Starting this year (now that I’ve been a manager for about 3 months) I wanted to get into a groove of having each of my employees maintain 3-4 goals that they continuously work on. These would be goals that shouldn’t really go past a year in length but also should strech for longer than individual projects (and definitely longer than sprints). My current plan is to use Situational Leadership in order to delegate the completion of these goals to my employees.
We start with defining the goals. During a 1 on 1 we figure our 3-4 ideas for goals. This is a first draft so the goals are only a couple of words about what they feel like they would like to do. Common goals so far include:
- Give a tech talk to our department about some issue
- Manage one of our upcoming projects from start to finish
- Become a scrum master
- Add integration testing to one of our projects that’s sorely lacking in tests
Goals should be work relevant, but I definitely let the employee have one goal that maybe outside their normal job description (as long as the value to the company still exists).
At this point I also have the employee make a rough guess as to what maturity level (from the situational leadership model) they think they are. More on this later.
Then I take the goals and form a written goal. It should be short (no more than 250 words) but more descriptive than the sentences above. Once I write this I work with the employee to revise it in case of any issues. We’ll go back and forth on this in 1 on 1’s or email (depending on the schedule and timeline of when I get the goals written). I get final say over what the goals are, but I want to make sure it’s something they want to do.
Once the goal is agreed upon we make sure it’s written in a place where the employee, myself, and my boss can find it easily.
After this me and the employee decide where on the situational leadership graph they are in relation to this goal. For some goals the employee might want a lot of support but feel like they know what to do. On some they might want a ton of support and help on next steps. They might not know where to start on a different goal. Some goals end up being a “Check in with me in a month, I’ll have it done”. The employee gets final say over where they think they are, and how they want me to deal with the delegation. I’m still writing up what I want my guidelines here to be, but so far I’m very excited to have a model that I can use while thinking about this stuff.
Now we set the goal in motion and I keep tabs on the employee based on their chosen maturity level. Maturity levels can change while the goal is being completed (fully up to the employee with advice from me) and if a goal is completed we pick a new one to fill in it’s place. These goals not only guide what I think the employee should be working on in order to improve, but it provides a way to discuss long term projects and ideas when so much of our day to day is on current projects.
I’m really excited about seeing some of the goals work their way to completetion! Hopefully my employees feel the same way.