25 Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Managers and Employees
Leaders and managers need to have solid goals for themselves and also for helping others hit their own individual goals to improve employee performance. A SMART goal is a powerful tool that enables you to track your progress on a regular basis towards achieving your key performance indicators.
The first step of a SMART goal (and the first letter in the SMART acronym) is specific. A specific goal lays out clear expectations and/or steps to reach that objective. It does not lead to a vague goal or the potential for misinterpretation.
The next element of a SMART goal is that it has a measurable objective. Without measurable markers to aim toward, the goal will not have a clear direction, and it will not be obvious that the desired end result has been achieved.
Additionally, the goal must be attainable or achievable. It’s good to dream big and push boundaries, but there is such a thing as reaching too far – setting a goal that is too outlandish only sets you up for failure.
The action plan you develop in your SMART objective must be a relevant goal for the ends you are trying to achieve. Setting unrelated directives can create confusion among employees and senior managers and create a sense that the ultimate goal will never be reached. It also needs to be a realistic goal to avoid negatively impacting employee morale and so that the goal is within employees’ control.
The final SMART criteria for a goal is that it must be bound to a particular timeline or that it can be easily tracked over a given period of time. The sense of progression from beginning to end is clear here: without a deadline, work toward a goal can continue forever without actually reaching it.
Examples of Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Managers and Employees
#1 Example: Performance Reviews
I will complete all performance reviews for my department in the six-week timeline allotted by Corporate by conducting eight interview sessions per week and setting aside two additional hours each week to process the required paperwork.
S: The goal is to complete staff performance reviews.
M: The goal is eight interview sessions per week, plus two hours per week on paperwork.
A: Eight one-on-one interviews per week is doable on a regular business schedule.
R: Conducting the interviews will lead to completing the goal.
T: Depending on the overall size of the department, eight interviews per week would allow for 48 total interviews, which should provide the ability to meet the goal by the six-week deadline.
#2 Example: Improving Service Response Time
I will work with my team to decrease the average response time on a service call by 20% over the next six months by holding a weekly team meeting to align everyone to the upcoming service calls.
S: The goal is to decrease service call response time.
M: The desired metric is a 20% decrease over a six-month term.
A: Twenty percent may seem aggressive, but it is doable.
R: The weekly team meetings will help everyone process the service calls more quickly.
T: Six months is the deadline to decrease the average response time.
#3 Example: Staff Meetings Per Quarter
I will decrease the number of staff meetings by the end of the quarter in an attempt to eliminate redundancies. Instead of three weekly whole-team meetings, we will only hold one, and sub-teams will only be required to meet twice per month instead of weekly.
S: The goal is to eliminate redundancies by decreasing the number of staff meetings.
M: Two staff meetings will be eliminated each week, and the frequency of team meetings will be cut in half.
A: These adjustments are easy to make, especially since a time commitment is being removed.
R: These steps should lead to reduced redundancy.
T: The timeframe of one quarter should let the manager know if the strategy was an effective way to reach the goal.
#4 Example: Improve Employee Relations
I will get to know my direct reports better by holding one-on-one rounding meetings with each of my 30 staff members over the course of the next month.
S: The goal is to get to know employees better.
M: The one-on-one rounding over the course of the month is the measurable goal.
A: The manager can handle at least one rounding meeting per day.
R: Rounding is a great way to get to know employees.
T: One month is the defined time frame.
#5 Example: Maintain Industry Rating
We will maintain our A+ quality rating into the next year by increasing the frequency of store cleanings and food stock checks to align with industry best practices – from every two hours to every 90 minutes.
S: The overall goal is to maintain an A+ industry rating.
M: The measurable actions are to increase the frequency of store cleanings and stock checks.
A: The increase in cleanliness checks is doable for the staff.
R: A mild increase in the cleanliness checks will serve to keep things up to the current standard, if not increase them.
T: The end goal is to keep the rating by next year.
#6 Example: Maintain Accreditation Level
We will successfully achieve a continued accreditation upon the review team’s visit next year by assigning a four-person team to thoroughly review the requirements and report on recommendations every three months.
S: The business objective is to maintain the academic accreditation level.
M: The quarterly recommendation reports are the measurable work product to be released.
A: A four-person team can do these reports with their current workload.
R: The recommendation reports should keep everyone on track to maintain the accreditation.
T: The review team visiting next year is the “deadline.”
#7 Example: Sales Goal
We will increase our department’s sales by 15% next year through a weekly online promotion, a monthly in-house giveaway, and a new quarterly incentive program for all staff to monitor their personal goals for sales.
Professional SMART Goals Examples for Work
#1 Example: Arriving to work on time
I will avoid arriving late to work this month by setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier each morning and leaving 20 minutes earlier than I do now.
S: The specific long-term goal is arriving on time for work.
M: Thirty extra minutes in the morning, as well as 20 extra minutes of travel time, is measurable.
A: These changes are incremental and not drastic.
R: Both changes relate to arriving on time.
T: The time frame is one month.
#2 Example: Growing client base
I will add ten businesses to my client base by the end of this year by spending 30 minutes cold calling twice a week. I will also attend two chamber of commerce events each month to grow my professional network as well.
S: Specific actions include growing the client base, spending time cold calling, and attending chamber of commerce events.
M: Measures include ten new clients, 30 minutes of time twice per week, and two events to attend.
A: The time spent each week and month with new activities is manageable.
R: Cold calling and relationship building will support the goal of growing the client base.
T: There is an endpoint to measure against (the end of this year).
#3 Example: Improve report accuracy
I will decrease inaccuracies in my summary reports by adding recurring checklist items to my project management platform for a grammar and plagiarism check, as well as a weekly reminder before submitting my reports, then compare my incident reporting to last month and see how my rate has decreased.
S: The goal is to remove report inaccuracies.
M: There are two checklist items and one weekly reminder to add.
A: These tasks are very easy to add to existing processes.
R: These extra tasks will improve the writing process.
T: There is no specified end goal, but an ongoing goal is acceptable.
#4 Example: Improve department staffing
I will reduce the number of times my department is short-staffed by analyzing last month’s work schedules and adding one additional employee to each shift, then review the customer feedback system and make changes accordingly.
S: Keeping the department staffed month over month is the specific goal.
M: Adding one additional employee is measurable.
A: One additional employee for each shift is not too drastic and is a realistic goal.
R: The extra shifts and monthly reviews will support the goal of improving staffing issues.
T: The monthly action plan provides a milestone to work toward.
#5 Example: Complete software vendor selection process
I will complete our software vendor selection process by hosting meetings with five different vendors this month, then submitting a three-page summary report on each one when the interview process is complete.
S: Completing the software vendor selection process is a clear goal.
M: Five vendors with a three-page report on each is measurable.
A: Five vendor meetings in one month is an achievable goal, as is the brief report for each.
R: The meetings and reports will aid in the decision process.
T: The one-month time frame is easy to work toward.
S: The monetary goal is specific, as is the added workload.
M: One project a week is a measurable addition.
A: One additional project per week is doable.
R: Taking on more work will increase the extra income.
T: The monthly time frame is trackable.
#7 Example: Increase conference registrations
I will increase conference registrations by 25% by adding weekly email and social media invitations to our partner list and target audiences, then refining messaging each week over the three months leading up to the conference.
S: There is a specific and measurable goal of increasing conference registrations, and the actions are specific as well.
M: The growth milestone of 25% is clear.
A: The added email and social media communications are not out of reach.
R: The added actions and weekly improvements directly serve the business objective.
T: Three months is the time limit for the work.
#8 Example: Improve automated process efficiency
I will increase our automated mailing efficiency by operating our machines one additional hour each day in order to achieve an overall output growth of 6%.