How To Set Communication Goals Using The SMART Criteria

Are you still setting communication goals like “Talk more” and “Listen more” for your business? These generic goals still work, but when complicated issues in communication arise, you need something more specific.

In this post, we’ll show you 3 steps to write effective communication goals using the SMART criteria. This helps you see things more clearly, focus on the right areas, and utilize relevant resources to boost your workplace communication.

1. Identify areas that need to be improved

Before setting any type of goals, you need to identify the areas that you and your team need to work on.

Areas of communication that need improvements may include finding effective communication channels, working on emotional control, informing staff about new policies, etc.

Once you figure out the weaknesses that require improvements, you can set suitable communication goals for your teams and work on those shortcomings.

communication goals using SMART criteria can help you with business objective

2. Set communication goals using the SMART criteria

What will happen if your goals are too far-fetched? A lot of people feel like they’ve worked very hard for their goals but not getting anywhere.

Setting the right goals allows you to focus on the right subject, use your resources more effectively, plus save your time and money. Failing to set the right type of goals will negatively affect your efforts and progress at work.

One way to set effective goals is to use the SMART criteria. SMART stands for:

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

S – Specific

Your goals need to be as clear and specific as possible. Generic goals make it hard for you to figure out what your business really needs, and what steps needed to achieve your communication goals.

Ask yourself and your teams these questions:

–   What do we want to achieve?

–   Why are we doing this?

–   Who will be involved?

–   When and where will we start?

–   Which resources will we use?

For example, instead of writing “Tell employees to read the handbook”, write “Inform employees about the handbook, and make sure 100% read and are aware of the policies”.

M – Measurable

It’s important to have specific metrics to measure the time, efforts, and resources you need to fulfill your goals.

Compare and contrast the results. Review the progress periodically so you can have a quantitative or qualitative base for your next plans.

For example, you can write “Increase staff engagement in company’s internal blog from 30 to 50 by the end of this month” instead of “Increase staff engagement in company’s internal blog”.

A – Achievable

However challenging the goals might seem, they should be achievable. Goals with the right difficulty can stretch your ability, not make you feel unrealistic.

To make an attainable set of goals, double-check the obstacles your company is facing, and answer these questions:

–   How can we achieve this goal? Can we achieve it in 1 month/quarter/year?

–   Based on the current difficulties and obstacles, how achievable are the goals?

If your team are drowning in endless tasks and barely have extra time, it’d be unachievable if you told your team to conduct an internal communication campaign in 2 days.

R – Relevant

When setting goals for your business, consider if they’re relevant to your values and long-term objectives.

Do the goals you set align with you and your team? Why are they important? Do they need to be relevant to certain campaigns in your company?

You should also consider whether the goal is applicable in the current socio-economic situation. For instance, it’d be difficult for some staff when you tell them to smile and talk more positively, especially during this pandemic.

T – Time-based

Any goals need a time frame to complete. They give you and your team something to focus on and strive for.

Evaluate what you can do in a certain period of time.

You might want to ask yourself these questions:

–   What can we do six months from now?

–   What can we do today?

–   How long will this communication campaign last?

communication goals using SMART criteria

3. Plan the steps and take action

The idea of making communication goals using SMART criteria is to make them feasible. You don’t want your business communication objectives to be forever on paper, on the screen, or in your head, and become unfulfilled dreams.

After writing communication goals, think about the steps that will push you closer to your goals. Divide your long-term goals into smaller steps. Estimate the amount of time needed for each step.

The steps can be from talking to your employees, outlining the resources and actions for an internal communication campaign, and many more.

Once you’ve got the goals and the steps, it’s time for you and your employees to put those into action!


There are various opportunities to improve communication in the workplace. By setting effective communication goals based on the SMART criteria and follow the planned steps, you can make the best of your time with your teams, enhance your relationships, and lead your people one step closer to success.

Want some examples of communication goals? Check out our previous post here.

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