It’s February, and many of us may be struggling to adhere to the resolutions we made for the New Year (you’re not alone if you are – research suggests only 8% of Americans keep those resolutions). It’s also the time of the year that we in UVAFinance need to consider our plans and goals for the workplace and our careers. Here are some guidelines to help you set smart, achievable goals that will advance your career and help us all be successful.
GOALSWhat will you achieve this year and how will you incorporate the UVAFinance core values [Impeccable source of information * Service excellence * Innovative action * Collaborative partner * Valued, high-performing teams] in your daily work? By aligning your goals to the UVA core values, you can enhance both our organization and your individual performance.
When setting your goals, think about making them SMART goals and setting at least one “stretch” goal.
About SMART Goals
Your goals should be based on the responsibilities outlined in your job description.
• Has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal
• Goals should clearly define what you are going to do and how you will accomplish the objective
• Tangible criteria for measuring progress
• Common measures include quantity, quality, timeliness, and accuracy
• Allows you to:
• Stay on track
• Celebrate progress toward achievement
• Ask: How much or how many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
• Linked to measurable
• Must be able to determine if/when you have achieved the goal
• Challenge you, but be defined well enough so that you can achieve them
• Need to possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve the goal
• Ask: Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Do I have the necessary resources, or a realistic chance of getting them? Are there limitations, and if so, what are they?
• Measures outcomes, not activities
• Can be outputs of work/deliverables, products, or accomplishments
• Should be relevant to the goals and values of the organization
• An objective toward which you are both willing and able to work
• Have a specific deadline for when the goal should be accomplished
• Enables you to monitor progress toward achievement of goal
• Ask: When should the goal be accomplished? What is a reasonable deadline?
About Stretch Goals
Setting a stretch goal may be appropriate based on your individual situation (time in role, feedback from supervisor, changes in department or job, etc.).
Stretch goals should not be outside the realm of your job duties and responsibilities but may include additional or more complex duties, projects, or assignments. These goals should be developmental, in that they help you grow in your current job or prepare you for career growth.
About the Competencies and Development Plan
In Lead@UVA, the Development Plan and Competency sections have been removed to simplify the form and focus attention on performance goals. However, having a development plan is very important for every UVAFinance employee.
Every employee needs to identify a class, a training session, a conference, or a leadership opportunity that will strengthen your individual knowledge and skills. This is a great time, with Finance Strategic Transformation on the horizon, to consider how to enrich your knowledge in your current job and to gain skills for future positions. Some development opportunities to consider include:
- Attend Center for Leadership Excellence offerings;
- Complete a certification, including the LEAN certification program, or the soon to be announced Business Analytics certification;
- Attend a conference;
- Attend a class through the UVA School of Continuing and Professional Studies or another institution;
- Participate in the UVAFinance Book Club, and/or read other books on leadership, change, or other relevant topics;
- Participate in coaching or mentoring activities.
Many learning opportunities that have an associated cost may be paid for with your University Education benefit.
Credit to UHR for goal-related info in this article. Thanks, Gary Helmuth and Carrie Baker!