A key part of running an effective department in an organization is setting goals. Your staff need to know what is expected so their work has a clearly defined purpose with clear plans to achieve organizational goals. When you set department goals, you need to meet a variety of criteria to make your workplace efficient and keep morale high.

Step 1.

Examine the goals from upper management. Your goals need to be in line with these goals so the whole company is working together. Your job is to apply these long range goals into a clear, day-to-day set of goals.

Step 2.

Set your goals in accordance with the SMART mnemonic -- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

Step 3.

Make your goals specific and measurable by setting objective criteria. Rather than "we will make more sales," for example, your goal should be "we will increase sales by 10 percent by the end of the quarter."

Step 4.

Make your goals attainable. This was done in Step 3 by deciding to increase sales by 10 percent, not 100 or 200 percent.

Step 5.

Make your goals relevant to the bigger picture. The goal in Step 3 is relevant if you are running a sales team and the company-wide goals are to increase profits through new customers. It is not relevant if you are running an IT support team and the company-wide goal is to increase profits through new product development.

Step 6.

Make your goal time-based. This was done in Step 3 by setting one quarter as the time in which to attain the goal. If the goals are not time-based, they are not as effective. After all, increasing sales by 10 percent in a week is extremely impressive. Increasing them by 10 or even 20 percent over a couple of decades is not as impressive.


Try to stick with the company's goals as much as possible. While you can add your own long-term goals, you need to be careful not to stretch your staff too thin and in too many directions.