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Performance Goals for Managers

Setting realistic job performance goals for managers is an important part of building a productive workplace. The performance of key managerial workers can make or break the performance of teams, as these are the links between senior managers and the company’s frontline employees.

Setting high but achievable goals for managers reduces the strain caused by excessive retraining and poor performance reviews, especially when your managers are already performing at a relatively high level. Setting good target goals for managers also motivates the teams they lead, since it encourages positive morale and the development of realistic managerial development plans.

Like everything else your company depends on to succeed, realistic examples of performance goals for management take time and attention to properly develop. As senior management, it’s your task to develop goals for supervisors and managers of teams that are not only reachable, but that encourage continuing growth to meet ever-higher targets. Ideally, the assessment and development process you create should be built around honest reviews and mostly positive feedback, with an eye toward constructive criticism and continuing growth.

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Examples of management goals to work from

Every company has its own metrics for manager success, and the way you judge a successful manager may differ from one division or team to another. As a rule, a successful manager is one who can motivate the frontline workers on their team to do their best and make sure their subordinate employees have the support they need to implement senior management’s policies. Secondary manager duties typically include evaluation of workers’ performance, accurate reporting of progress and sometimes even creative input into decision making at higher levels.

It can be hard to measure all of the intangibles associated with a manager’s job, but some key metrics tend to apply to managers’ performance goals across the board.

Key factors for setting employee performance goals

Here are some factors to consider when setting employee performance goals:

  • Company culture
  • Employee engagement
  • Performance management

Company culture

Developing a strong company culture can motivate employees to improve their performance. Businesses should try to reward high performers wherever they can. This can be with cash incentives, but it doesn’t have to be. Even a small token of esteem, such as a company-branded mug or paperweight, or a picture of top performers on the office wall, can build a strong company culture of success.

Employee engagement

Employees who are fully engaged with their work are almost always more successful than those who aren’t. This is even more true for supervisors than for line employees. Managers who attend and actively participate in meetings, for example, or those who organize business affinity groups for employees on their own time, are sending strong signals that they identify with their role in the company as leaders. Look for similar behavior among the manager’s team members, since this kind of engagement tends to rub off on supervised employees.

Performance management

Performance management policies generally come with built-in metrics for gauging success. If your managers are consistently hitting their targets, as outlined in the manager development plan you’ve drafted, then this is a good sign your goals are realistic for the environment where they’re being applied. Look for areas where a manager is falling a little short of goals. In an otherwise highly rated manager, this can be a great opportunity to engage and improve with minor retraining or a short-term action plan for improvement.

Three examples of management goals

Here are three examples of goals for a manager:

  • Example: Znet, a Fortune 500 tech company, added goal and performance management software to help improve employee performance. The software lets salespeople know in real time when they’re behind on their goals. It also congratulates them when they exceed company expectations.
  • Example: Wonderful Travel is a call center that books vacations for people all over the world. Lately, call wait times have been increasing while customer satisfaction ratings have been decreasing. To reverse this trend, the company announced that its goals for supervisors and their teams are to reduce average wait times by 90 seconds and increase ratings by 90%.
  • Example:Comfy Heating and Air publishes a monthly newsletter for its staff. Before publishing, supervisors review the articles, rate them and make changes when needed. The writers who contribute at least once per month and get great ratings receive a reward at the end of the year. Similarly, the company uses the editing procedure as a way to let go of writers whose work doesn’t meet standards.

Best practices for managers

Managers should think about how examples of management goals can help the company achieve its target metrics. Many supervisors use the SMART method to create useful goals. You should think about whether your goals are:

  • Specific: Do your manager goals examples focus on a certain area, such as customer service ratings?
  • Measurable: Are they based on facts, not opinions?
  • Attainable: Are they easy to achieve?
  • Realistic: Are they realizable to maintain employee morale?
  • Timely: Are you able to implement them at the best time for the company?

For example, a shipping company may need each employee to conduct more deliveries per hour during the holidays when there is more traffic. They could offer rewards for people who can make 10 additional deliveries per day. Company goals should be documented along with other rules governing employee conduct, such as dress code, and make sure that everyone knows when those goals change.

Related:How to Manage Employees

FAQs about performance goals for managers

Creating clear performance goals helps make your employees’ jobs easier and has the potential to increase your business’s bottom line. It also helps to keep people engaged with their work. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about setting and achieving your company’s performance goals:

What are the differences between performance and learning goals?

Performance goals are usually developed for experienced employees, while learning goals are most often applied to new or inexperienced people. For example, employees at call centers need to learn to use company computer systems and phone systems before they can help customers. After taking a test to show that they achieved this learning goal, they can start helping customers and trying to meet performance goals set by their management team.

What are the differences between performance and development goals?

Employers set performance goals, while employees set their own career development goals. For example, an employee could decide that they want to network more with coworkers or apply for a promotion. This would be an example of an internal personal development goal, rather than one set forth by management and focused on performance.

What is a performance review?

A performance review or evaluation is a formal assessment by a manager. The supervisor looks at sales statistics and other concrete information and gives the employee advice that will help them improve their performance. Managers also evaluate more subjective aspects of performance, such as how well the person works with other team members.

Related:How to Conduct an Employee Evaluation

How should managers measure performance goals?

Managers can measure teams’ performance goals by gathering data about how their employees do their work and the daily operations of the departments they work in. Many companies measure productivity by looking at the number of customers an employee serves in an average hour, their hourly sales numbers or the percentage of deadlines they meet. These statistics are called key performance indicators, and companies sometimes use several of them, to develop a weighted average for their overall performance, similar to a credit score for achieving management goals.

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