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MOTIVATING STAFF

90-day goals for success and job satisfaction

A manager’s success turns on “what other people are able to accomplish.” And to a great extent, accomplishments depend “on how happy they are with their jobs. The happier they are, the more they produce.”

To encourage success and job satisfaction throughout the office, Matthew J. Bower, administrator at Luhrsen Law Group in Sarasota, set up a 90-day goal plan that covers both professional and personal goals.

Half professional, half personal

The goal plan was something Bower and the attorneys originally did for themselves.

But so much got accomplished from it that his response was “why stop there?” And he expanded it to include the staff.

At the beginning of the 90-day period, everybody fills out a goal sheet. There are both personal and professional goals, each with five categories.

Professional goals:

  • time management
  • marketing
  • departmental
  • cash flow
  • overall firm advancement
Personal goals:

  • family
  • self-development
  • health and fitness
  • social activities
  • financial

In the professional area, a time management goal might be to minimize interruptions.

A marketing goal might be to tell at least 36 people about the firm during the 90-day period. “Everybody should be doing marketing,” Bower says.

And for a department goal, one of his own was to ensure a new hire “was on track to success.”

In the personal area, a self-development goal might be to read a book. Health and fitness might see a goal of walking two miles a day. And under finance, someone might reduce personal debt by a certain amount.

Everybody fills out each category and then arranges the 10 items in order of importance.

At the end of the quarter, staff meet with their attorney supervisors to discuss their goals, and the attorneys then meet with Bower to discuss the staff’s goals as well as their own.

Everybody reviews what’s been accomplished and what hasn’t and also sets goals for the next period. Many times, a goal from one period is expanded and continued into the next.

Ever onward; ever upward

The 90-day goals keep both the people and the firm constantly moving forward, Bower says. If people don’t know what they want to achieve, they don’t achieve anything. “Every day they’re just turning the wheel with no destination in sight.”

But seeing their own growth each quarter gives them a sense of accomplishment. Often they complete one goal and then realize they can continue it into the next period at a level they would earlier have thought unattainable.


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