How to Be a Better Manager with Goals
Effective goals management is the foundation of any manager’s responsibilities. In order to lead a team successfully and achieve company objectives, managers should use the following guiding principles to effectively manage goals:
- Achieve alignment so that individual and team objectives are supporting company goals
- Make progress measurable and track it on an ongoing basis
- Use a continuous feedback loop to provide coaching and support
- Recognize individuals’ contribution and encourage development
Let’s break down these strategies into some actionable steps that you can begin using right away to improve your goals management approach:
- Begin by collaborating with executives to determine top company priorities
- From there, use the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) framework to establish how the goals can be broken down
- Make sure that OKRs follow S.M.A.R.T. criteria
- Cascade OKRs down to the team levels and meet with department managers to ensure all Objectives support the top-level company OKRs
- Repeat the process on the individual contributor level, and ensure that employees collaborate with managers to come up with their own tasks and tactics to complete OKRs
Measure and track progress.
Meet with each of your direct reports weekly for one-on-one sessions to discuss progress, identify any possible bottlenecks, and review weekly accomplishments.
- For quarterly OKRs, have individual contributors aim for about 10% completion each week
- Ensure that both parties have 100% clarity on expectations
- Use automated weekly progress reports in conjunction with one-on-one-meetings to establish a complete, continuous loop of feedback
Provide coaching and support.
- Using the feedback loop you’ve created, provide actionable advice on how employees can improve performance
- Give strengths-based feedback when possible
- Ensure that both positive and constructive feedback are given in real-time so that the employee can clearly identify the performance issue/accomplishment and begin the advice to guide his/her future actions immediately
Recognize contributions & encourage development.
- Give praise for both small wins and major accomplishments; encourage employees to recognize their weekly wins by providing a space for them to be recorded in weekly reports
- Encourage your employees to develop their strengths and identify the ways in which they’d like to grow in the company during your weekly communications (one-on-ones/weekly reports)
- Develop opportunities for employees to grow and excel and provide the necessary resources