognition programs is crucial to fostering a positive workplace culture, boosting employee morale and improving performance management practices. This is consistent with the goal of increasing employee engagement and creating a collaborative work environment.

Time-bound: The three-month timeframe sets a clear deadline for the implementation of the new system and allows sufficient time for training, testing and fine-tuning before full-scale implementation. Regular checking of progress will ensure timely completion and address any challenges that may arise.

8. Reduce customer churn by 3% within the academic year.

Specific: This goal is to reduce churn, but it can also generate insights on how to improve the customer experience and improve retention.

Measurable: Creating a method to track customer churn rates is a sure way to improve. Customer relationship management (CRM) software or an analytics platform like Hive Analytics can generate customizable reports on customer churn.

Accessible: With Hive Analytics, for example, you can create customizable reports on customer churn. You can also keep customers interested in your brand by offering incentives to stay and sending regular updates.

Relevance: The customer experience with your brand and products is key to measuring the scalability of your business and assessing the overall health of your company. Engaged customers are also more willing to upgrade services and purchase new products.

Time constraints: If your marketing, sales and customer success teams are aligned, giving your team six months to tackle this tactic goes double.

Goal setting with Hive

Ready to set goals for your team Hive's newest (and most exciting) feature Goals With Hive's newest feature, Goals, you can set different goals for your team Goals allows you to set different goals, visualize progress Goals allows you to set different goals, visualize progress, and align everyone's vectors in a central dashboard. You can also do this:

  • Create one, ten, twenty or more goals for your team.
  • Centralize and automate the tracking and reporting of goals.
  • Import data from other systems into Hive to streamline operations and reporting.
  • Share goals, assign goals to relevant teammates, track activities and set deadlines.
  • Track achievement of team and organizational goals.
  • Color coding makes it easy to identify 'in progress' items.

When reviewing progress, achievements and accomplishments, you can easily export all relevant information.

Oliver Grand

Oliver Grand

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