Have you ever considered how your goal-setting practices could affect fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace? In today’s dynamic environment, embracing frameworks that resonate with our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not just beneficial—it’s essential. Let's dive into the transformative world of the SMARTER Goals framework, a beacon for those striving to embed justice and inclusivity into their objectives. With the SMARTER Goals framework, we champion a holistic approach where racial justice, inclusion, and equity are not ancillary but central to our goal-setting process, reflecting our belief that these values are interconnected and integral to every aspect of our work.

Understanding SMARTER Goals

At the heart of effective planning lies the well-known SMART goals framework, which emphasizes goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The SMARTER Goals framework builds upon this solid foundation, introducing two crucial dimensions: Equity-minded and Racially just. This isn’t merely an addition; it’s a fundamental shift toward integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into our goal-setting practices.

  • Specific: Clear and well-defined.
  • Measurable: Quantifiable to track progress.
  • Achievable: Realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant: Aligned with broader objectives.
  • Time-bound: Defined start and end dates.
  • Equity-minded: Incorporates diverse perspectives, especially from marginalized groups.
  • Racially Just: Addresses systemic injustice and promotes racial equity.

This framework uniquely integrates Equity-Minded and Racially Just considerations, ensuring that our commitment to racial justice and inclusion is embedded in every goal we set, mirroring the interconnectedness of these essential values in our pursuit of organizational excellence.

Why Opt for a SMARTER Approach?

Imagine setting a goal that, while seemingly beneficial on the surface, inadvertently sidelines the voices and needs of underrepresented groups within your organization. Traditional goal-setting methods can often fall into this trap, overlooking the nuanced impacts of our objectives. By weaving Equity-minded and Racially just considerations into our goals, we ensure that our ambitions foster positive outcomes for everyone, particularly those historically marginalized.  

Let’s consider how a conventional goal can evolve into a SMARTER goal:

  • SMART Goal: Increase the number of students who attend campus events by 20% by the end of the semester.
  • SMARTER Goal: Increase the number of students who attend campus events by 20%, ensuring at least 30% of the attendees are first-generation college students. This reframing focuses on a quantitative increase and emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and representation.

Implementing SMARTER Goals

Implementing SMARTER Goals involves mindful reflection on several key considerations to ensure our objectives are both ambitious and inclusive:

  • Inclusivity: Does the goal respect and consider the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of all individuals involved?
  • Fairness: Is the goal fair, providing equal opportunities for everyone, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation?
  • Representation: Does the goal involve and value input from a diverse range of people? Is everyone's voice heard and accounted for?
  • Accessibility: Is the goal attainable for everyone? Are there any barriers that disproportionately affect certain groups?
  • Systemic Considerations: Does the goal consider systemic or structural factors that may affect different groups differently?

A Catalyst for Change

We've crafted a handout with practical examples and probing questions to guide your teams in embracing this comprehensive approach. This resource is designed to help transform personal and team commitments into plans that mirror our shared commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Let’s Journey Together

Embarking on this journey requires courage, commitment, and collaboration. When we pledge continuous learning and growth as we adopt the SMARTER Goals framework. Our objectives propel us toward our organizational missions and pave the way for a society that values justice, equity, and inclusivity above all. Together, we can set benchmarks that reflect our highest ideals and collective aspirations for a better world. Let's redefine what it means to set goals in an ever-evolving world together.