Practice Writing smart goals For Performance Reviews activity

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Practice Writing SMART Goals

For Performance Reviews


  • Draft an example of a SMART Performance Related Goal you would like to achieve this calendar year.

  • Draft an example of a SMART Professional Development Goal you would like to achieve this calendar year.

Goal-Setting Examples:
Performance Related

Not a SMART Goal


Send out welcome letters to incoming freshmen.

Write and distribute signed welcome letters to all incoming Marycrest freshmen by 8/1/2014.

Ensure facilities are clean.

Communicate with Stuart Hall Property Manager daily to ensure that facilities are cleaned and maintained in accordance with established custodial procedures.

Develop better cultural understanding of international students.

Schedule and attend a session hosted by Center for International Programs that covers international student concerns once each academic semester for the 2014-2015 year.

Promote healthy living on campus.

In order to promote healthy living on campus, hand out tips to each health center visitor with information on how to create balanced meals while on campus.

Improve XYZ Conference attendance.

Achieve attendance of at least 250 guests at the XYZ conference on 10/1/2014 by sending a promotional email on 6/2/2014 and monthly reminder emails to individuals on the distribution list.

Answer department calls.

Provide excellent telephone customer service daily by answering each call on the 2nd ring with a smile and by following the established department telephone procedures.

Professional Development

Not a SMART Goal


Take a training class.

Enroll in the Center for Leadership training session entitled Customer Service: Developing Customer Loyalty for Life on 5/6/2014 to increase my knowledge of customer service.

Make connections with health center colleagues on other campuses.

Meet with health center employees at Wright State once per academic semester in the 2014-2015 year to discuss best practices.

Become more aware of industry standards for health centers on college campuses.

Renew membership in and attend one training hosted by the American College Health Association by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Work on presentation skills.

Improve my presentation skills by presenting a new topic during at least two staff meetings during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Meet Continuing Education requirements for RN's and MD's.

Obtain continuing education credits by attending one training or seminar by the end of each academic semester in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Learn a new skill.

Attend a budgeting workshop by January 2, 2015 to learn how to set and manage budgets.


For Performance Reviews
Goals should describe accomplishments, not activities. First, let’s look at what the S.M.A.R.T. acronym means…
Specific: Goal objectives should address the five Ws…who, what, when, where, and why. Make sure the goal specifies what needs to be done with a timeframe for completion. Use action verbs…create, design, develop, implement, produce, etc. Example: resolve accounting discrepancies within 48 hours.
Measurable: Goal objectives should include numeric or descriptive measures that define quantity, quality, cost, etc. How will you and your supervisor know when the goal has been successfully met? Focus on elements such as observable actions, quantity, quality, cycle time, efficiency, and/or flexibility to measure outcomes, not activities. Example: secure pledges from ten new donors by the end of each week.
Achievable: Goal objectives should be within the staff member’s control and influence; a goal may be a “stretch” but still feasible. Is the goal achievable with the available resources? Is the goal achievable within the timeframe originally outlined? Consider authority or control, influence, resources, and work environment support to meet the goal. Example: obtain the XYZ professional certification within two years.
Relevant: Goals should be instrumental to the mission of the department and the division (and ultimately, the institution). Why is the goal important? How will the goal help the department and division achieve its objectives? Develop goals that relate to the staff member’s key accountabilities or link with the departmental goals that align with the institutional agenda. Example: develop and implement a diversity recruitment plan that increases the number of diversity candidates by ten percent.
Time-bound: Goal objectives should identify a definite target date for completion and/or frequencies for specific action steps that are important for achieving the goal. How often should the staff member work on this assignment? By when should this goal be accomplished? Incorporate specific dates, calendar milestones, or timeframes that are relative to the achievement of another result (i.e., dependencies and linkages to other projects). Example: check the fire alarms and emergency lighting in all buildings every six months.

More examples:

For an organization or department…

Not SMART “Improve our student service.”

SMART “Achieve and maintain an average student service rating of at least 4.0 (out of a possible 5.0) on our annual survey by 11-20-08.”

For an exempt staff member…

Not SMART “Create our 2008 strategic plan.”

SMART “Create our 2008 strategic plan, obtain final approval from the Budget Committee, and discuss it with our department so individuals can begin setting their performance objectives by 8-29-07.”

Not SMART “Improve project management skills.”

SMART “Take the Project Management Essentials workshop on 10-18-2007, report what was learned to our team by 11-01-2007, and apply the relevant concepts while implementing our 2008 marketing plan.”

For a nonexempt staff member…

Not SMART “Send out hire letters to our new students.”

SMART “Produce and distribute personalized welcome letters, error free, to all new students in our department by 9-26-07.”

Not SMART “Be more receptive to coaching suggestions and feedback.”

SMART “At our 1-on-1 meetings, ask for feedback on what I am doing well and what things should improve. Keep a notebook with this information, try out the suggestions, and document each week what worked and what didn’t.”

For an exempt or nonexempt staff member…

Not SMART “Keep our department’s website up-to-date.”

SMART “Solicit updates and new material for the website from our department managers on the first Friday of each month; work with appropriate staff to publish this new material by the following Friday. Each time material is published, review the website for material that is out-of-date and delete or archive that material.”
Remember the S.M.A.R.T. acronym when establishing goals and objectives. This formula for goal-setting helps ensure that both supervisors and employees share the same understanding and clarity on goals set during the performance management cycle.

Adapted from Performance Management Training Workbook, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009

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