What is a SMART objective

How do I write a SMART objective?

Hi, today’s top tip is the six of clubs, and it’s all about setting SMART objectives. Now, these tips come from our 52 Top Tips For Employers, and the clubs are all about training and development of your staff. So the six of clubs is SMART objectives.

Whether mid-year reviews, probation meetings, end-of-year reviews or one-to-ones, any objectives set should be SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (or relevant), and time-bound. These should be agreed between the employee and their manager, and they should be documented. 

Now, it’s all very well to say that an employee should be able to produce their month-end reports. Okay, that’s an objective. However, if you say that that employee should produce month-end reports that are 99% accurate within the first five days of the month after the month end has closed, so we’re talking about finance objective here, that’s much more specific. And if somebody is always delivering those reports late and they’ve got an objective that says, well, actually, it should be delivered within five days of the end of the month, then you’ve got some form of accountability and you’ve got something to refer back to so that when you’re managing that person’s performance, there can be no doubt about what your requirements were as a business owner. And that can be applied to anything within a business. 

Some roles it’s harder to be specific than others. You should always try and make it measurable and it should also be relevant to the employee’s role. There’s no point in setting them an objective that, actually, isn’t anything to do with the job that they’re doing. So when you’re writing SMART objectives, think about them in advance and hold that SMART acronym in your mind because it really will stand you in good stead.

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