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Goal Setting at MIT

People come from all over the world to study at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a prestigious research university that arguably boasts an employee population second to none in terms of intellectual ability. Seventy-seven present and former members of the MIT community have won the Nobel Prize, including eight current faculty members.

How does an HR department implement a goal-setting process that resonates in such an environment? Turns out MIT Human Resources has a smart answer.

From MIT Human Resources, here’s the university’s process for setting SMART goals.


Using the SMART acronym can help ensure that managers and employees share the same understanding of goals set during performance review conversations.

For example, a sample goal might be:

Keep our department's web page up-to-date.

There is a problem with this goal—what does "up to date" mean? How can the employee and manager be sure that they are working to the same standard? How can each of them kn...

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