What are Smart Goals? | Meaning & Definition | Akrivia HCM

What are smart goals?

Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound traits that help you set realistic goals and help increase your chances of achieving a desired result. They are usually used in business to set goals and measure progress.

How to write smart goals

  • S- Specific 

Set Clear and Specific Goals: The first step in breaking down a smart goal is to make sure that it is specific. Make sure that your goal is clear and not too vague. Ask yourself the below questions:

a. What do I need to accomplish?

b. What is the timeframe to achieve?

c. What is the objective of the goal?

  • M – Measurable

Make Goals Measurable: Ensure that you can track your progress toward the goal. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Ask yourself:  

a. How to know if I have reached my goal?

b. What is the indicator of my progress?

  • A – Achievable

Make Goals Achievable: Make sure that the goal is not unrealistic, and that you have sufficient resources to reach it. The goal you set should also be relevant to your current situation and the desired outcome. Ask yourself the below questions:

a. What skills do I need to achieve the goal?

b. Are there necessary resources to achieve the goal?

  • R – Relevant 

Make Goals Relevant:The goal should be something that will help move the organization forward in some way. Ask yourself:  

a. Are my efforts beneficial for organizational growth?

b. Are my efforts worth it?

c. Is this the right time to set a goal?

  • T – Time bound

Make Goals Time-Bound: The last step in breaking down a smart goal is to make sure that it is time-bound. Make sure to set a deadline for reaching the goal. Setting a timeline will help you stay motivated and on track.

a. At which time frame can I achieve the goal?

b. What can be achieved within the timeframe?


For example, if you want to Increase employee satisfaction by 10% by the end of Q4 2020, then you should set a smart goal that includes SMART elements such as:

Specific: Increase employee satisfaction by 10%.

Measurable: Measure employee satisfaction through employee surveys.

Achievable: Develop and implement a plan to increase employee satisfaction by 10%.

Relevant: The goal relates to the company’s overall goals and objectives.

Time-bound: Achieve the goal by the end of Q4 2020.


The benefits of smart goals include the following:

  • Smart goals provide focus and direction: Smart goals provide a clear sense of direction and help you focus on the tasks that will bring you closer to achieving your desired outcome. This helps you stay on track with your progress, and ensures that you don’t miss deadlines.
  • Smart goals are time-bound:Smart goals are set with a specific timeline, keeping you accountable and focused on the task. It also helps ensure you don’t procrastinate, keeping you on track to achieve your goal.
  • Smart goals are measurable: Smart goals are measurable and specific, which makes it easier to track your progress, identify weaknesses and make adjustments. This also allows you to celebrate your successes and stay motivated to keep going.
  • They Motivate You: Smart goals give you an achievable target to work towards, which can help motivate you to keep going. When you have a goal you can measure and track, it makes it easier to stay on track and motivated.

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