Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies.

Website URL :
Help for small firms

How to get the best out of your staff: A step-by-step guide

How to get the best out of your staff - Step 1

How to set work objectives

  • These must tie in with your business goals, plans for the future and the duties outlined in the employee's job description.
  • Objectives should be 'SMART'.
    • Specific - objectives should state a desired outcome - a standard. What does the employee need to achieve?
    • Measurable - how will you and the employee know when an objective has been achieved? As well as the standard, what is the quantity of work required?
    • Achievable - is the objective something the employee is capable of achieving, but also challenging?
    • Relevant - do objectives relate to those of the team and business?
    • Time-bound - when do the objectives need to be achieved? Agree a deadline.

Objectives should refer to specific outcomes, such as:

  • the number of new customers recruited by the end of the year
  • the time it takes to clear an invoice or produce a product
  • improving customer satisfaction by 25% over the coming year
  • the money that is generated in sales.

Sample SMART objectives are on page 15 of Acas pdf icon Advice leaflet - Managing performance for small firms [428kb].

Have you set the objectives you want your employee to achieve? If so, move on to How to get the best out of your staff - Step 2.

Previous StepNext Step
How to get the best out of your staff
Customer contact form
Your details: news and notifications