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5 Best Practices in Setting Objectives and Key Results

Updated: March 14, 2022

If you want to improve your organisation’s performance, you should consider using the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology. This concept begins with creating Objectives for the company and communicating them to everyone in the organisation, who will then set aligning goals for the benefit of everyone.

However, if the employees are still new to OKR, they can feel overwhelmed. Help them adjust to this choice and adapt to the change by going through these best practices.



1. Cascade the Objectives across the Organisation

When you’re creating and cascading the Objectives across the organisation, you should go through the company’s ranks, from top to bottom, with the end goal of having all the employees understand their responsibilities.

With the OKR methodology, everyone will know what they’re supposed to deliver and how to do it.


2. Don’t Shy Away from Stretch Goals

Though there’s a lot of value in setting realistic goals for your employees, there’s even more value in setting stretch goals. Though these stretch goals may sound too far-fetched for some employees, it’s a great way to boost their productivity—and not just for their benefit, but the company’s as well.

Stretch goals motivate the employees, giving them a sense of purpose, and they will also help them work much harder. Stretch goals also help the company create a feedback loop where the employees can become part of the OKR process and adjust the Objectives they’re working on to reflect their experiences.


3. Keep It Short and Simple

It’s normal for your employees to be overwhelmed by the concept of Objectives and Key Results. To help them understand their responsibilities, make it easy for them.

Don’t make the Objectives too complex, and don’t make them multifaceted. Instead, you should focus the goals on single metrics, like the number of products shipped or the number of features developed. These metrics should be easy to measure and visualise; this way, the employees will know what they’re supposed to achieve.


4. Set Measurable Goals

When setting Objectives and Key Results, you should make sure they’re measurable. Otherwise, the employees won’t know if they’re doing a good job.

For instance, you can use automated tools to track progress, set purposeful performance indicators, or set up a straightforward process for identifying and fixing issues on the spot.


5. Break Down Key Results into Smaller Goals

Objectives and Key Results are comprehensive concepts that the management team should set. You should expect your employees to do one or two things well, and to achieve the set goals; they need to know what they should do and how they should do it.

It’s best to break down your Objectives and Key Results into specific steps needed to finish the overall process. For instance, you can ask the employees to complete a particular task or to do a certain number of functions to achieve a bigger objective.


Final Thoughts

The OKR methodology is a powerful tool that provides your organisation with clear, measurable goals you can reach within a specific period. It will help you create a positive feedback loop within the organisation and boost productivity on all levels.


If you want to get started with Objectives and Key Results to grow your business, our team at SKILLFIRE can help you.

Our team of OKR consultants and facilitators have proven results in Melbourne and Sydney, and we’ll be delighted to help your organisation, too. Give us a call today to learn more.