Positive employee engagement comes with myriad benefits, including lowered turnover rates, higher overall productivity, and a boosted bottom line. This ultimately lends your organization a significant competitive advantage. And one critical aspect of effective management that allows you to achieve this involves collaborating with your direct-reports and other team members to set goals that keep them on-task, on time and motivated.
So creating performance targets for your employees is an important piece of any leadership position. Equally important is setting goals and objectives for yourself which give you as well as your team a clear picture of your roles and responsibilities, in the day-to-day as well as bigger picture ambitions.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how you as a manager can set effective goals for yourself, and collaborate with direct-reports to best leverage the competencies of your team.
The bottom line is that having a clear target helps keep you and those working around you focused and clear on their specific duties. Here are a few additional benefits to setting goals in management.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you set better goals as a manager.
Another best practice you should include in your goal-setting repertoire is the use of clear goal-setting methods. The three most widely-used strategies today include OKRs, MBOs and the SMART goals method, and each can be effectively utilized to set management goals. Here’s how they work.
Every manager needs to have this method in their tool kit. The Management By Objectives strategy is most effectively used to set expectations for team members within the context of broader company or departmental goals.
To write an MBO for yourself or your direct-report, you will make a statement that describes a specific and detailed expectation to be worked towards. Here are a few examples.
Think of OKRs as the next evolution of MBOs. The Objectives and Key Results strategy is a refined and updated take on the original MBO model, adding KPIs to the objective which allows you initially to understand how you are going to reach your goal, and to periodically assess progress.
To write an OKR, you will make a clear and detailed statement of your goal, and then write out a number of ‘key results’ which describe milestones which need to be met between now and the completion of your project. Here is an example.
Objective: Improve team project turnaround time by 50%.
Key result: Work with team to better delegate responsibilities based on competencies.
Key result: Update team resources including software, printer, and other outdated technologies to eliminate external drag factors.
The SMART strategy is the most recent goal-setting strategy, and is designed to give you as clear a picture of possible not only of your objective but also why this objective is relevant and doable. Elements of the SMART acronym include Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
To write your SMART objective, you will need to write out the various aspects of your objective using each key point of the acronym. Here’s an example.
Specific – Improve team communication with a daily check-in via slack channel.
Measurable – Time spent on restating responsibilities and tasks should be reduced by 75%.
Attainable – 10 minutes per day is easily doable for all team members. Preferable to a video call.
Relevant – Primarily remote workforce means interpersonal interaction is limited; check in will allow the team to stay on the same page/personally engaged.
Time-based – Time waste reduction should reach 75% by the end of the quarter.
Approaching your leadership responsibilities with clear goals set for both you and your team will ensure that everyone stays on task and working towards a collective benefit.
Ready to take your team to the next level? Find out more about setting truly audacious big picture goals in our other resource: How to Set Aspirational Goals for Your Organization.
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