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How to Set Secretarial Goals & Objectives

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Goals are a theoretical construct – mission statement – of what you want to achieve, while objectives are the small, bite-size pieces that can be measured to see if you are getting closer to your target. When setting secretarial goals and objectives, be unrelenting with pursuing the goal, but flexible with the objectives that support it. Setting secretarial goals and objectives is essential to measuring job performance and assessing promotions or salary increases. Without clearly established expectations, it is impossible to properly evaluate a secretary’s strengths and weaknesses. Identifying secretarial goals and supporting objectives requires proper planning.

Set a date for a goals and objectives meeting with the secretary. Approaching the exercise formally creates more of a sense of importance than discussing it at the water cooler. Use an open-ended approach that encourages clarification of exactly how the secretary sees the goals and objectives of her job and how they are perceived from a management perspective.

Identify each secretarial goal – such as "To be an efficient team player in the office who requires little direct supervision" -- and then determine the objectives by which the final aim will be measured – such as "All correspondence will be filed promptly." Work back and forth between the two to make sure they mesh with each other.

Use the SMART method to help you identity goals and objectives: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely.

Record the secretarial goals and objectives. Identify a date when the goals and objectives will be reviewed and indicate who will do the appraisal. Give the secretary a copy of the agreed-to goals and objectives, and put a copy in her file as a record for future reference.

Review and revise the secretarial goals and objectives as required. It is essential that the secretarial goals and objectives reflect current responsibilities with an aim toward improving in the future.

Monitor the secretarial goals and objectives. Rather than waiting for the annual performance review, keep an eye on how well the secretary is working toward her goals and objectives and schedule mini-reviews every month to stay on target.


A word of encouragement or casual comment such as “Jenny, it is good to see you are staying focused on your goals” may help her work even harder to achieve her target.