• It has been established that every business ought to have objectives and that objectives are important
  • We have also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of objectives
  • One way to maximise the benefits of objectives and minimise the disadvantages of objectives is to use the SMART criteria
  • It is important that whatever objectives a business meet these criteria for them to be useful
  • So what are SMART objectives
  • SMART is an acronym that expands to the following five words. The acronym is derived from taking the first letter of each word
  1. Specific: Objectives should be specific and clear, focusing on what the business does and what it wants to achieve. For instance, a clothing retailer in Zimbabwe such as OK Limited could set a specific objective to increase its market share by 10% over the next 12 months by expanding its product range and launching a targeted advertising campaign.
  2. Measurable: Objectives should be measurable to enable tracking of progress and determine if targets have been met. For example, a food processing company in such as Innscor Africa could set a measurable objective to increase production output by 20% over the next six months by investing in new machinery and optimizing production processes.
  3. Achievable: Objectives should be achievable to prevent employees from feeling demotivated or overwhelmed. For example, a hospitality business in Zimbabwe such as Holiday Inn could set an achievable objective to increase customer satisfaction rates by 5% over the next three months by improving its customer service and offering more personalized experiences.
  4. Realistic and Relevant: Objectives should be realistic and relevant to the business’s available resources and the people responsible for achieving them. For example, a technology start-up in Zimbabwe such as Techzim could set a realistic and relevant objective to achieve a 15% increase in revenue over the next year by expanding into new markets and enhancing its product offering.
  5. Time-specific: Objectives should have specific timelines for completion to help focus efforts and ensure that progress can be tracked. For example, a logistics company in Zimbabwe such as SWIFT could set a time-specific objective to reduce delivery times by 20% over the next three months by optimizing its routes, investing in new technology, and improving its logistics management system.

Why are SMART objectives important?

  1. Provides Clarity: SMART objectives provide clarity on what a business aims to achieve, which can help align efforts and improve performance.
  2. Enables Better Tracking: SMART objectives enable better tracking of progress, allowing businesses to identify areas for improvement and adjust their strategies accordingly.
  3. Motivates Employees: SMART objectives can motivate employees by providing them with clear goals and a sense of purpose, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
  4. Facilitates Communication: SMART objectives facilitate communication within the business, allowing employees to understand what is expected of them and how their efforts contribute to overall business goals.
  5. Provides a Framework for Decision-making: SMART objectives provide a framework for decision-making, allowing businesses to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively to achieve their goals.

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