At the start of a new year, goal setting is the norm. Effective managers are constantly reviewing the goals that they have set for the year, to determine whether they are on track.

Goals can be as simple or defined as you choose – it could be generating a certain extra percentage in sales, or perhaps improving on the way that projects are completed. They can even be personal, in terms of training or development, or perhaps learning a new way of doing things.

Customer service motivation

Whatever the case, setting realistic, achievable goals are the way to ensure that you are able to meet them over the course of the year.

Let’s see what sort of goals should you set for yourself to ensure a productive year and also what are the factors that you should consider when setting your goals?

Setting Realistic Goals for the Business Year Ahead

Goals typically fall within three categories: the organization, the department or unit and the individual. These can be determined as follows:

Global Goals – The Organization

These types of goals are usually ones that affect the bigger picture – the bottom line, greater good of the company or specific goals that directly affect the company rather than different facets of the company.

For instance, meeting financial targets could be a goal for the entire company, or hiring a certain number of new employees to achieve better results. Knowing and striving to meet these goals is important, however project managers do not have much control over the greater organization as they might over a team or smaller unit.

Unit Goals – The Department

As a unit or department however, goals are set according to specific focus areas that need to be achieved by the department or smaller group. It could be a project management team, or the marketing department, sales office or even a local division of the company – such as a regional office.

Typical goals could include customer satisfaction levels, employee satisfaction levels, deadlines and delivery targets, budget targets, training targets and other goals that affect the unit and not just the company.

Individual Goals – The Project Manager

As a project manager or individual within the unit, individual goals are the easiest to achieve as you have full control over your own tasks and abilities. Personal goals as well as professional goals are included in this type of goal, as long as they all benefit the greater team and meet overall company objectives.

Goals could relate to improving costs to reduce budget over-spending, over-seeing the training of a specific number of employees within various departments, delivering certain project outcomes for specific projects and anything else that affects individual skills or abilities.

You may find that you have set a designated number of objectives across each type of goal, or perhaps you are focusing on just one category. Whatever the case, understanding how different goals have different outcomes, measurements and targets is key to achieving them with greater success.