Goal Setting

7 Examples for Setting Professional Development Goals at Work

We shared with you why goals are important to keep productivity levels up at work. But setting goals shouldn’t stop at things to accomplish on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

You should be setting goals that revolve around your development in the workplace, allowing you to progress professionally as well as supporting your team’s development, if you're a manager.

Great goal setting means you can take steps towards improving any aspect of work that’s relevant and specific to you, building on professional knowledge, skills and effective working practices.

Whilst your goals should be tailored to your personal aims and needs, we’ve put together 7 examples to give you an idea of some great, SMART development goals which will help push you towards success and the professional accomplishments you’re striving for.


1. Complete leadership training course before the end of the quarter

Part of professional development is continuing to learn new skills and practices, at any stage in your career. Sometimes enrolling in courses or training plans is an invaluable way to gain the skills or knowledge you need to develop in your role and improve in specific practices.

Learning new things doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal process though. Development goals can be as easy as gaining more knowledge about something. For example...


2. Learn more about the new office communication tool before implementing it next quarter

Familiarising yourself with new technology before introducing it in the workplace means you’ll not only be confident using it, team members will also be more likely to engage with it if they see you’ve taken the time to do the same. You will then know the tool inside out, plus you'll be known as the guru!


3. Gain upward feedback before the end of the quarter to establish what can be improved

Receiving honest, constructive feedback shouldn’t just be a top-down process, especially with such great tools available to facilitate this these days. Gaining your team's perspective is a great way to see how your behaviours and practices impact those around you, and can provide great insight when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. When things get busy, it’s easy to forget to check in with your team and gain their feedback on how things are going. Having a goal in place means things won’t get overlooked in favour of other tasks or projects.


4. Improve presentation skills by enlisting help, in order to make things more engaging for the team

Improving presentation skills is always valuable. It can have an impact on so many aspects of work: from presenting better in weekly meetings to improving skills for large company-wide or public presentations. Great presentation skills allow you to engage and communicate with, motivate, and inspire your team.


5. Gain a more in-depth perspective of how departments within the company are run…

…by taking a couple of days to work with or shadow each department over the next two quarters. Getting an overall perspective of what goes into each department's daily practices is hugely important: it means you can better understand the challenges and obstacles other team members experience on a daily basis, making you a more effective manager.


6. Improve ability to manage the team remotely, by establishing set communication guidelines

It’s good to have guidelines in place to ensure that when working remotely, everything is still running efficiently and team members have support available when they need it. Having clear channels for communication and building a team culture of open feedback plays a large part in success here. 


7.  Attend training session on how to give and receive effective feedback to team members

Part of successfully managing a team is providing useful insight into team members’ performances. It will not only help people to improve, but will also improve your standing as a manager: people respect someone who provides honest, useful feedback, and the performance review process is a key part of this.


Now it's time to decide on your goals so you can get out there and begin developing both personally and professionally. Make sure you have them written down, either for your personal use or better yet in your company platform so you can keep track and show improvements to your manager over time. 


Amplify the impact of your goals with The Manager's Guide to Using Feedback to Motivate, Engage and Develop Your Team. Download Now.

Photo by: Kaboom Pics