Remaining SMART: A Goal Setting Approach
12 Sep 2022 2 mins read By Andrea Amato

Our present economy demands a hard-working society eager to compete alongside global work trends, and this demand has exacerbated with the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Goal setting is a practical strategy adopted by managers to sustain workplace motivation and complete targets. Albeit not a novel phenomenon, goal setting theory includes the mnemonic acronym SMART; a guiding reference to successfully construct goals. The following post will deconstruct SMART and explore how it can assist in creating a motivated workplace culture for jobs in Malta and beyond




SMART refers to goals that are: 




When brainstorming workplace objectives, a main priority should be to make these specific in what you are looking to achieve. If the objectives are vague, so will your results! 




Goals should be constructed in a way that they can be measured, in other words, that progress can be monitored. One way to ensure measurement is noted from above in making specific objectives. The clearer the goals, the easier they can be later referred to during evaluations. 




Goals should be constructed according to available resources and assigned to individuals able to complete them. This step is important in ensuring positive performance reviews and has the potential to increase one’s self-efficacy in the workplace.  




Additionally, goals should align with your current workplace climate and are relevant to the organisation as a whole. Goal setting needs to be feasible; resources are accessible, and targets are obtainable.   




Lastly, goals should be managed within an agreed upon timeframe. This supports goal clarity and sets a realistic context as to when objectives can be achieved.  


Importance of Goal Setting


The SMART acronym is still used today, despite its dated definition. A quick online search will find SMART to have been adapted in a variety of ways, though its core motivational value remains. SMART leads a beginner’s guide to goal setting, and further research and consultation should be advised when looking to employ such strategies for jobs in Malta and elsewhere. The aim of this post is to highlight a working motivation strategy that prioritises workplace targets, and when followed properly, celebrates workplace achievements. A focus on performative triumphs is a positive way to foster development in an organisation and strengthen a collaborative workplace culture. 

Additionally, applying SMART goal setting can be applied across diverse on-site or remote jobs. Regardless of the workplace context, you can use goal setting as a means to achieve your objectives under given timeframes. It's an opportunity for you to organise your time well and feel more productive at work.

Whilst the above focuses on the employee perspective, there are benefits to applying SMART goal setting as an employer. Namely, it allows managers a method to measure performance, generally strengthening business operations through organised functions. Setting goals can help align employee targets with business objectives and ensure a path to meet these.

Moreover, employers can welcome employees the opportunity to share job-specific goals. It can help encourage a conversation surrounding career development and goal alignment, ultimately improving employee engagement in their on-site or remote job. It's important that employers don't impose goals on the employee—rather, the employee feels supported in sharing the goals they feel they can accomplish alongside their targets. This discussion is open-ended and flexible.

You may find that not employees are aware of goal setting techniques such as SMART. This is a wonderful chance to share these tools with employees and encourage them to apply these in their jobs in Malta or elsewhere. In establishing goals, inform employees to emphasise these to be as specific as possible in order to be effectively achievable. Ensure goals are consistent among employees and use these for performance purposes, such as in regular reviews. Reward employees for meeting their goals to encourage them to pursue these techniques as their career develops.

On the other hand, not all employees will manage their goals, and this is an opportunity to invite these individuals to share an open discussion and engage them in goal setting approaches for support. You can assess their performance regularly and provide feedback and assistance. In encouraging goal setting techniques such as SMART, you can challenge your employees for the better and retain positive productivity and engagement levels.


In summary, SMART goals are those that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

The above is valuable to keep in mind across your tasks and ensure goals are effective met and measured over time. They're important for employees and employers to consider, ultimately improving morale within career development across on-site and remote careers.

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