Practical Application: Setting Goals for Different Business Departments

Instructor: Scott Tuning

Scott has been a faculty member in higher education for over 10 years. He holds an MBA in Management, an MA in counseling, and an M.Div. in Academic Biblical Studies.

One of the hallmarks of great organizational leadership is the ability to balance guidance and autonomy. One important tool for finding this balance is helping individual departments or business units set goals.

SMART Goals for Operations

XYZ Air Solutions is a regional company that provides outsourced land-based services to commercial airlines. The company's operations division includes units for baggage handling, ticketing, gate services, and tarmac support services. Like most outsourcing contracts, XYZ is held to performance standards. Any shortcomings on the operations side could result in fines and ultimately a contract cancellation or non-renewal. It's against this backdrop that you, the operations manager for the company's biggest contract, must help your individual departments set goals that will avoid penalties and delight customers.

Company Mission, Vision, and Values

Before you can task your managers with the work of goal-setting, you'll need to revisit the company mission, vision, and values. This, of course, is because the goals established by your team leaders will be evaluated based on these important business characteristics.

Mission - The mission of XYZ Air Solutions is to be the undisputed leader in outsourced ground solutions for commercial carriers.

Vision - The vision of XYZ Air Solutions is to be the obvious choice provider in the region.

Values - XYZ Air Solutions is always:

  • Safe - for customers, employees, and passengers
  • Efficient - returning the best value to all stakeholders
  • Honest - owning our successes and shortcomings
  • Careful - with the assets of our customers and their passengers

Execute the Goal-Setting Project

With these things in mind, what will you instruct your department heads to consider as they set their goals? To help them get started, you might provide them a quick reference card like the one below as a quick reminder about SMART goals, which are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. After distributing the reference card, you ask your managers to have the goal-setting task done in 10 business days.

SMART Goals Card

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