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New Managers: Here's The Secret To Ensuring Your Team's Success


Want to know the secret to ensuring that the team you’re managing will be successful? Want to guarantee that everyone will be working together and headed in the same direction? Shhh… here’s the secret: Create a “Goals & Objectives” document for each employee.


You and your team have spent time creating your department’s tactical plan by determining the projects/initiatives that need to be completed over the next 12 months. To ensure your success as a leader, the next step is translating the overall department tactical plan down to the individual employee level, so each person on your team will have a document they will use to best manage their time.


This process will also help ensure you’ve allocated your resources appropriately, so you can get everything done on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Here’s how:


Create a “Goals & Objectives” template. You’ll use the same template for each employee, so keep it simple and easy to use. You’ll also want this to look almost identical to the overall department tactical plan document. So if you created an Excel spreadsheet format for your department plan (like I suggested in my previous blog), use the same column headers for the employee goals and objectives document, such as:


  • ID# (the initiative identifier)

  • Category (you’ll use the same list of categories you already determined for your department’s tactical plan)

  • Initiative/Project (the name of each initiative or project)

  • Description (describe what needs to occur)

  • Owner (the person responsible)

  • Timing (due date)

  • Goal/Objective (whatever it might be)

  • Stretch Goal/Stretch Objective (a slightly more challenging goal or objective)

  • Progress (such as color coding using green, yellow, red or some variation to denote where at in progress)


Cascade the initiatives/projects/actions down to the individual employee level. Once you have your template, create one document for every employee on your team. Take your department tactical plan and, beginning with the first initiative, include that information on each employee’s document who will be involved in completing that specific initiative. Continue this process until you’ve gone through each department initiative and allocated your people resources for each item.

Analyze your resource allocation for each department initiative. Take a step back from what you’ve just done and look at each department initiative, one by one. Ask yourself these types of questions: Do I have the right employees assigned to the project? Do I have enough people assigned to complete this initiative within the due date? Do I have too many people assigned? What have I missed? Then make any necessary updates for each project.


Analyze each employee’s draft “Goals & Objectives” document. After you’ve made sure you allocated enough people resources for each initiative/project, look at each employee’s document, one by one. Ask yourself these types of questions: Is the employee assigned to too many projects to be able to handle that amount of work? Should the employee be assigned to any other initiatives? Given my one-on-one discussions with this employee, what career development actions would be helpful? Update each employee’s document accordingly.


Meet with each person on your team (individually). Sit down one-on-one with each person in the department. Share their draft “Goals & Objectives” document, solicit their feedback and encourage candid discussion. Some areas to discuss: Are there any other projects in which they’d like to participate? Does the project workload seem appropriate (not too little, enough to be challenging, not enough to cause burnout)? Solicit their feedback to determine at least one to two personal development goals for each quarter throughout the year. Strive to get everything out into the open about how each employee is feeling about his or her goals and objectives for the year.


Update all the documents. Based on the discussions with each employee, make all necessary updates to the documents.


Review the employee “Goals & Objectives” documents with your boss. Meet with your manager and walk him or her through the process of how you’ve cascaded the department’s tactical plan all the way down to goals and objectives for each individual employee. Briefly review each employee’s document and ask for feedback. Your boss’ experience with the department, your employees and company politics/culture can be especially helpful when you’re new to the company or department. Make any necessary updates to the documents.


Distribute the “Goals & Objectives” document to each employee. After the documents are finalized, provide each employee with their document. Let each person know that they will be the “owner” of their document and that they will be responsible for providing you with a progress update on a monthly basis.

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