12 Professional Development Goals for Managers in 2024

by Srikant Chellappa Dec 6,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

While managers commonly set growth objectives for their teams, crafting specific development goals for managers can markedly enhance their leadership skills, ultimately resulting in improved employee performance. A comprehensive grasp of the elements that contribute to a manager’s development goals is pivotal in maximizing employee potential. This article explores various professional development goals tailored for managers, offering insights into setting objectives that elevate employee productivity levels.

Development Goals for Managers–What is it and Why is it Required?

Development goals for managers are more like a guide for managers to create measurable goals for their workforce. To elaborate, the goals act as a beacon for a manager to set employees’ objectives. The objectives may help to bring about an improvement in their performance, aligned with the company’s plans.

Personal development goals for managers might include specific business objectives, like increasing the team’s sales; detailed leadership goals, or employees’ responsibility handling capabilities.

Also read: 7 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important

Key Factors that Lead to the Success of a Manager development plan

In every organization, managers strive hard for the growth of the company. Ideally, they want employees to operate at their maximum efficiency. To achieve optimum productivity, they need to understand manager development goals thoroughly and the intent behind creating them. In line with this, we have listed down certain key factors related to professional development goals for managers that they need to be cognizant of. 

  • Clarity – Clarity of the goals helps managers to increase employee efficiency.
  • Measurable: Measurement of goal achievement helps to set new targets for the employees.
  • Achievable–When you set measurable, attainable goals for a manager, they will not only bring improvements in his performance but also help the manager overcome his limitations.
  • Timeline—Managers should be in sync with the project timeline so that team members can give their best to reach them, within the stipulated time.
  • Reward–When a goal is met, it is important to recognize the achievement and reward your employees. This boosts employees’ confidence and fosters future development.

12 Development Goals for Managers

A goal-oriented manager understands where he is headed. With goals in place, a manager understands exactly what he needs to do to accomplish them and how to guide his team in the right direction. Without further ado, let’s get started with 10 manager development goals. Following these goals may help managers boost employee confidence and increase their productivity.

1. Organize productive meetings

Managers conduct one-on-one employee meetings, organize team meetings, and oversee other group meetings. This means managers must have a thorough understanding of the types of meetings and points of discussion. Here are a few suggestions to help your managers conduct meetings effectively:

  • Setting pragmatic goals for employees
  • Establishing regular meeting schedules 
  • Taking detailed notes about project progress
  • Specifying action plan to reach the set target

Having constructive meetings can enhance employee enthusiasm as they get a sense that the company values their input.

Also read: Workplace Wellbeing Questionnaire: Best Practices

2. Active listening

Active listening signifies being open-minded to non-verbal signals or any form of employee concerns. Thus, managers need to develop active listening skills to not just hear what their team members say but also to understand them. Better listening skills will help managers to learn more from their teams. As a result, they will be able to handle problems effectively; understand the needs of their team, and become more efficient.

3. Employee development

Several employees want to take on leadership positions. Other employees might like to explore another role or gain expertise that can be useful in enhancing employee productivity. Thus, as a manager, you should encourage employees to go beyond their comfort zone. You must provide employees with an opportunity to learn new skills and grow, in line with the company’s requirements.

4. Boost team productivity

Productivity goals are often included in managers’ strategic objectives. You may want to consider how your managers set and communicate goals. You would also like to know how they track employees’ progress. 

For instance, ask your manager to assess each employee’s contribution toward the overall team productivity. By facilitating regular status meetings, your managers can review their team’s progress frequently and ask questions to ensure that they have the required tools to increase productivity. Look for positive trends in productivity to gauge an employee’s development.

Also read: Productivity Tips For Managers And Employees

5. Celebrate employees’ efforts and intentions

Great leaders know that the most valuable asset of their business is their employees. Be gracious and appreciative of your team’s efforts, especially when they accomplish a new milestone. Whenever possible, acknowledge your employees publicly so that they understand how valuable and appreciated they are. Do not take your employees’ contributions for granted as are a valuable part of your company. Hold a companywide meeting where employees can thank each other for the help they received or for going the extra mile. This way, happy employees would contribute to increased productivity and reduced turnover.

6. Offer insightful inputs

Professional development goals for managers can guide managers to set specific objectives for each employee. This way managers can gain a comprehensive insight into an employee’s work style and share the same with the employee. Insightful feedback can help employees to improve their performance.

For instance, managers can ask employees to identify specific goals related to their jobs and meaningful to them. To ensure employees’ suggested goals align with company objectives, a manager can offer better insights and develop action plans, like creating employee guides to reach those goals.

7. Work on networking skills 

Managers should develop, practice, and apply networking skills as part of their development goals. Having a fixed daily routine, with the least emphasis on building relationships with employees, can only take you up the rungs of the leadership ladder. You can gain a great deal of insight into employees around you by building strong work relationships. As a manager, honing your networking skills would not only help you but your team as well. It is therefore certainly worthwhile to explore networking as a key development goal.

8. Increase Retention Rates 

To increase the retention rate, employees must be given regular feedback to enhance their productivity–both positive and constructive. 

According to a Harvard Business Review study, the optimal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective).

To motivate employees and to empower them to work to their optimal capacity, positive feedback should be given often. Having said this, constructive and corrective remedial measures must be provided with equal importance, particularly when an issue needs to be nipped in the bud.

Other techniques that can be part of development goals for managers to increase retention rate can be:

9. Encourage creativity among employees 

Many companies claim to value creativity, but they don’t necessarily have policies or initiatives to support it. To Increase creativity, offer rewards for tangible results. 

Take employees’ suggestions seriously and implement them if you want to encourage them. Encourage and reward employees who make a tangible contribution.

10. Foster a respectable work environment

Nowadays, employees expect respect from their employers more than ever. In an organization, employees do not want to feel undervalued or insignificant, which may result from a lack of respect.

There are many ways to foster a culture of respect. Among them are: taking feedback intending to improve their productivity; recognizing their contributions; sharing ideas and encouraging collaboration.

11. Be a mentor and coach 

It is considered that good leaders can turn out to be great mentors as well. Employees look up to their managers as a source of guidance, coaching, and counseling. Mentorship should therefore be made a priority by all managers to help their employees achieve career and knowledge growth.

Work with each employee to help them set career goals and devise productivity strategies accordingly. Make sure you provide them with opportunities that challenge them so that they can grow as individuals.

Engagedly’s Mentoring Complete can be an effective solution to mentor your employees and help them grow.

12. Regular upskilling

Being a manager does not mean that one knows everything there is to know about your industry. There is always more to learn as a manager and there is no end to learning to become more efficient with time. Thus, as a part of a manager’s growth and development goals, managers should find time to learn and master new skills. It might range from learning technical skills to management or leadership skills.  

They can even enroll in a development course or register for a webinar session in an area they wish to further develop. Also, an organization can provide online resources for developing unique competencies related to project management, time management, and motivation. 

Also read: How To Build a Successful Upskilling and Reskilling Program

Wrapping Up

Professional development goals change a manager’s outlook and make them an individual who leads by example.

By setting development goals for your manager, you are creating a road to success for three entities: your organization, employees, and yourself.

Employee Career Development

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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