Setting Organizational goals SMARTLY


An organization and its employees rely on each other for mutual welfare. Organizations have multiple strategies in place as part of their HRM (Human Resources Management) to keep their employees motivated. Today’s organizational setup comprises employees from different demographics and generations, ensuring diversity. One of the many contemporary evolving needs is work-life balance, which has become a prominent choice of the current generation of employees.

A survey report in 2019 published in the International Journal of Science and Society interestingly reveals that as much as 26% of millennials left their job seeking an organization that could ensure their self-development. 

It clearly indicates that the newer generation pays attention to self-esteem and the self-actualization journey of seeking their real potential. Hence, the role of an organization has become critical in motivating its employees through positive practices.

The perception of work-life balance can be different for each individual as the responsibilities and setup of families differ. There is no universal rule book to create a work-life balance. Hence it is essential to have a goal in mind and set realistic expectations.

The work-life balance is a state of mind, never to be counted in the number of hours spent at work or home. A person can be at work for 12 hours, but if they can’t give their all, their productivity will be low. Similarly, a person can be at home, but if their mind is still at work, they can’t give full attention to their family.

The goal should be to balance work and life, where an individual can be present in the moment without worrying about the other. Such a mindset requires having ideal expectations, being efficient at work, communicating with family and friends, and taking time out for oneself.

Hence, setting goals can create a pathway toward achieving a work-life balance.

Setting Goals That Works: S.M.A.R.T Your Way

You cannot turn a dream into a goal without  a plan. In other words, your goals should be idealistic and achievable in a given period. The work-life balance needs smart work rather than hard work. And here’s how you can do it:

Specific, not Generic

Your goals should be specific and quantified: losing three kilograms in a month, spending at least two hours daily with family, or finishing a project in a week. All these goals can be tracked against a time schedule.

In a company, the goals must be measurable, just like organizational KPIs. Achieving milestones within fixed time periods can significantly motivate employees alongside keeping up their excitement. 

And consequently, doing so can lead to organizational improvement! 

The employees’ goals should be realistic and achievable with adjustable difficulty levels. They shouldn’t be given goals that would take a miracle to materialize.

The goal should be something personal and desirable for the employees. If their goal is to get promoted, it shouldn’t be because everybody is moving towards it, but because they desire it.

The goals need a deadline. This would make your employees work with zeal and help maintain accountability while ensuring that results are available when needed.

Let’s explore these in more detail.

Example for a S.M.A.R.T Goal

Goal for Employees: Finish at least three modules of the BB courses in the E-learning Portal for the current quarter.

Let us analyze the above goal for employees’ welfare. 

SpecificIt is related to the employee’s learning, which will also benefit the organization, hence specific.
MeasurableWe have a specific number of modules, so it is measurable. 
AchievableWe are fixing a task that is achievable (we are not asking them to master a course within a quarter).
RelevanceThe goal is relevant to the employees since it is related to their personal growth, aside from benefitting the organization.
Time-boundWe have a specific timeline that helps employees stay on track.

It must be noted that these goals should not be rushed because if you are in a hurry to achieve them, you may end up sacrificing your work-life balance in the process. 

SMART Goal setting and how to do it

If you’re thinking, “ Why should I have goals?” then you better keep reading!

Benefits of Having a Goal

One might think, “I am doing well on my own, and I have it in control. Why would I need a goal?”

Well, one can never be too ready for unexpected situations. COVID-19 is a big lesson to both employees and organizations. When you have defined goals, you will plan ahead and be prepared for uncertainties. Hence, goals give a vision to the employees’ life while making them the best workforce for the organization. 

An organization’s productivity and efficiency are not only dependent on the resources and facilities available but also on the engagement and motivation of employees. 

One among the best examples of goals leading to better employee performance are professional development goals, leading to

  1. A heightened sense of purpose that encourages them to keep moving forward.
  2. Increased dedication levels and focus to track their own growth while contributing to the organization.

You can see below the feedback of an Indeed employee about how positive he/she feels when they see a door for growth in their workplace. 

How Indeed uses SMART goals

When employees have a goal, it gives them a sense of ownership and belonging to the organization, increasing their job satisfaction.

The best kind of strategy to increase job satisfaction is collaborative goal-setting.

So what is a collaborative goal?

Asking employee X to help and guide employee Y to finish project Z.

  1. It gives the employees a sense of responsibility towards the growth of a colleague/team member, motivating them to work harder. and hence motivates them to work.
  2. It helps employees feel a sense of belonging towards the vision and mission of the organization as they realize their part in the bigger whole.

When the employer is transparent on the above, it is easy to impress employees and get a review like below, as mentioned by an employee of JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Benefits of reviews to the company

Having a goal helps an individual get a clear vision of their life. It helps them plan their future and map a career path, especially for those young minds who are just starting out or planning a career switch. 

This kind of benefit can be seen in self-management goals for employees. 

For example, setting a time limit for finishing the given tasks for a month. 

1. This goal keeps an individual focused on their work while keeping distractions at bay. 

2. It will help them understand what they are working towards. 

3. Improves time management skills, which help one to create quality time in both their profession and personal life.

Not sure how to create a blueprint? Here’s a book we found that might be helpful:

Future of work:The complete Blueprint

When employees have a goal, it gives them a chance to explore their potential and discover their true potential. It challenges them to do better and push themselves to achieve things they never thought possible. 

The best way to see this benefit is through creative goals.

For example, spend at least two hours per week on your hobby or learn work-related skills. 

  1. Such a goal helps you grow as an individual and develop new skills. 
  2. It teaches them how to deal with failure while trying something new and how to pick themselves up after a setback. 
  3. When employees take the time to be creative, they are most likely to bring innovation into their work, making them better contributors to the organization. 

Creates Value for Life

A goal helps individuals gauge their present standing in life while creating room for personal space where they can focus on personal growth and development.

The best way to create such a beneficial goal is to have emotional intelligence goals.

For example, work on controlling your emotions with the help of breathing exercises and yoga, and listen to the emotions hindering your work at home and office. 

  1. It will help employees channel their emotions positively.
  2. It will make them aware of the effects of their surroundings on their mental health.

Hence, it is essential to have a goal in mind when trying to achieve a work-life balance. It serves as a purpose and direction; without it, employees may feel lost and uncertain. 

If you need assistance to help your employees fix goals for themselves, you can take the aid of Pietential, a self-assessment tool that helps them realize their present standing in life. When they do, it will become easier to set idealistic goals.

Organizations must allow their people the time and opportunity to set realistic and achievable goals for themselves while giving them the space to work towards their objectives steadily. And remember, it is important to reassure them that if they are struggling to maintain a work-life balance, it is okay to seek help from a professional. It is completely fine to accept some assistance, and the help of a therapist or counselor can be a great source of support. 


  1. What is the best example of a SMART goal?

I should increase my running from three miles to 6 miles in 30 days. If you are someone who likes fitness journeys, this is the best example of SMART Goals. 

  1. How do you align organizational goals with individual goals?

When you can drive your employees to work for the core objective of the organization while fulfilling their own personal goals, then it is called aligning. 

  1. Why is it important to align your goals within the organization?

When you have aligned goals, it is easier for the workforce and individuals to understand their roles and responsibilities and prepare themselves for what is expected of them.