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Key Performance Indicators, Matrices, Benchmarks, Hygiene factors, weighting, alignment to reward…we have heard this and been part of the process either as an employee, employer or both during our careers.

The real questions is do they work? Or does a certain part of them work? And if so what, how and when?

SMART – an acronym we have all heard and understand but given the above introduction probably not always put into practice.

A quick tour of SMART goals follow…

  • SPECIFIC – goals must be simply communicated and easily understood. “We expect you to achieve 32% gross profit in the bakery department”
  • MEASURABLE – goals, which can be qualitative or quantitative must be capable of being reliably quantified. “The GP % will be as recorded on the weekly sales report”
  • ATTAINABLE – goals must be capable of being met. Unattainable goals can be demotivating and as result in disillusion rather than the desired outcomes.
  • RELIABLE – the data generating the outcomes should be transparent and reliable to ensure buy-in from all and not doubt – which will result in dissolution
  • TIMEOUS – results must be published and be available as soon after the measurement period as possible. Delays cause questions and jeopardises the intentions


Relevant, reliable, current information leads to transparency and is more likely to be a source of inspiration for employees.