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SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud

How to leverage SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud

As soon as (and even before) we are born, we have been measured by how we reach, exceed, or not reach our goals. In elementary school, our reading comprehension is measured to make sure we are hitting the goals for each school year. Throughout school, our teachers typically set goals for us. In our personal lives, we set goals such as learning how to play an instrument or running a marathon. Careers are no different. So how can you leverage SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud to reach your career goals?

SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud

First, we need to define what SMART goals are. SMART is an acronym that describes how you should create a goal. According to the acronym, goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

The SMART acronym sets up a rough map to help achieve the goal. Let’s dive into why each part of SMART is crucial for goals.

Specific

Goals should be specific and detailed. When you create a goal, you should feel confident that if someone else read the goal, they would know the exact outcomes of that goal. To make sure a goal is specific, you should make sure it answers the following questions:

  • Who is assigned the goal? If it is a personal goal, then you would be assigning the goal to yourself. If you are a manager, you may be assigning the goal to your direct reports.
  • What is the ideal outcome? It’s important to know your destination before you start your journey. After all, if you don’t know your destination on a road trip, you will spend a lot of time aimlessly driving.
  • What resources or limitations are there? When you assign a goal, it is important that the assignee knows what they can utilize to reach the goal. For example, if you assign your Sales team with the goal to attend at least three tradeshows each year, it would be wise to specify the budget for all three tradeshows.

Measurable

The outcome of a goal should be measurable so that progress toward the outcome can be tracked. The following list details examples of measurable goals:

  • Reduce company’s travel expenses by 10% for the year.
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 5% by Q3.
  • Decrease development time by 8% by Q4.

Because there is a clear finish line, you or your superiors can see whether the goal was achieved.

Achievable

Is the goal realistic? You have to take into consideration the limitations of the job. For example, it is unrealistic to assign a Sales Development Representative with a goal of making 500 calls per day. If the Sales Development Representative worked an eight-hour day with no breaks, each call would average about 57.6 seconds. The Sales Development Representative may be able to do it, but the quality of the calls would not be high. Just as importantly, the Sales Development Representative would be stressed because the goal is simply not realistic.

Relevant

Is the goal relevant to the goal assignee’s job or career aspirations? For example, you would not assign a hiring manager a goal to increase sales by eight percent.

Time-based

Goals should have a definite start and end time. This helps the goal assignee know the time constraints they have to achieve the goal.

SMART goals

Each element in a SMART goal depends on the other. For example, if a goal is only specific, measurable, relevant, and time-based, it is not a good goal.

It is important to note that SMART goals can be adjusted. If you, for example, realize that a goal is not achievable within the time constraints, you can adjust the end time to make the goal achievable. It’s important to keep in mind that SMART goals are living goals. It’s better to readjust the goal than completely stop moving towards completing the goal.

SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud – Career Development

The Career Development work area in Oracle HCM Cloud allows employees to create and manage personal development career goals. Managers can also use the Career Development work area to assign development goals for their direct reports. Development goals are like the step-by-step guide to achieving a specific career goal or promotion.

The Career Development work area has the following target outcomes:

  • Licenses and Certifications
  • Competencies
  • Languages

Target outcomes are assigned to development goals. Target outcomes are the result of completing a goal. So for example, a manager might assign accountants with a development goal to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Each accountant that completes the goal would have CPA under the Licenses and Certifications area in the Career Development work area.

Example of a SMART development goal

A manager assigns their team of project managers the development goal of getting Project Management Professional (PMP) certified by Q4. The manager assigns the following SMART goal in Oracle HCM Cloud in January (Q1):

Take a Project Management Institute (PMI) course to get PMP certified by the end of Q4 this year.

Let’s break the goal down to see if it is a SMART goal:

  • Is it specific? Yes, the course vendor (PMI) and the outcome (PMP certification) are explicit in the goal.
  • Is it measurable? Yes, the project managers will either be certified or not certified.
  • Is it attainable? Yes, the project managers have enough project management experience to satisfy the prerequisites for the course. Additionally, a PMI course can take about eight to twelve weeks, so the project managers have plenty of time to take the course and the test.
  • Is it relevant? Yes, the PMP certificate is relevant to the manager’s team of project managers.
  • Is it time-based? Yes, the manager assigned the development goal in January, and the deadline to complete the goal is December 31 of the same year.

This is a good example of a SMART development goal. The employee knows what outcome is expected and how to achieve that outcome.

importance of goals in career planning

SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud – Performance Management

You or your manager can assign performance goals in the Performance Management work area in Oracle HCM Cloud. Performance goals help to measure an employee’s progress. Performance goals are typically part of performance evaluations, and both managers and their direct reports can add goals to a performance document.

Note: There is a Performance Goals section and a Development Goals section in performance documents.

Example of a SMART performance goal

A manager noticed that a Quality Assurance (QA) employee has been underperforming. The QA employee missed fifty more call outs on average than his peers. The manager assigns the following performance goal to the employee to track the employee’s performance:

Decrease missed QA call outs by twenty percent.

Let’s break this performance goal down to see if it is a SMART goal:

  • Is it specific? Yes, the employee missed a lot of QA call outs, so the manager will monitor their work on the QA team.
  • Is it measurable? Yes, the manager specified a quantitative value of twenty percent.
  • Is it attainable? Yes, other members on the QA team miss less QA call outs on average. The assignee of the goal should strive to match their coworker’s quality and work.
  • Is it relevant? Yes, the QA employee has been assigned a task that will improve their performance on the QA team.
  • Is it time-based? No, the manager did not specify when they would check in to measure the number of QA call outs the employee missed. Because there is no specified end date, the manager could assess the employee’s work the next day, the next week, or the next month. This goal is not effective in measuring the employee’s performance.

This is not a SMART goal. Because the manager was not specific about the deadline of the goal, the employee and the manager will not have the same expectations.

Before you go: The importance of SMART goals in Oracle HCM Cloud

Goals can help you and your superiors measure your progress and work throughout your tenure at a company. Goals can also help you attain career goals using specific and achievable milestones to get to your career goal. And SMART goals enable you or your goal assignee to make better progress towards their goal.

Think, for a second, of a project. Projects have tasks and milestones. Anyone involved with the project can track project health based on task and milestone completion. Career goals are like projects, and each performance and development goal are the tasks and milestones of projects. Goals allow you to quantitatively list your accomplishments as you strive for a promotion or a career change.

More information on careers, goals, talent management, and career succession planning are available with ENGAGE by Maverick. ENGAGE by Maverick is Maverick Solutions’ comprehensive, subscription-based Oracle training model. We have interactive tutorials that allow you to practice various Oracle HCM Cloud business processes in a training environment that looks just like your company’s Oracle Cloud instance. If you would like to learn how Maverick Solutions can fit into your company’s Oracle Cloud journey, speak with one of our training experts today, or request a demo!

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