Developing SMART Objectives

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If you have three or more candidates or you would like to run this course as an in-house programme, please contact us.


SMART refers to an acronym built around the key characteristics of meaningful goals, which can be very helpful in writing performance expectations that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of work and behaviors. This workshop will help you develop SMART learning goals. A learning goal clearly describes what you want to learn or achieve. A SMART learning goal is:

Specific –Specifically define what you expect the employee to do/deliver.

Measurable – You should be able to measure whether the employee is meeting the goals or not.

Achievable – Make sure that accomplishing the goal is within the employee’s realm of authority and capabilities.

Realistic – Can the employee realistically achieve the objectives with the resources available?

Time-bound – When does the objective need to be completed? Specify when the goal needs to be completed


  • Recognise the difference between goals and objectives
  • Understand the importance of setting goals and objectives
  • Discover how to apply SMART to goals and objectives
  • Recognise the danger of goals that lose sight of the ‘bigger picture’
  • Explore how to use tools to keep performance on target (managing SMART goals)


Below is an example of the course content. The content can be ‘tailored’ to meet the exact requirements of the client.

Defining a SMART Goal
  • Explore each characteristic in more detail
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
Writing SMART Goals
  • Performance management best practices
    Developing SMART Goals based on Job Duties
    Setting Goals from Functional Competencies
    Setting Goals from Behavioural Competencies
The Components that Create a SMART Goal
  • Performance – what the employees is expected to do and the steps or measurements needed to clarify a goal
  • Criteria – quality or level of performance that will be considered acceptable
  • Conditions – the conditions under which the performance is expected to occur
The Work Plan
  • In order to ensure success the performance evaluation is an evolving process which should be reviewed quarterly
  • Discuss the SMART goals with employees considering the following:
  • Have there been changes within the ‘Functional Competencies’ due to changing business needs?
  • Ask employees about obstacles and take the action needed to eliminate them?
  • Is there the right type of flexibility within the SMART goals which ensures adaptability as changes occur within the job or department?
What Is A Performance Evaluation?
  • The role of performance evaluations.
  • How to make the most of them.
  • What a performance evaluation is not.
  • Advantages of performance evaluations.
  • Barriers to an effective performance evaluation
  • Opinions of performance evaluations.
Why is Performance Management sometimes so hard?
  • Dealing with your own and other people’s confidence and morale.
  • Dealing with yours and other people’s feelings.
  • Dealing with difficult or tricky people.
  • Dealing with other people’s difficulties.
  • Setting SMART goals.
  • Avoiding escalating problems.
  • Consistency (why have I been marked down when I think I haven’t changed?)
  • When someone does not tell you the truth about how they are doing.
  • When someone disagrees with your assessment.
  • Being enthusiastic when you do not feel like it vs. tyranny of positivity.
  • Lack of formality/blurred boundaries/etc.
Conducting the Performance Evaluation
  • Relating to your employees non-verbally
  • Evaluating priorities and setting objectives
  • Working with personality traits and planning outcomes
  • Encouraging people to become more flexible in their roles
  • Persuading people to want to learn
  • Helping people to be aware of bad habits and ‘break them’.
  • Visualising for success
  • Modelling high flyers.
  • Empowering people.
  • Identifying training and development needs.
Giving Feedback
  • The correct and incorrect use of ‘praise’.
  • Behaviour-based feedback.
  • Giving effective feedback.
  • Giving ‘bad news’.
  • Critical feedback.
  • How to give effective feedback – the golden rules.
  • How to set performance goals / objectives.
  • Monitoring and reviewing performance.
How to receive Feedback
  • How people receive feedback?
  • Four steps to giving feedback.
  • State your positive intent for giving the feedback.
  • State the specific behaviour and impact.
  • Ask for the other person’s point of view.
  • Discuss solutions or actions.
  • Handling difficult responses to your feedback.
  • Handling difficult responses in an effective way.
  • Providing constructive feedback to bosses and peers.
  • How does knowing how to receive feedback help you to provide feedback?
  • How should you deal with aggressively critical people?
  • How to disarm an aggressive criticiser using a simple yet powerful technique?
  • What body language posture and gestures are most suitable when receiving feedback?
Common Challenges during the Appraisal Process
  • How to handle disgruntled and uncooperative employee.
  • Manager does not have evidence to support the rating.
  • Intimidation from the employee.
    • The employee helped you get the job.
    • The employee knows your family.
    • The employee is influential.
  • You have always had a good relationship with the employee.
  • Inability to justify the grading – lack of evidence!
  • Female employee starts crying with the intention to get sympathy.
  • Manager feels guilty about giving a very experienced employee a low rating.
  • Employee becomes very defensive and threatening.
  • Going off track from the agenda for the appraisal.
  • Learn how to overcome these challenges.


The foundation of our training is anchored in activity-based experiential learning. This methodology takes into consideration different learning and communication styles, and more importantly language and cultural differences. It is through active participation that the adoption and application of theory is expedited.

Our training team pays careful attention to planning and designing effective instructional methods essential for the transfer of knowledge. It is the creative skill of our management trainers and consultants that reveal untapped skills of the delegates through:

  • Group discussion
  • Individual and syndicate activities
  • Individual and group tasks
  • Case studies
  • Role plays
  • Audio and video evaluation
  • Action planning
  • Experiential learning games
  • Presentations

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