July 20, 2022

What are SMART goals: benefits and examples

Have you ever felt that you are working hard but you are not reaching the results that you had set yourself? It usually happens, don't worry. Many people spend their lives suffocated by work, rushing tasks trying to do more and more and end up achieving hardly anything.
It is essential to pay close attention to the objectives and goals without falling into generalizations. For example, if we propose or are proposed as an objective "to increase sales", great, who is not going to want to increase sales? But how much do we have to increase them? how are we going to do it? when?
Setting SMART goals will help us focus our efforts, manage our time better, and use resources in the most productive way. So let's start digging deeper into SMART goals now:

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Applying these parameters in the definition of objectives helps to guarantee that these are achievable within a certain period of time, eliminating confusion and establishing a clear timetable that makes it easier to track progress and identify milestones achieved and lost.
The SMART methodology is used to guide goal setting, helping to focus efforts and increasing the chances of achieving goals.


The objectives must be clear and specific in order to direct our efforts towards key points and, of course, to maintain motivation. Specific goals have a much better chance of being achieved. What do we do to make a goal specific? You can ask the following questions:
  • Who is involved in this goal?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • When do you want to achieve this goal?
  • Why do we want to achieve this goal?
When we define an objective and we are not specific, we are going to find more obstacles when it comes to achieving them, in addition, we will not be able to have the necessary motivation and purpose.


Goals should be measurable so that your progress can be tracked. You know, feedback and recognition are keys to individual and organizational development. So evaluating progress will help us stay focused, meet deadlines, and feel that satisfaction when we're close to meeting a goal. These questions will help us make a goal measurable:
  • How much should we achieve?
  • What are the indicators of progress?
  • How will we know when we have achieved the goal?
So, whenever we define an objective we must ask ourselves: is it quantifiable?


So far we have seen two very important aspects regarding the definition of the objectives, but this is where we keep our feet firmly on the ground. Objectives must be realistic, we mustn't take steps that will lead us nowhere or, much worse, that will lead us into a void. Before we start working towards a goal, we should think about:
  • How to achieve the goal?
  • Do we have the necessary tools/skills?
  • What do we need to achieve the objectives?
  • Is this goal realistic with the resources available to us?


Relevance refers to focusing on something that makes sense within a topic, within the project. It's about making sure the goals align with the organization's values, culture, and other goals. These questions will help us establish them:
  • Is this goal worth it?
  • Is the time right?
  • Am I the right person to achieve this goal?
  • Is it applicable in our current environment?

Time Bound

Every goal needs a deadline to focus on. Establishing follow-up and completion dates will help us prioritize and maintain focus and motivation. It is essential that everyone knows how to manage time for set objectives. For timed objectives we should answer these questions:
  • When?
  • What can I do six months from now?
  • What can I do in X days/weeks/months?
  • What can I do today?
  • When will we start carrying out the tasks that have been set?

Benefits of SMART Goals

Here are some of the benefits of implementing SMART goals:
  • Motivation. The waiting period until reaching a goal is difficult. However, SMART goals help us focus and keep perspective.

  • Identify areas for improvement. When goals are SMART, they are measurable. This means that we can continue evaluating what has been achieved at a given moment to see if we are really progressing to achieve it or not.

    At Hrider we streamline and automate this type of objective achievement evaluation, being able to schedule the dates on which we want to send the objective evaluation to study the percentage of compliance and be able to act on time if something does not progress as planned.

  • Concentration. Having a clear direction of what we want to achieve and when, allows us to focus on each of the steps we must take to achieve the objective. Focusing on each goal will help us prioritize it and not take our eyes off what we want to achieve in the long term.

  • Achieve goals on time. Once we know our priorities, we must control our time management. Setting SMART goals helps us create a timeline for each one. Knowing how much time we have to achieve a goal makes it easier for us to do what is necessary to achieve it on time.

  • Decision making. Setting SMART goals boosts follow-ups and feedback. Evaluating how the achievement of our objectives is going helps us not only to know the progress but also to know if we should make changes in the kpis and make new decisions.

Examples of SMART Goals

Here are some examples of SMART goals that can help you define your own goals:

1. Marketing campaign

If our goal is to create an email marketing campaign to generate 20 leads per week:
  • Specific: Use email marketing campaigns to generate a particular number of leads.

  • Measurable: this objective is measurable because we will be able to track how many people our email reaches, how many have visited our website and even how many sales have been made.

  • Achievable: Thanks to softwares designed for marketing campaigns, this is an achievable and realistic goal.

  • Relevant: contacting as many people as possible directly generates more visits, leads and customers.

  • Time Bound: Time is defined by determining that we want to get 20 new leads in a week.

2. Reduce employee resignation

What if we want to reduce employee resignation? Employee engagement is a concern and a challenge for any organization.
  • Specific: -voluntary- resignation within the company.

  • Measurable: Reduce the specific percentage of resignation. For example, reduce voluntary resignation by 15%.

  • Achievable: Several steps can be put into effect to increase employee engagement, such as work climate assessment, performance appraisal, detecting strengths and areas for improvement, creating plans of action, offer benefits…

  • Relevant: By reducing employee resignation, the company can retain talent and reduce the costs of hiring and training.

  • Time Bound: This goal is long-term and can be evaluated annually.

3. Replace annual feedback meetings with monthly ones

Organizations that carry out periodic feedback have lower staff resignations. For this to happen, the SMART goal is:
  • Specific: This objective refers specifically to encouraging feedback meetings between manager and employees on a monthly basis.

  • Measurable: Having monthly feedback meetings makes it measurable.

  • Achievable: with agile software that allows you to perform the evaluations that give these feedback meetings context, the objective is fully achievable for any organization.

  • Relevant: It is relevant to keep managers updated and informed and also for each recognized and motivated employee to feel valued. 

  • Time Bound: monthly meetings.
For the supervisors of your organization to begin setting smart objectives, we propose a plan: first, share this article with them and, secondly, send them a Goal Setting process so that they can put it into practice.
At Hrider you have a whole Library of Models available that will help you achieve your Talent Management goals:

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