SMART goals at a workplace with examples

person solving rubik's cube

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘Work smart, not hard.  

We know you’ve heard it plenty of times. The key to working smart starts with setting SMARTer goals at work.

There are several goal-setting frameworks out there like OKR, EFQM, etc. However, for individuals, SMART goals are the best for closed settings. They are an able ally to OKRs.

Check out our smart comparisons of different goal-setting frameworks below: 

  1. OKR vs. SMART goals 
  2. OKR vs. EFQM 
  3. OKR vs 4DX 

Let’s learn more about SMART goals. 

What are SMART goals and this is why your organization needs them? 

SMART criteria for goal setting can be attributed to breakthrough work done in the ‘Management by Objectives’ framework by Peter Drucker. 

George T. Doran made the world aware of the benefit of using SMART goals by using them for the first time in 1981. Compared to other goal-setting frameworks, SMART is rather a set of guidelines for creating and tracking individual goals.    

SMART stands for:     

S- Specific  

M- Measurable  

A- Achievable or Attainable  

R- Relevant  

T- Time-Bound or Time-limited  

describing structure of SMART goals

SMART goals help you set boundaries and define the step that needs to be taken to achieve milestones. Milestones that’ll show individual progress. With a set of guidelines, anyone is more likely to achieve the goals they set.   

SMART goals can work in different situations. For example: 

  • Anubhav would love to transition his career from Sales to Copywriting… 
  • Neha wants to get promoted but doesn’t know where to start… 
  • Roy wants to lead the content team but doesn’t have the experience of doing that… 

5 pillars of SMART goals 

Let’s have a look at how SMART goals are created using each pillar. 


This is where it starts. Whatever you want to achieve, start by writing a clear description of that. It will make your SMART goals specific and understandable for everyone.    

For example: Increase website traffic.  


This part is tricky to understand. Why? Because to check if a goal has been achieved or not, we need to measure it. To solve this, start by setting specific metrics and targets.   

For example: Increase website traffic by 25%.  


Check what you’ve got in terms of resources, time, and possibilities. Depending upon that, set goals that are possible to achieve in real-time. This doesn’t mean the goals need to be easy, they just need to be attainable. 

For example: Let’s assume that a 25% traffic increase is a big ask. Let’s change it to Increase website traffic by 5%.     

Setting achievable targets is likely to produce better results.  


This is where we focus on why we are setting a certain goal. Eventually, the goal of every employee is to be able to contribute towards the growth of the organization. If any set goal isn’t relevant to the mission, it makes zero sense to go after it.    

For example: Increase website traffic by 5% to reach our monthly sales target of X figure.  

Goals are achieved when they are set to focus on the bigger picture.  


Part of starting something is to get to the stage where it ends and ends on a positive note. A time-bound goal means there is a start and there is an end date. 

For example: Increase website traffic by 5% in 30 days to reach our monthly sales target of X figure.  

The above goal is now a SMART one that has vision, scope, and deadline.  

SMART goals examples 

Let’s have a look at 2 examples. 

Example 1
Get a new job in Copywriting after 3 months of graduating from college. 

  • Specific: The goal of becoming a Copywriter is defined clearly 
  • Measurable: Set parameters like the number of applications, interviews, and job offers will define the success. 
  • Achievable: The goal setter will have the appropriate degree and skills for the role. 
  • Relevant: You’re planning to get a job in content after studying for this field. 
  • Time-based: There is a set deadline of 3 months to achieve this objective. 

Example 2
Earn a promotion to a certain position in one year. 

  • Specific: Whatever the position may be, have something specific in mind and go for it. For example, get promoted to Marketing Manager. 
  • Measurable: Depending upon the training module, outcomes, and results, the progress of this goal can be tracked. 
  • Achievable: The goal setter will complete the required training and take actionable steps to get promoted. 
  • Relevant: Once skills are acquired and results are obtained, the individual can present a strong case for the promotion. 
  • Time-based: Set a deadline of one year will help the individual keep a track of things. 

SMART goals are meant for individuals. They can help anyone move forward and achieve success. While the whole idea of setting and achieving goals can be challenging, using the SMART framework helps streamline the process. 

SMART goals, smarter system 

Goal-setting takes time and lots of effort. To save resources and time, why not let an automated system take care of all the manual processes that’ll take off the burden of your shoulders.  

To learn more about the only platform that handles regular goals and OKRs smartly, visit Keka.    

Sign up for a FREE demo! 

Contributing Author

Sr. Content Writer

Anubhav is forever weird, but he’s a fun Copywriter and interview host at Keka. Anubhav figured out in college days that with COPY you can get a bunch of very-targeted people to come to your website, consume your material, and even buy. His focus is on making HR easier for professionals and anyone wanting to make a difference in the workplace. When he isn’t writing, he’s either traveling to the mountains, playing football, reading about Tigers, or doing nothing.