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Setting performance goals

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Question: With the new fiscal year right around the corner, I need suggestions for three goals that I can accomplish in the coming year.  I have already cleaned and updated my filing system; held quarterly secretarial meetings, brought in outside speakers; held travel training sessions; and arranged for field trips.  I'm looking for new ideas that I can turn into goals for the coming year. - Anonymous

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Are there any classes you might like to take or conferences/seminars you might like to attend in the coming year? Continuing education goals are always looked upon favorably.

Become certified, (CPS-Certified Professional Secretary or CAP-Certified Administrative Professional)available through IAAP. That is what I plan to do along with the other Admins in my division.

I agree. What about a new type of software that you could learn and then do something useful with depending on your type of company. Make it about something that is an interest for you or that you want to be able to learn or accomplish for your own growth. Or do some kind of quality improvement program. Starting with identifying a problem, then taking the year to fix it.

How about expanding your education in either a formal school or schools that would enhance your job performance? Also, are there processes in your department that could be changed to be more expeditious? Could you train others in your job or learn someone else's job and be back up support for each other? Are there tasks that you could learn that would alleviate your boss(es) of saving them time in their day? If you are not overwhelmed, is there another task you could learn and take over? Hope some of these ideas help -- you could ask your supervisor what he or she would like to see from you as well, since he or she is the one that will write your performance review.

Do you have any ties to payroll or any systems that you could serve as backup personnel for? This would make yourself more indispensable and build your resume.

+Take an online class
+Schedule in some Webinars to keep abreast of new software.
+Do you have your CPS or CAP certifications? Perhaps study to be accredited in one of these.

+How about updating your job description, or +writing procedures for operating office equipment or evacuation prcedures.
+Another good one is to write a disaster recovery plan for your company.

I think you need to look at higher level projects. How about a Company-wide training and compliance or coordinating a newsletter? How about taking over total responsibility for management meetings, i.e., setting the agenda, taking minutes, following-up on action items, assigning a monthly moderator. Does your company have a company calendar that tracks ALL management meetings, conferences, sales meetings, company holidays? Just a few suggestions that will give you broader access and visibility across the company.

I usually put in a goal of streamlining some process by taking advantage of technology.

Get certified, for sure! It's one of my 2007 goals; that and taking several software courses (including Excel formulas). I'm currently studying for the November CAP test. Check out http://www.iaap-hq.org/ and click on the Professional Certification tab to find out more information.

Maybe a cost-cutting initiative -- investigating alternative vendors or negotiating discounts. Probably hard to put a number on that goal, though.

Do you support employees who have to turn in regular reports? One goal I set was "85% on-time report submissions." That was very measurable, and I became known as "the bulldog". However, I went from 70% ontime submission to 90% that year, my bosses loved me, and the managers respected me.

You can always do some folder/file cleanup on your servers that you use.

How about some type of community service? My company loves the idea of giving back to the community where the company is located. It makes for great community relations.

In addition to the suggestions already given, I would add these: Can you tie some of your goals/objectives directly to the goals and objectives for your boss? What is your boss being held accountable for and how can you directly assist? Are there department or division projects for next year that your expertise could expedite? Make your goals realistic and measurable. Quantify what you expect to achieve. You mention quarterly secretarial meetings: are there "best practices" that can be shared across the company that may have quantifiable outcomes? (Lower cost, less time, fewer "handoffs", etc.)?

There are some great ideas presented. By all means, quantify any thing you propose to do and follow up with the final results. One can always win with cost reduction. Looks good on a resume, too!

Do you have a "how-to" manual of all that you do? This is a very valuable reference tool for training or in case you are called out of the office on an emergency. Start one and keep it up-to-date as things change.

How about going paperless. There is a new movement in businesses to grasp this concept. It is easier than you think and there are several companies that have the equipment you may you can purchase and/or lease, or you may already have the equipment in your office.

One goal that I have set is to cross-train the administrative assistants in my office. This will help keep projects on target when there is an unexpected absence.

Help the boss with presenations. My boss gives serveral presentations throughout the year, whether it's to the business unit or as a key note speaker at a conference. About 2 weeks before a presenation, I outline one for her, and create some slides on key issues I know she will want to address in the presentation. I then send it to her, and that gives her a jumping off point. The presentation then goes back and forth between us as she sends me thoughts on what she would like added, subtracted, etc. until it's complete. I now also help her Direct Reports with their Powerpoint presenations as well. It's creative, fun, and much appreciated. By the way, this all started with a class I took a few years back on how to create a better presenation, which I added to my yearly review as a 'met' performance goal of continuing education.

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