confirming your goals

Periodically updating your goals is important to your team and direct reports as well as to the broader organization. Your role should involve a commitment to regular reviews of progress while using resources to empower employees to do their work. This also involves being prepared to forecast needed resources and re-allocate resources and staffing quickly to align with changes as needed. Your focus should involve oversight, empowerment and a constant readiness to adapt—this should include a constant awareness of the factors with the potential to impact your organization, department and team.

Understanding Needs

Your goals should derive from the needs of the organization and/or your department or unit while supporting the development of employees and your area when possible. Most needs relate to people, processes or the organization’s products or services. Try to contextualize areas of opportunity in terms of one of these three areas. You may discover that one or more of these areas need focused effort to improve or contribute more broadly to goal achievement. Meet with your leadership if you fail to find connections or if you are unsure how you should direct your efforts or those of your team. Asking questions early on can be extremely helpful not only to progress but also to your development as a manager—you should not be expected to know everything. Goal setting is often new or challenging for many managers so position yourself for effectiveness by seeking information and clarity as needed.

Identifying Resources

You can position your team for progress by ensuring you understand the organizations budget and budgeting process. You should also strive to understand your leadership teams’ priorities and any areas of strategic focus. Doing so can help you better align your efforts and make changes as needed more quickly and with less angst should it be necessary to redistribute financial support to your teams’ efforts. You may also be in a position that permits involvement in securing external resources. This can prove advantageous to both your team and the overall organization.

Preparing Updated Goals

Ensure you have an understanding of your department’s priorities and the available resources so you can develop plans that support departmental efforts and the development of your team. Make time to reflect upon progress and challenges realized during the past year and use this insight to inform the development of the drafts of your new goals. Be prepared to explain or provide a rationale for each of your proposed goals—always remaining ready to forego your ideas and plans in favor of those held by your leadership.

Key Takeaways:

  • The goals you propose to accomplish in the future should be based upon identified needs. They should also align with your organization’s longer-term goals and principles.
  • By leveraging strengths, you may enable greater levels of progress than if you planned from a different standpoint.

Try This:

  • Identify your department’s strengths and any areas of opportunity that may enable the greatest progress or future impact. Consider using these as foundations for new goals.

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