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Examples of SMART Goals for Change Management

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 3/24/2011

Using SMART goals in your change management process can ensure any change within your organization runs effortlessly, especially when it comes to resistance to change. Here, Jean Scheid offers up an example of how SMART goals and change management tools can make changes flow smoothly.

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    What Are SMART Goals?

    SMART Goals SMART goals or the acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, or time-bound are a way to help you streamline change management processes to ensure success. Using SMART goals in your change management process will make it easier to help your organization prepare, conform, and accept the change in a streamlined way throughout the process in order to effect the change.

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    Using SMART Goals in Your Change Management Process

    Because the Change Management Methodology offers up best practices, it’s easy to implement SMART goals. Let’s look at an example of SMART goals for change management purposes.

    Say your organization has decided to move employee parking to a different location to allow for an enlarged customer parking area. Of course you want to make employees prepare, conform and accept the new employee parking change—even if they are dissatisfied with the new standard.

    If we take each element of SMART Goals, let’s see how we would use these in our new employee parking area change.

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    Implementing SMART Goals

    Parking Lot Change First, let’s take a look at how we would utilize each SMART goal tool in our parking lot change:

    Specific – Be specific and state clearly and be precise on what the new change is and why it’s necessary. Do allow for employee input on all levels so each person understands why the change is necessary. Be prepared for resistance to change and have a plan, facilitator or team to deal with helping those who don’t understand the need for the change.

    Measurable – As part of your resistance to change process, you can show employees why it is indeed better for the customers to have access to a closer or more open parking space. Do this using by offering up data they can see and measure. For example, if customer surveys show the business was losing money due to the customer parking lot area—offer that to those who object to the change so they can see, touch and understand the change.

    Achievable – It’s important to let everyone involved in the change understand that without their cooperation, the change isn’t feasible or achievable. If one employee totally disagrees and refuses to accept the new employee parking lot area, he or she may find others to join them in their revolt. Show them this change is only possible if everyone participates—even top level management.

    Relevant – You must also be able to convey why the change is relevant to the employee as well as the customer. Help them understand things like customer attitudes and satisfaction can only be improved upon if their experience starts outside of the building with a wider, more accessible parking area. Let them know unhappy customers will only make their job harder—especially if trying to please an already angered customer who was forced to park far away from the building. For the naysayers, you may wish to implement an employee parking spot of the month within the customer parking area and make sure to be fair when rotating the spot.

    Time-Bound – Offer up enough time for everyone to accept the new employee parking area. Let them know as far in advance as possible when the change will be implemented. Expect some to deny or ignore the change and use change control processes to help them overcome their resistance. Have a change resistance committee to help those who are having a difficult time—or those that constantly complain about the change.

    This simple example of SMART goals for change a management process will ultimately ensure any organization change flows in a streamlined process, allows enough time for acceptance, and offers up realistic goals that will make those fearful or non-accepting of the change, willing to follow the new rules and be part of the company’s team.

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    "Get Back in Control With Smart Goals" retrieved at

    Image Credits:

    G Is for Goals/Wikimedia Commons/kfuot001

    Parking Lot/MorgueFile/roganjosh

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