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Examples of SMART Objectives

Ensuring Clarity When Phrasing Objectives

Objectives should be worded using clear unambiguous language. Both the reviewer and the reviewee should not only understand the objective but they should also both have the same understanding of what is to be achieved. Objectives should be concerned with results and achievements rather than with undertaking a series of actions or tasks. When writing objectives some of the words used can lead to confusion and may imply activities rather than the result to be achieved. Some examples are detailed below with potential substitutes which are probably better, but may not always be appropriate.

General Example of a SMART Objective

To design and deliver an information session on [subject] to [target audience] by dd/mm/yy, which achieves an overall satisfactory evaluation rating through a feedback form submitted to attendees.

It is Specific

It is clear exactly what the training will cover, who it will be delivered to and that it is yet to be developed (which provides parameters for workload involved)

It is Measurable

Has the objective been completed? Is the objective precise, leaving little room for misunderstanding or ambiguity?

It is Aligned and Achievable

It is aligned to the University strategy aimed at providing an excellent customer experience (i.e. student, faculty, etc) and it is assumed that there is a requirement in the local plans that this fulfills.

It is Relevant

The objective is relevant to your position description responsibilities and/or your professional plan goals

It is Time Based

The date by which the objective is to be achieved is clear and unambiguous (if undated, it is assumed the goal is not time sensitive and will be completed within the current evaluation cycle).

Sample Goal Ideas to Expound Upon:


  • To identify an area for enhancement within my program area and create a streamlined process.
  • Develop and refine a program/department/job handbook.
  • Develop standards and procedures for [process].
  • Oversee implementation of [project].
  • Create a newsletter to be distributed on a (i.e. quarterly, weekly, monthly) basis starting mm/dd/yy.
  • Create/maintain a website for by mm/dd/yy.
  • To increase the number of [blank] by [blank].
  • Collaborate/Initiate an orientation/information/training session for (i.e. students, lecturers, co-workers, etc).
  • Learn [a new skill] by (i.e. attending conferences, online resources, webinars).
  • Seek out and engage in XX professional development opportunities this year.
  • Increase awareness of (recruitment, admissions, processes, etc) by [measurable action items].
  • Establish XX new partnerships with [who] by [measurable action items].
  • Participate in XX events – to what end?
  • To train [students, faculty, co-workers] on (i.e. program or procedure).
  • Provide a high level of support to (faculty, students, staff) by [measurable action items].
  • Identify XX new outreach/marketing/partnership opportunities.
  • Collaborate with [whom] to create [new process].
  • Recruit XX students for semester/program.


  • Increase web traffic by XX through [measurable action items].
  • Increase media exposure by XX through [measurable action items].
  • Increase press coverage from previous years by [measurable action items].


  • Host weekly check-ins with each supervisee.
  • Supervise staff to ensure project deadlines and deliverables are met.
  • Develop policies and procedures to guide internal decision making and facilitate work-flow.
  • Provide leadership for completion of [existing project or goal].
  • Implement a process improvement to increase efficiency, for example _ (i.e. process improvement idea).
  • Improve communication with staff by [measurable action items].
  • Create a culture of collaboration by [measurable action items].
  • Lead an effort to record standard operating procedures to promote continuity and consistency of program efforts.
  • Identify XX opportunities for team professional development.
  • Give employee feedback XX times throughout the year of progress and achievement and areas for growth.
  • Provide support to staff/faculty by offering resources and tools and sharing “best practices” on a _ (i.e. quarterly, weekly, monthly) basis.
  • Support the school in reaching student recruitment targets (quantify and include measurable action items).
  • To support or mentor xx members of staff in [program] area.

Research & Grants

  • To develop, and design xx research proposals as a normal part of undertaking research, objectives and projects by dd/mm/yy.
  • To deliver xx presentations or exhibitions at national conferences and other similar events which receive x% of feedback from delegates which is rated good or very good.
  • To have written as Principal Investigator (or key contributor) research grant applications of a value exceeding the median award value of your discipline/school and have submitted these by dd/mm/yy.
  • To be successful in obtaining x number of research grants/specific research grants by dd/mm/yy.
  • Collaborate on XX new project proposals.
  • Write XX of articles and submit for publication.


  • Development of XX of online modules by dd/mm/yy.

Performance Standards

Performance standards can exist in any job however they are directly linked to completing job-tasks and tend to define the quality of performance each time a particular task is completed. Performance standards or service levels describe the conditions that must exist before the performance can be rated satisfactory.


  • Submit employee reimbursements for payment within XX days of receipt.
  • Ensure email inquiries are responded to within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Ensure FCQs are delivered within XX days of receipt.
  • Maintain database by ensuring new data is added within 2 days.
  • No later than XX days after the end of each semester, generate Y report.
human/reference-documents/smart-goals.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/03 16:34 by Matt Mitchell