Examples of goals for managers can include goals for improving your leadership skills, making the workplace more productive, or engaging in professional development.
Below are 45 goals for managers. Use these examples as inspiration, but adjust them for your needs. Once you have selected a goal from the list below, turn it into a SMART goal using the SMART framework outlined at the end of this article.
10 Best Goals for Managers
- Hold regular one-to-one meetings with my staff.
- Work on my active listening skills to be more receptive to my staff.
- Work on providing constructive feedback to my staff at the next performance review meetings.
- Improve my presentation skills to make meetings more engaging and interactive.
- Improve my organizational skills by creating a better filing system.
- Implement an open door policy to be more available to my staff.
- Change the workplace culture by moving to an open office layout in the office.
- Check emails only twice (morning and afternoon) to improve my time management.
- Rewrite the standard operating procedures so they are clearer and meet the needs of staff.
- Change how meetings are run to make them more productive and open to staff comment.
Leadership Goals for Managers
11. Become a more democratic leader by ensuring I consult with all key stakeholders before making decisions for the rest of this month.
12. Improve my leadership skills by reading three self-help books on leadership and management.
13. Focus on listening to my team more by implementing feedback forms and one-to-one meetings.
14. Ask another manager to observe my leadership skills once quarterly and provide feedback for areas for improvement.
15. Organize a professional development day for the managerial group to get together and share leadership strategies.
16. Have a meeting with one staff member per day to get their input on ways to help them feel empowered in the workplace.
17. Shadow one staff member each Monday for 8 weeks to see how they work, get insight into their perspectives, and find ways to help them do their job more efficiently.
18. My goal is to improve retention rate of staff by focussing on scheduling that accommodates to the personal needs of each staff member.
19. Decrease the number of staff meetings by half by replacing every second meeting with an email blast to all staff.
20. Implement an open door policy by literally leaving my door open between 9am to 10am daily (and not arranging meetings in these hours) to become more accessible to my staff.
Professional Development Goals for Managers
21. Attend the next leadership summit organized by the leading union in my industry.
22. Attend another branch once a quarter to exchange notes with other managers in the company.
23. Read three books on management skills by the end of the year.
24. Rewrite my resume to reflect the professional development I have achieved in the past twelve months.
25. Learn the new version of the sales software in order to finally update the software to the newest version across the whole department.
Professional Skills Goals for Managers
26. Improve my organizational skills by creating a better filing system.
28. Improve my time-management skills by using a pomodoro timer during my tasks.
29. Work on my email communication by aiming to reply to all emails within 24 hours.
30. Become a more reflective practitioner by keeping a daily diary of areas for improvement and areas where I did well throughout the day.
31. Return to university to get an MBA so I can upskill and sell myself in the marketplace as a more valuable manager.
Career Goals for Managers
32. Become an upper-level manager within five years. (See also: future goals examples)
33. Transition sideways to a new department to broaden my experience on my resume.
34. Apply for a job in a new industry at the same managerial level with a 10% pay rise within six years.
35. Become a thought leader in my industry by talking at upcoming conferences about my managerial style.
36. Retire within 10 years by saving at least 35% of my income each month for the next decade.
37. Start my own management consulting company so I can set my own rates and have more independence as a contractor.
38. Implement the new workplace equality policy within 6 months in order to have a milestone that I can present at the next internal promotion interview.
Personal Goals for Manager
39. Use my vacation time fully each year instead of saving it up over time.
40. Start a witty blog or twitter profile discussing my day-to-day experiences as a manager.
41. Transition to a better quality of life by moving form a 5-day workweek to a 4-day workweek.
42. Get more exercise by heading to the gym Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays straight after work.
43. Be home by dinner time so I can eat dinner around the table with my children
44. Join an all-ages football club and go back to playing football casually on weekends, and maybe even make some friends!
45. Start reading again to increase my creativity and start switching off. I will read one book per month.
How to Set SMART Goals for Managers
The best way to set goals is to use the SMART framework. Check out the examples above for inspiration, then once you have chosen a goal, turn it into a SMART goal to add detail.
The SMART goals framework asks you to explain five details about your goals:
- Specific – Your goal needs to be specific. Don’t give a vague goal. Instead, say exactly what it would look like to achieve your goal.
- Measurable – You need to know when you achieved it. What is the measure for success?
- Attainable – This is the goldilocks rule. It can’t be too easy or you’ll be bored, but if the goal is too ambitious, you’ll lose motivation.
- Relevant – Has the goal got anything to do with the fact you’re a manager?
- Time-Bound – Set a date so you pressure yourself to get the job done!
Let’s do an example. Here’s the SMART goal: “Hold regular one-to-one meetings with my staff to get feedback.” We can flesh that out below:
|Specific||I will meet with every staff member in my office to ask them about areas for improvement around the department.|
|Measurable||There are 20 staff. I will meet with all 20.|
|Attainable||I have set aside 30 minutes between 3 and 3.30 pm Monday-Friday so I have time to do this.|
|Relevant||This goal will help me to have more information to make better decisions as a manager.|
|Time-Bound||If I meet with each one staff member per day, this task will be done within 20 working days.|
Managerial goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Select your goal then flesh it out using the SMART framework. Your goals as a manager could be related to leadership, teamwork, getting feedback from your staff, or even upskilling so you will be a better manager.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.