SMART performance goals

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timed (SMART) performance goals with your employees. You can then add these goals to their Performance development agreement.

Help your employees find purpose in their work, create goals to achieve that purpose, and measure their progress. Make it easy for you to measure, acknowledge and reward your employees when they exceeded their performance objectives.

The following prompts will help you with your performance development conversations.


Focus on a particular aspect of the employee's performance or on a specific task.
Think about how the employee will accomplish the performance goal and why.
Avoid generalities.


Focus on how the employee will measure if they have achieved the goal. List at least two indicators.
Consider quality, quantity, timeliness and cost.


Ensure that the employee agrees the goal is achievable.
Provide examples of how others have achieved similar goals.
Confirm the employee has the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and resources to accomplish the goal.
Avoid assigning too many goals.


Ensure there is a reason or purpose to accomplishing the goal.
Confirm the benefits the employee and team will experience by the employee achieving the goal.
Link the goal to the higher-level business unit goals and ensure the employee understands the link.
Do not set goals that are too hard and de-motivate the employee.


Set a completion date that creates a sense of urgency.