12 SMART Goals Examples for HR Professionals

Human Resource (HR) professionals handle various tasks, from recruiting and onboarding new staff to managing payroll and benefits. To stay on top of these responsibilities, HR professionals need to establish SMART goals.

The SMART method enables you to create structure and clarity for employees. This article will provide 12 SMART goals for HR professionals to further develop their skills in areas like employee retention and staff development.

We will closely examine the specific elements of each goal and discuss how they can encourage successful outcomes in your career.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART framework can enable HR professionals to establish effective goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Need more clarity? Here is a deeper dive into each SMART component:


When setting goals as an HR professional, you must be as specific as possible. A vague approach may lead to confusion or lack of motivation among staff members. So make sure your goals include details like timeline, scope, and expected outcome so that everyone knows what is required from them.


Measurable goals clarify what needs to be completed and help direct the team’s focus toward those results. They also enable HR professionals to track progress over time and adjust strategies as needed.

Without this SMART criterion, it can be arduous for HR departments to accurately judge their success in reaching strategic objectives.


You should consider your team’s current skills, experience, and available time to complete tasks. High expectations of employees can set them up for success, but setting the bar too high can lead to frustration and failure.


Creating goals that align with your core values pushes you to remain motivated in your success. With goals related to your values, you’ll be empowered by knowing that each step brings you closer to something meaningful.


Establishing solid deadlines will keep you motivated and energized throughout the journey. This motivation is integral to success because you won’t achieve your dreams overnight. You would need to maintain dedication and hard work over an extended period of time.

12 SMART Goals Examples for HR Professionals

Below you’ll discover 12 examples of SMART goals for HR professionals:

1. Increase Employee Retention

SMART Goal: I want to improve employee retention rates by 10% in the following 7 months. I’ll conduct surveys and one-on-one interviews with current employees to identify potential areas of improvement or dissatisfaction that can be addressed.

  • Specific: This SMART goal states what needs to be done (improve employee retention rates) by how much (10%) and in what period (7 months).
  • Measurable: You can track employee retention rates over time.
  • Attainable: The goal is challenging but achievable with the right effort and resources.
  • Relevant: Increasing employee retention is key to creating a productive working environment.
  • Time-based: This statement has a clear timeline of 7 months.

2. Improve the Onboarding Process

SMART Goal: I will work to improve the onboarding process for new employees by implementing a one-week orientation program that covers all major policies, procedures, and other relevant topics by the end of three months. This should make it easier for new hires to get up to speed quickly and integrate seamlessly into the company culture.

  • Specific: You have precise actions available—implement a one-week orientation program.
  • Measurable: Ensure all significant policies, procedures, and other relevant topics are covered.
  • Attainable: This is an achievable goal, provided you have the right resources and plan.
  • Relevant: This goal relates to improving the onboarding process.
  • Time-based: You should expect goal attainment within three months.

3. Enhance Workplace Culture

SMART Goal: For the 8 months ahead, I’ll work to improve our workplace’s positive and productive atmosphere by listening to employee feedback, promoting team-building exercises, and recognizing and rewarding good work. I will measure success by collecting surveys on employee engagement and morale twice a year.

  • Specific: The goal is concise and clear, mentioning the objectives and how they will be accomplished.
  • Measurable: Employee engagement and morale surveys can be used to measure the success of this goal.
  • Attainable: This goal can be accomplished by collecting employee feedback and creating team-building exercises.
  • Relevant: This is relevant to the workplace culture because it focuses on improving morale and productivity.
  • Time-based: There is an 8-month end date for long-term success.

4. Streamline Compliance Procedures

SMART Goal: I want to work on streamlining our compliance procedures while ensuring we remain compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. I plan to accomplish this by the end of 6 months by implementing a system of standardized forms and processes that can be adapted to different types of compliance issues.

  • Specific: The goal is well-defined. The individual wants to streamline the compliance procedures while remaining compliant with all applicable regulations and laws.
  • Measurable: The HR professional will plan to accomplish the task within 6 months.
  • Attainable: This is achievable if given the necessary resources and time.
  • Relevant: The statement is appropriate for the individual’s desire to make compliance procedures more efficient.
  • Time-based: Goal completion will be met within 6 months.

5. Promote Professional Development

SMART Goal: I will develop and implement a program to help employees enhance their skills by the end of 10 months. This program should include opportunities for employees to network and access resources that help them develop their professional skills.

  • Specific: You’ll strive to develop and implement a program to help employees enhance their skills.
  • Measurable: Make sure your program is on course to be successfully implemented.
  • Attainable: This goal is feasible because the person is taking active steps to create a program for their employees.
  • Relevant: This is pertinent because it helps employees to access resources that will foster their professional development.
  • Time-based: The SMART goal is time-bound since it has a 10-month time frame.
professional development

6. Reduce Administrative Burden on Managers

SMART Goal: To help managers focus on more strategic responsibilities, I will reduce their administrative burden by providing more automation and resources to support them in the next 5 months. This will free up their time to focus on other important tasks.

  • Specific: The goal is explicit, as it outlines the administrative burden reduction plan.
  • Measurable: You can count the number of tasks completed before and after automation.
  • Attainable: Reducing administrative burdens on managers is absolutely doable.
  • Relevant: The goal is relevant to helping managers focus on more strategic responsibilities.
  • Time-based: Success is anticipated within the next 5 months.

7. Create Mentoring Programs

SMART Goal: By the end of 8 months, I plan to create mentoring programs to help new employees transition into their roles and feel more comfortable in the workplace. Such programs will be open to all, and I hope they provide a platform for employees to share their lived experiences and learn from each other.

  • Specific: Creating mentoring programs for all new employees to help them adjust to their roles.
  • Measurable: Assessing the mentoring program’s success by tracking the new employees’ performance before and after the program, along with feedback from mentors and mentees.
  • Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable by dedicating the necessary resources to create such programs.
  • Relevant: Mentoring new employees can help them transition into their roles more quickly, build better relationships with their colleagues, and contribute positively to the team.
  • Time-based: Eight months is required to accomplish this particular goal.

8. Expand Benefits Packages

SMART Goal: I hope to expand our employee benefits packages by the end of 8 months. I plan to research and understand our employees’ needs and offer new benefits that are attractive and affordable to the company.

  • Specific: This statement details the end goal and the timeline.
  • Measurable: Track the progress of research conducted on benefits packages suitable for the company.
  • Attainable: An 8-month timeline gives you enough time to research, understand, and implement a new benefits package.
  • Relevant: Offering attractive employee benefits packages is important for company morale and team building.
  • Time-based: There is an 8-month end date for goal achievement.

9. Become a Strategic Thinker

SMART Goal: I want to become a better strategic thinker and gain more knowledge in the field of HR. I will read at least one book per quarter on the subject, attend two conferences annually, and feel confident to give strategic advice by the end of this year.

  • Specific: The goal outlines the action needed to become a strategic thinker and the timeline.
  • Measurable: You could assess progress by examining how often books are read and conferences attended.
  • Attainable: It is realistic to become a better strategic thinker within one year.
  • Relevant: This goal is relevant to gaining overall HR knowledge.
  • Time-based: There is a timeline of one year for this goal to be achieved.

10. Foster Diversity and Inclusion

SMART Goal: To promote an environment of acceptance and understanding within the company, I plan to implement a diversity and inclusion training program within 7 months. This program will encourage conversations about unconscious bias and provide employees with the tools to actively work towards an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace.

  • Specific: This goal focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion at work.
  • Measurable: The success metric will be completing the training program within 7 months.
  • Attainable: This goal can be accomplished within the given timeline with proper planning and implementation.
  • Relevant: Diversity and inclusion are essential topics to address in the workplace.
  • Time-based: The goal has a timeline of 7 months to be completed.

11. Develop Better Communication Skills

SMART Goal: I want to improve the overall communication skills within my team over the course of 6 months. To reach this, I plan to provide professional development opportunities and resources that encourage clear, effective communication.

  • Specific: This goal is clear because it focuses on improving team communication skills.
  • Measurable: Progress can be measured by tracking the team’s communication effectiveness.
  • Attainable: Offering professional development opportunities and resources is an achievable goal.
  • Relevant: Improving communication skills is essential for any team or organization.
  • Time-based: You will meet this goal after 6 whole months.

12. Learn to Be More Flexible

SMART Goal: I will learn to be more flexible with my employees for the next four months. I want to handle unexpected challenges that may arise and to be more understanding of the needs of my employees. I’ll practice empathy, listening, and responding to their requests with respect and an open mind.

  • Specific: The aim is to become more flexible with employees over four months.
  • Measurable: You can observe how well you handle unexpected challenges and respond to your employees’ needs.
  • Attainable: The goal is realistic, allowing four months of development and practice.
  • Relevant: Being flexible with employees is an essential trait for an HR professional.
  • Time-based: This SMART statement has a four-month timeline.

Final Thoughts

HR professionals can benefit from establishing SMART goals for themselves and their teams. These types of goals ensure that progress and results are achieved on time.

With the listed examples above, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into creating practical SMART goals for lasting success. They will finally be able to become more efficient and boost their overall work performance.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.