How to Set Goals?
How do we set goals? It is nearly impossible not to consider our wishes or ambitions. Even if you have not realized it yet we all have expectations for the future either as an individual or as a company. Let’s suppose you want to buy jeans and you decided to go to mall. While you are trying to find the best fitting jeans for yourself regard these two questions:
- Does this option fulfill your demand?
- Are you sure that you don’t have a better option?
If one of the answers to these two questions is NO, then you should think one more time. In this case, if you buy a t-shirt instead of jeans it does not fulfill your demand. On the other hand, if you purchase the first pair of jeans that you like you take the risk of not finding a better pair that is also cheaper. Since even a simple need of jeans requires careful consideration, it is really important to consider your goals in a right way.
Companies like Google, Amazon, the ones in Silicon Valley and many others use OKR for setting goals. OKRs are, to put it simply:
Objectives >>Where do I want to go?
Key results >>How will I go there?
I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results)
But it is significant to know how to set goals in a right way as we did in our own company. For more detailed information you can check out our OKR templates.
Why Is Setting Goals Important?
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” Earl Nightingale
Research shows that existence of goals increase efficiency. One of the reasons behind this is correctly setting goals makes it easier to achieve them. Besides, setting goals increase employees’ commitment because you give them something to strive for. Also this forces them to leave their comfort-zone and this way they can realize bigger targets.
BUT HOW TO SET GOALS?
It is crucial to create common sense about OKRs. First it should be explained to everybody what OKR is and get them engaged in it. Besides, it’s better if your team is willing to use it. Nevertheless, it’s totally desirable when your team feels uncomfortable. Because, as we mentioned earlier OKRs try to force them to get out from their comfort zone. Then you need to choose a software tool -like Corvisio- for setting and implementing your OKRs.
One of the critical things is creating a time frame for OKRs. It’s recommended to set OKRs quarterly. But still you should review it in order to prevent the set&forget mentality. You can also reevaluate.
Your goals should be ambitious. If you complete them totally this means that they are not challenging enough. In addition, your goals should relevant and specific. But if they are too narrow this prevents you from seeing the big picture.
You should determine 3 to 5 high-level objectives. Because setting too many decrease efficiency. It helps to focus on most critical things.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your key results have to be measurable. These key results can measured by scales. Google usually uses 0 to 1.0 scales.
Next step is to set company, team and individual OKRs. Company OKRs focus the entire company. They are usually determined by high level leaders such as the CEO. Team OKRs include everyone in the team. By that way, the whole team takes a role of this process. Individual OKRs is what each team member has to get done. Furthermore, the whole OKR setting should also be bottom up. In addition, team OKRs should be connected to company OKRs.
Finally, you must evaluate your OKRs at the end of the period. When you grade your OKRs, objectives and key results achieved in the 60% to 70% range usually means success. Below this range means that your company haven’t achieved enough. Still, low grades aren’t that bad. Because by using this data you have a change to improve yourself and learn from failure. In contrast, 100% indicates that your goals are not ambitious enough, and having ambitious goals is fundamental.
- Use OKR as a to do list
- Force people to set OKR
- Use too many OKRs
- Assume OKR as a performance review (It force employees to set lower OKRs)
- Set&Forget OKRs
- Use OKRs which are too specific