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Performance Objectives and SMART Model

Performance Objectives are specific projects and/or goals that:

• Are in addition to day-to-day accountabilities;

• Align with the leadership competencies/core values;

• Will be accomplished within the evaluation period; and

• Will contribute to the employee’s success, as well as the overall success of department, division and institution.

Performance Objectives are designed to allow employees to “stretch” and further their development.

Performance Objectives should include specific targets that are:

• Dictated by the current strategy of division or department;

• Measurable and expressed in quantities, percentages, or dollars; and

• Weighted according to their relative importance to the job.

Being able to measure Performance Objectives is a critical piece in the successful completion of any performance development plan and accountability review. Therefore, a key element to writing a successful Performance Objective is to identify the means of measurement. Identify the right measurement for assessing performance and determining progress towards Performance Objective(s). Components for creating effective measurements:

• Measurements should be focused on results, not effort. Effort is very hard to objectively quantify;

• Don’t measure everything! Focus measurement on what is critical to achieving the desired results;

• Measurements should be quantitative (numbers, dollars, percentages, etc.); and

• Define a clear, solid definition of what the measurement is, how it will be executed, and when it will be tracked.

The SMART Model

The SMART Model is a tool used to ensure that agreed-upon Objective(s) will lead to the desired result and can be measured and/or evaluated. Writing clear, specific Objectives is a critical step in maximizing the Performance Development Process. Answering the questions in the chart below will help write an Objective that meets the SMART Model criteria.

Specific Is it clear exactly what the employee will do?
Is it clearly defined and understood both by employee and by manager or supervisor how success will be measured? (Survey results, activity report, project completion, etc.)
Attainable Is it realistic to expect completion of this Objective as it is written?
Relevant Does completion of this Objective support the goals of the department, division or institution, and is it within the scope of the position?
Time bound Does the Objective include a specific date for completion?

If “no” is an answer to any of these questions, rewrite the Objective to make sure it meets all criteria.

Last Updated: 12/17/12