I recently came across the method Google has been using internally to set goals. Here's the summary...
They get all employees to set out what are called OKRs - Objectives and Key Results.
The belief is that a true goal has to describe not only what you will achieve but also how you are going to measure its achievement. Here is the framing sentence:
I will ________ as measured by ____________.
I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results).
Objectives are supposed to be inspirational, qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve.
Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. For each Objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. Apparently the former Google’s Vice President, Marissa Mayer, used to say:
“If it does not have a number, it is not a Key Result.”
Here's an example for a health or beauty professional...
An objective might be “Create an Amazing Client Experience.” This sounds great, but how would you know if the experience is amazing?
Hence the need for the Key Results. A Net Promoter Score and or your client Retention Rate would be two good options. But measuring NPS and retention rate alone might be misleading. The practicalities of running a business mean that there is a financial limit to keeping your customer happy.
Therefore, you should always include a countermeasure such as Client Acquisition Cost. You should always be conscious of costs when trying to keep your customers happy.
Objective: Create an Awesome Client Experience
What I like about OKRs?
AGILE GOALSThey involve shorter goal cycles - weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. I think you need to be adaptable in this world and constantly evaluating your position. Find the cadence that works for you.
SIMPLICITYSo simple and easy to understand making them appropriate for all experience levels within a business. They can be really quick to do which means more to spent on achieving the goals rather than simply setting them.
TRANSPARENCYOne of the most fascinating aspects in my reading is that the OKRs in Google are publicly accessible across the organisation. This helps to create transparency and alignment across a business.
CHALLENGING GOALSThe idea of OKRs is that you shouldn't achieve your goals - in fact Google aims to achieve about 70% of them.
This helps to stretch and challenge their employees to set difficult goals.
Common OKR mistakes1) Using OKR as a task list.
2) Setting too many OKRs.
3) Not aligning your OKRs with your staff or team.
4) “Set it and Forget it.”
To see an expanded summary of how Google do OKRs internally, click the link below: