Smart Goals - UNC Charlotte

By Catherine Weaver,2014-12-31 17:31
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HR / Compensation 12/12/2011 Performance Management Guide to Developing Objectives Ongoing Feedback & Coaching Objective Setting (April / May) Interim Review (September) Year-End Review (March) 2 Revised 12/12/2011 S..

    Performance Management

    Guide to Developing Objectives

    Objective Setting (April / May)


    Feedback & Year-End Coaching Review (March)

    Interim Review (September)

    HR / Compensation 12/12/2011

    Setting Smart Goals to Achieve the Right Results

What Is An Objective?

    An Objective is a goal or priority of the organization. Objectives are set by our Management Team, and then communicated throughout the University.

    As objectives cascade from the Chancellor level through the organization, they tend to become less goal-oriented and more task-specific. The key is to maintain the link between individual tasks and one (or more) of the university’s objectives, enabling us to more effectively achieve the right results.

     Benefits of Cascading Objectives

    ; Work efforts are aligned with high-level objectives. At UNC Charlotte, our vision

    statement can assist with defining these objectives.

    ; All employees have visibility of the Chancellors objectives, which helps guide them to

    make more informed day-to-day decisions.

    ; All employees can see how their efforts contribute to overall success.

Smart Goals

    For the purpose of this discussion, we use the term “goal” and the term “objective” interchangeably. Because objectives are a key component of our success, great emphasis is placed on the goal/objective setting process. Using the SMART system for setting goals saves time, provides a

    common language, and helps guide priority setting and decision-making; all of which improve the likelihood of meeting those objectives.

SMART is an acronym for:



    Aligned (to UNC Charlotte goals)

    Realistic (Stretch goals that are achievable & attainable)

    Time-bound & Teamwork

    Let’s take a brief look at each key component and questions to ask to see if a goal meets the SMART criteria.


    Revised 12/12/2011


    ; Does the goal refer to a specific area of performance? ; Is there only one, very clear picture of what success looks like when this goal is met?


    ; Can the goal be objectively measured?

    ; Can the goal be evaluated?

    ; Can the goal be managed?

     Aligned (to UNC Charlotte goals)

    ; Is there a 50 to 66% chance the goal can be achieved?

    ; Is the goal aligned with other university, departmental, team and individual goals?

    ; Does the goal support our competencies and fit our vision and culture?

     Realistic (Stretch goals that are achievable & attainable)

    ; Is the goal important and will it have a positive impact on results? ; Can the goal be achieved given available resources?

    ; Are the competencies required to achieve the goal available?

     Time-bound & Teamwork

    ; By when does the goal need to be achieved?

    ; What are the incremental measurement points?

    ; How does this goal impact other departments and other people?


    Revised 12/12/2011

     Ten Tips for Goal Setting

    To further assist the goal-setting process, below are ten tips to use as guidelines.

1. Write It Down

    A well-written goal can be stated in one brief sentence. Too long a sentence may be an indicator that the goal is too complex or unclear. Have a copy of the goal(s) handy & refer to them every day. The more focus on the goal, the greater the chances of success.

2. Make it Positive

    People tend to respond best to positive motivators. Whenever possible, state goals in terms of the positive. State what is wanted, not what needs to change or stop. For example:

    Negative Positive

    Eliminate wasted time Improve efficiency

    Stop being late for work Arrive on time

3. State the Benefits

    Always include the benefit for achieving the goal. Knowing the benefit helps establish appropriate priorities and maintain focus on achievement during times of challenge.

4. Begin At the End

    Determine what outcome is desired and logically work backward. Planning from finish to start keeps the goal, not the means or method, as the priority when developing the plan.

5. Take Stock of the Current Situation

    Realistically review where people currently stand in relation to achieving the goal. Identify which strengths can be used to achieve the goal. Identify which weaknesses may hinder progress. Determine what additional knowledge is required or if skill gaps exist. Develop a plan to gain the knowledge or experience necessary to achieve the goal.

6. Identify Obstacles and Risks

    Ask, “What could prevent this goal from being achieved?” and find ways to eliminate obstacles and manage risks. Planning a course of action will help prepare to overcome challenges as they arise.

7. Include Personal Accountability

    Goals are more easily achieved when they are separated into manageable segments. As each milestone is reached, progress can be measured and a sense of accomplishment will occur. If a milestone is missed, it’s much easier to make small adjustments along the way rather than big ones at the last minute. Attach consequences to each milestone: a reward (positive consequence) for achievement and a penalty (negative consequence) for coming-up short.


    Revised 12/12/2011

8. Determine the First Step

    Next to writing down the goal, taking the first step is the second most important part of the process. Don’t wait until everything is perfect. Once the plan is in place, take action as soon as possible and refine the process along the way.

9. Share Your Goals

    Select a small number of people that can be counted on, tell them the goal and ask for their support. Sharing the goal with others adds accountability to the process.

10. Prepare to Celebrate!

    People do what they are rewarded for doing. Determine what the reward will be when the goal is achieved. Make certain the reward aligns with the goal and is meaningful to those involved. Again, the thought of celebration will become a motivator when times are tough.


    Revised 12/12/2011

    Appendix: Examples of Corporate Values

Having Open Communication!

    Promotes an environment that fosters openness, trust, and respect by encouraging open and active listening

    Creates an information flow that allows well-informed decisions to be made

    Refrains from immediate judgment and criticism of other’s ideas, delivering feedback in a way that demonstrates sensitivity to the feelings of others

Adapts message and style of communication to audience

Provides and seeks open and honest feedback

Ensures voice is heard on important issues

Participates in healthy debate

Works collaboratively to achieve common goals

Shares information openly, fully, accurately and in a timely manner

Represents facts and situations accurately and completely

Communicates information clearly, logically and concisely and in a way that has the greatest

    impact on internal and external stakeholders

Provides and receives feedback in a constructive manner

    Creates an information flow that allows well-informed decisions to be made Refrains from immediate judgment and criticism of other's ideas and delivers constructive feedback in positive format

    Adapts a communication style conducive to the audience they are presenting to Will give and receive open and honest feedback

    Willing to share ideas and is not afraid of being discounted

    Openly shares concerns, ideas and acknowledgements in the spirit of improving the situation. Works with others to produce the best result

    Openly encourages others to share their ideas in an environment of trust and respect. Shares ideas and involves teams to develop plans

    HR / Compensation 12/12/2011

Actively listens to ideas of others and provides feedback

    Being honest and respectful of others through communication sharing and feedback

Being involved with identifying solutions

    Removes barriers to meeting and exceeding expectations

Shifts priorities based on business needs

Rapidly identifies key issues in a complex situation

    Focuses on and executes against the few priorities that add the most value

    Avoids distractions, focuses on the things that make the most difference

    Proactively seeks out information needed to satisfy individual customer requirements

    Looks beyond boundaries for new insights and opportunities and doesn't stop at first answers

    Structures solutions that maintain the critical balance between the needs of the customer and the interests of the company

Delivers results while managing risks and opportunities

    Uses logic and methods aimed at solving difficult problems with effective solutions Will stay focused on things that make a difference

    Identify, communicate and support key initiatives

    Will implement and execute strategy

    Will set and shift priorities based on business needs

    Listens to others to understand the situation and presents a positive solution to resolve it Meets with other work groups to have them understand the missed requirements so they can collaborate and find a solution

    Challenges the status quo because the familiar answer no longer works / fits Suggests ways to meet expectations rather than responding negatively Identifying customer solutions by reaching out to others

    Structuring solutions that benefit the organization and the customer


    Revised 12/12/2011

Respect for others / accountability

Role models the values and desired behaviours within the organization

Creates an environment in which people feel compelled to present new ideas

    Makes decisions that benefit the entire university, recognizing the matrix environment

Is proactive and assertive in finding a better way good is never enough

    Is respectful of other opinions and positions and works toward collaborative solutions as a team

    Endorses change in the organization and takes personal responsibility for positive communication to increase overall acceptance

Acts with integrity and professionalism in every situation

Practices active listening and is responsive to other employee ideas

Treats others with mutual respect

Fosters and promotes teamwork across the company

Creates an environment in which people feel empowered to present new ideas

Demonstrates a sense of urgency and responsibility in honoring commitments

    Strives to exceed expectations

    Takes responsibility for things that go wrong in the work group or team, including one's own mistakes

    Consistently displays interest in others and draws them into the group - this is done because there is a fundamental understanding that all employees are valuable

    Requests others to share their knowledge with the team so all members grow their intellectual capital

    Gives acknowledgment in a timely manner. An immediate acknowledgment of a job well done serves the person, the department and the company because it encourages more of the same.

    Listens to others, presents known facts, asks questions and then challenges the current process steps or thought process

Embraces and values differences of others (employees and customers)

Focuses on the big picture of how decisions affect employees and customers

    Evaluates and investigates all options and does the right thing for others and the organization


    Revised 12/12/2011

Customer Service and Support

    Takes personal accountability for customer satisfaction, including direct contact with customers

    Demonstrates a sense of urgency and responsibility in honouring commitments

Strives to exceed expectations

    Holds self and others accountable for achieving agreed performance expectations

Takes responsibility for things that go wrong in the work group or team, including one’s own


    Interacts with customers in a manner that maintains ongoing and positive customer relations

Serves as a customer advocate in resolving issues promptly and accurately

Practices active listening and is responsive to other employee ideas

    Establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect

Sets proper customer expectations and works to exceed them

Takes personal accountability for customer satisfaction

    Holds self and others accountable for achieving agreed performance expectations Is proactive and assertive in finding a better way - good is never enough

    Quickly takes advantage of opportunities and will steer clear of obstacles

    Does not suggest any situation is someone else’s responsibility. Will share known facts and then moves to recommendation

    Creatively looks at each situation as an opportunity to improve the process and learn more.

    Is responsive to all customers, internal and external, finding solutions that are timely and valuable.

Set realistic expectations and communicate them openly and honestly

Go the extra mile by following up with the customer

    Be positive in all customer interactions and foster that success was driven by teamwork


    Revised 12/12/2011

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