4 tips on how to set measurable goals

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

This old management adage ex­­plains why most bosses want administrative professionals to create measurable goals. But how do you measure results in a job that’s often about responding to others’ needs?

Jodith Allen, the author of the website AdministrativeArts.com, suggests four measurable goals to consider:

1. Getting trained. If professional growth and expanding skills are important to your role, you might set a goal of attending a certain number of training sessions, certification, classes or joining professional organizations.

2. Hitting deadlines. Set a goal of meeting deadlines, say, 90% of the time. “Then you can set it a bit higher the next year,” says Allen.

Tip: Create a work-request form that includes a deadline for the task, as well as a space for the actual completion date/time. Use the form to track data and measure your success.

3. Setting a baseline. A good first step is to do a time study for your position.

Spend several months tracking the time you spend on tasks. Evaluate the data to look for opportunities. Is 25% of your time being used in an inefficient way? Target that segment of time when setting future goals.

4. Saving money. Can you reduce the amount of money spent on office materials or processes? Can you evaluate existing vendors or request proposals from new ones? Can you suggest new strategies that will save resources?

“Whatever you set for your goals, remember not to set them extremely high the first time,” suggests Allen. After a bit of initial success and practice with measurements, you can aim higher.