Managers Set Goals to Get Results

Posted on: March 10, 2015, by :

Setting Clear, Transparent Goals

According to Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte, there’s a new model for employee engagement. It involves five elements that drive engagement. One of which is my focus today, hands-on management and the setting of clear transparent goals. Many in management first learn to set goals once they are promoted or hired into a position. In both of these situations often what’s missing are the foundational aspects—goal setting terms and how they relate to one another. In the absence of this information managers tend to rely on the advice of their managers or human resources departments. Both of these are excellent sources for guidance; however, if used in isolation they do not always adequately prepare managers to help employees thoroughly understand the goal setting process or how their roles (and goals) relate to broader organizational goals. Goal setting is organization specific; meaning that you will most likely need to adapt how you set goals to be consistent with your organization’s practices.

For example, you have a product line with downward trending sales. A business development professional has been transferred from another department to stop and reverse this trend. After a couple of months sales continue to trend downward. If you were the manager in this situation you could take the following steps to work with the employee to set clear, transparent goals:

  • Establish sales goals based upon market information and internal resources and capacity
  • Understand what is required to achieve sales goals from both business development and marketing perspectives (What’s preventing sales?)
  • Understand the employees’ business development abilities, strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify training and development designed to help improve the employee’s performance
  • Meet on a regular basis with the employee to discuss the application of business development practices to the approach that they’re using to secure new and retain current customers for the product line.

In this hypothetical situation management may have assumed that the employee would be successful securing new business for a different product line given their success with other product lines. Review the example below to better understand how manager’s set goals to get results:






Accomplishment to be achieved. Specific, measurable steps that have a completion date. The “thinking” aspect involved in achieving your objectives. The “doing” aspect involved in achieving a strategy.
Secure sales with new customers. Secure $50,000 in new customer sales within three months. Identify and qualify new customers by potential to purchase, history with the organization and propensity to purchase. – Identify direct connections or bridges to new customers.- Research and network to understand organizational challenges and needs.- Secure referrals when possible.
Garner repeat purchases from existing customers. Secure $30,000 in repeat purchases from existing customers within three months. Identify high potential customers based upon order history, customer feedback, market dynamics and propensity to purchase. – Review information in the CRM system.- Review press releases and news about existing customers online. (Set up Google® or other news alerts tomonitor high potential customers).- Research and network to understand market dynamics.




Take our Manager’s Guide to Goal Setting FREE E-course today! Learn more>>



Photo by Thomas Hawk, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.


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