What are HR SMART goals?
A goal is an objective you impose on yourself and an indicator of success once you’ve achieved that result. The SMART goal technique is a more sophisticated process of aiming for a target, and the acronym stands for the following characteristics:
- Specific - make your goal specific and narrow down the details: the who, what, where, when, and why of what you want to achieve. You can be ambitious but between some realistic limits.
- Measurable - establish clear criteria to show if you’re making progress and track success. Reevaluate when necessary.
- Achievable - make sure the goal is reasonable, considering your resources and the available time span.
- Relevant - the purpose of the goal should align with the long-term objectives and values of the department and the organization as a whole.
- Time-Bound - set a realistic end date to prioritize the goal and motivate the people working on it.
HR is a complex field where people and emotions are involved, which means not everything is predictable. There are too many factors to be taken into consideration, so setting SMART goals can be of great help to HR practitioners. It’s the key to success if you want to have a realistic timeline, a long-term perspective, and fast inspiration to generate results that will show that HR supports the development and growth of the company.
Why should you implement HR SMART goals?
Fancy goals are often vague and can lead to frustration if not achieved in the imposed time frame. Setting a realistic goal can help visualize the trajectory daily and build motivation and engagement. So here is why you should consider using HR SMART goals:
Better focus and higher performance: HR professionals find it easier to prioritize and track progress when setting clear goals. SMART goals will offer a purpose, a fuel to improve daily. The act of setting goals will generate a higher level of performance and will enhance their focusing skills.
Builds a culture of accountability: when you start setting goals, both as a team and as individual members, you implicitly create an environment where everyone knows the target and can monitor how their work is going. If issues occur, such as a missed deadline, it’s easier to discuss them and find solutions to solve them.
Advertising your result to upper management: SMART goals will get everyone to visualize what success looks like in numbers, which is an important part of your organization’s leadership. By showing them the continuous progress, you will present the value and impact HR brings to the table.
10 HR SMART goals examples
When you feel ready to set the SMART goals that your organization needs, you can use these examples below:
1. Remodel the organization’s core values
Your company's core values are important, but only if they drive motivation, engagement, and a higher retention level. It’s not enough to just place them on a big wall, visible to everyone.
According to Gallup analytics, only 27% of employees strongly agree they believe in their company's values. A relatively low percentage, right? Missing out on this important aspect will cost you attracting top talent and keeping the one you already gained. Talented people want to work in organizations where the culture and the core values are not just words.
So make it a point to focus on your organization’s values.
SMART Goal example: Design a list of 3 to 5 core values your employees relate to in a maximum of one month.
2. Reduce time on administrative tasks
We cannot just eliminate administrative tasks; it’s something that needs to be done. But the question is, who should do them and how much time should be dedicated in this direction?
Spending less time on administrative tasks as an HR professional or HR manager should be a goal to consider as soon as possible.
Streamline your processes with a digital tool meant to help you expedite repetitive tasks.
SMART Goal example: Find the right tool for your organization to help reduce time spent on administrative tasks in 2 months.
3. Emphasize employee feedback
Giving feedback is essential; you are already aware of that. But it’s not good enough to give feedback to employees; you have to provide it in a positive and constructive manner to have the desired effects.
Human resource managers can use SMART goals to offer inspirational feedback to employees. Positive affirmations and reinforcements can raise job satisfaction and engagement, all these generating better productivity levels.
SMART Goal example: Offer positive feedback in weekly or monthly meetings.
4. Cultivate employee performance
By setting short-term SMART goals, you can avoid procrastination and the loss of motivation. It’s easier to keep track of small projects or big ones, but divided into small parts, than setting a goal over a long period of time.
Making sure your employees are constantly learning new skills is also a goal to be considered. If they are constantly growing, there is a higher chance they will stay with your company.
SMART Goal example: Look for courses for professional development for your team and offer them options over a maximum of one month.
5. Automate at least one process
You should consider automation because it’s the key to freeing up a lot of time - time spent on repetitive tasks. You can focus on more strategic matters by automating some of your HR processes.
You can start by automating leave management, a very sensitive topic in every organization.
With LeaveBoard, the tiresome task of managing absences and time off will vanish. We offer accessible software for both managers and employees.
You can create a separate attendance calendar for each team; know who is off, when, and how long. By using our software, you will gain business agility, productivity, and effectiveness.
SMART Goal example: Look for the perfect software for your organization to automate leave management in the next three months.
6. Enhance staff retention
High turnover rates are costly in 2022, and not only this, but it’s also a factor that demotivates your employees and lowers their productivity.
HR managers must set SMART goals to keep top talent; of course, they must be relevant and timely. Improving employee experience can be an idea or offering benefits in the well-being area.
SMART Goal example: In the following weekly meeting, ask for feedback from employees on how they see an improvement in employee experience.
7. Encourage staff collaboration
HR professionals are also responsible for improving collaboration between managers and their teams. Using SMART goals in this area is very useful. Some of them should include the existence of regular conversations, an online tool for communication, and monthly feedback sessions.
SMART Goal example: Organize monthly informal gatherings with the team for better bonding.
8. Rethink employee benefits
Over the course of the pandemic, employees’ aspirations regarding benefits have changed. They want more flexibility, especially if they have children that do school virtually.
You will need to reevaluate your benefits package and ensure it’s consistent with current times.
SMART Goal example: Create a survey to find out what new benefits your employees want, and ask for responses in a week.
9. Improve the onboarding process
A great onboarding process can have many benefits for the employees and the organization, such as better performance, higher productivity, or enhanced engagement.
Using SMART goals for improving your onboarding process can go a long way. If you feel your onboarding process can improve, start working on it immediately.
SMART Goal example: Create a very small team and task them to improve onboarding over the course of 2 months.
10 Enhance employee engagement
Employee engagement is crucial for the overall work atmosphere and your business's success.
When every single one of your employees feels valued and is in sync with your company’s values, mission and vision, basically, you’ve succeeded. Make sure this is the case in your organization.
SMART Goal example: Design an employee engagement survey that follows your company’s values and hand it out at least twice a year.
HR professionals support the organization in achieving success through their policies, and SMART goals are the perfect method to do this. SMART goals are not vague, so they allow tracking progress and celebrating milestones, which is always a nice idea!