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    Fujitsu General Australia

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    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

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| 20 min
Video: Goal Setting Strategies
Video Transcript Lauren Scholtz: Hi, I’m Lauren. I’m from customer success at intelliHR and I’m sitting on the couch here today with Tony Meredith from Tony Meredith coaching. Tony Meredith: Hi Lauren, how are...
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Infographic: 2020 New Year’s Resolutions for HR Managers
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Video: Goal Setting Strategies

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Video Transcript

Lauren Scholtz: Hi, I’m Lauren. I’m from customer success at intelliHR and I’m sitting on the couch here today with Tony Meredith from Tony Meredith coaching.

Tony Meredith: Hi Lauren, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Lauren: Fantastic. Thanks for coming in.

Tony: That’s okay. Not a problem.

Lauren: So I thought we’d start with a bit of a mandatory introduction. So if you want to tell us a little bit about you and, and what you do.

Tony: Sure. So Lauren, I’m a business coach. I’ve got my own business, Tony Meredith coaching. And I specialize in sales, leadership and mindset in particular with small businesses. I believe there’s a huge gap with small businesses. I have a big business background and I want to help small businesses because there’s such a disconnect between you know, what big businesses get, they’re afforded the training, et cetera. The small businesses, you know, it’s a massive opportunity. And so, you know, how do we bridge that gap? How do we make it easier for small businesses to succeed because it’s hard. You know, a lot of people go into small businesses because they want to be their own boss and they want freedom of time and they want more money. And the reality is that they have less time, less money, and work longer hours. And so it’s about, well, how do we help small businesses become more efficient, more effective?

Lauren: Well, that’s fantastic.

Tony: Thank you.

Lauren: And you know, looking on your bio online, you said that one of the things that you do is to kind of help business people get out of their own way.

Tony: Correct. Hundred percent.

Lauren: Fascinating. What does that mean?

Tony: So it means mind first, then strategy, right? And so I believe that to be successful in anything there’s a little formula and a 10% of it comes from knowledge. And that is you have the knowledge to do something. Now there’s a Chinese proverb, which is to know and not to do, is to not know at all. So you could have the knowledge, the few don’t act on the knowledge, then what does it really matter? And so then 15% comes from skills. So you could know something, you could read it in a book or watch a YouTube clip on it. But just because you know about it doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at it. So you need to have some skills to be able to take action on the thing that you know. So I believe that’s about 15%, but then the remaining 75% comes from your mindset, your psychology, your attitude. So you can know something, you’re gonna have the skills to do something. But if you’re inside your own head, if you have a fear of this or doubt of that then that’s going to prevent you from doing whatever it is that you want to achieve. And so I say mine first strategy because you can have the most well laid out strategy in the world, but if you have a fear of being criticized by the people, a fear of failure, perhaps a fear of success, have all these doubts going on, all these other limiting beliefs, it doesn’t matter what your strategy says, you’re not going to do it.

Lauren: Fair enough. That’s a very good thing to be helping people.

Tony: Absolutely. Cool.

Lauren: That sounds like we’ve got a little bit in common I suppose in our roles that we do. So as a customer success manager at intelliHR, basically once our customers decide that our products the right thing for them and our solution is going to help them with their business. My job is to then teach typically system administrators, how to get the most out of that plan, how to get, you know, make workplaces better one by one. And, you know, I love what you were saying about, you know, the skills and the knowledge and then having the right mindset to get things done. You know, those all sound like the perfect ingredients for goals, which is what we’re gonna be talking about today.

Tony: It’s a lovely segway, Lauren.

Lauren: Awesome. So you know, talking about goals you know, it’s definitely a conversation that I’ll have with leaders within the businesses when we’re doing our implementation is, you know, a lot of the questions that they have are things like, well, how do I help my people to set good goals? You know, it might be that their business has never really talked about goals before or that they had them a long time ago that no one’s really done anything about them. So you know, from your point of view, how do you help someone set a really good goal?

Tony: Sure. So the first thing I want to say is that if you don’t set a goal, if you aim at nothing, that’s what you get. You get nothing. Right? And so it’s about having something to aim at. I describe it as your North star, a beacon, whatever it might be. And the process that I use, I actually got from Stephen Covey, who wrote the book seven habits of highly effective people. Yeah. And chapter two he talks about begin with the end in mind. Now in that book, he’s talking about your life and he’s talking about your eulogy. But this more applies from a goal setting point of view. It’s about begin with the end in mind being, if you set a 12 month goal, then the end is that 12 month mark. Or if you set a six month goal, then it’s a six month mark. So begin with the end in mind. Where do you want to be at a point in time, in the future. So in your business, what level of sales do you want to achieve? And we’re just at the start of 2020 so what level of sales do you want to have achieved by the 31st of December, 2020 or if you work in financial year use what level of sales do you want by the 30th of June 2020 that’s the end, right? That’s the end in mind. And then once you’ve established what it is that you want, then you work backwards from there. But one of the hardest things is actually to figure out what it is that you want.

Lauren: Yeah, it is.

Tony: You know, and so you take, it’s about take the time, right? A lot of people won’t take the time to sit down and actually figure out what it is that they want. Right. And so it’s as simple as make some time, go wild with it, you know, get a whiteboard or get the team together and be creative. What are the things that you really want to achieve either individually or in your business this year? And my other things is that we have a whole lot of limitations when we do that, right? So why couldn’t possibly do that? Right? And so I don’t, but this is because we have these limiting beliefs, right? And so we have limiting beliefs based on, you know, fears from our childhood. It might be something our parents said to us. It might be something from our peers. It could be we saw something on the news. Perhaps these are creating limiting beliefs. Maybe we had a failure in the past and because we had that in the past, we believe that we’ll always have that value into the future. And so there’s a whole range of reasons why people would have limiting beliefs. But when you want to go and set goals, you want to look to take those limits away and, and challenge yourself and go, what is it that I really do want? In a perfect world? What would that look like? And be a bit wild with it. And you don’t want to focus so much on the how do I get there? Because the how I get there and how I accomplish it will come down the track. It’s more about just start with what is it that you want to, we’ll work our way through a process to pressure test the goal because you might say, well I want to have a business that’s doing $1 million, but if you’re not prepared to do the things that are going to get you to $1 million, then your goal is going to be incongruent with your actions. And so it’s all about coming up with your goal, but then also figuring out what are the things that I need to do to actually ensure that I deliver on that million dollar objective or whatever it might be.

Lauren: Brilliant. And a lot of our HR professionals, which is kind of the main people that I speak to, they’re in quite a unique position where they need to be getting people excited about setting these goals and motivated to achieve them, but they aren’t the person that this this employee reports through to. So it’s kind of you know, how do you get people excited about setting goals and make sure that those things are happening? If you’re not the person that’s probably going to be working with them on the goals day to day. Sure.

Tony: So it’s about working with the individual to say, what is it that you want in your career? What are the things that you want in your career when you’re with this particular business? Obviously your business has a overarching top-down goals, business objectives, whether it be in sales or minimising of way store, you know, minimising you know, workplace health and safety incidents, whatever it might be. Whatever that area is, there’s goals that are top down goals. But as an individual how can you align your own goals to the businesses now, not always possible. I understand that, but it’s about how can I align as best I can to what the businesses objectives are as well and how can I ensure that I’m able to add value, not only to the business, but to myself,

Lauren: I really liked the idea of alignment that you were talking about because that is definitely something that, you know, in larger organisations it’s not, it’s not just about, you know, what is mine or star, what do I personally want to achieve in my job? You know, people are there to do a job in an organisation. It’s kind of got its own goals as well. So that alignment is really helpful. One of our customers, one of our oldest ones at the school that we work with and something that they did with goals. They use the goal setting feature in our system and they’ve set, they’ve got five different categories of goals and they’ve got it set up so that everyone in the organisation can only choose from those five categories. Right. So right from, you know, the principal of the school or right the way through to the teaching staff, to the office staff. Everyone’s got goals based on innovative practice. They’ve got ones based on teamwork, I think operational and strategic development. Yep. Perfect. What do you think of that? Is that something that would be effective?

Tony: Great! Well it narrows down the focus? Right. which is fantastic because again, we need to remember that the business or the organisation, they have their own goals, right? And you need to align to those. And perhaps if you’re too wide from a business point of view and offer too much choice, then maybe it’s going to be hard to narrow something down. But those sorts of things there that you talk about with the teamwork or innovative practice or whatnot, it doesn’t matter what job that you hold within that business, there’ll be something that you can incorporate around teamwork. There’ll be something that you can incorporate around innovative practice, right? And it’s, but it’s about recognising that the job that I do doesn’t matter what level of the hierarchy you’re in. The job that I do, there are opportunities for me to improve my ability to be a better team player or to come up with more innovative solutions. And you know, great example is that regardless of what you do, I always encourage people to ask themselves is what I do the best way of doing it right? And, You know, in 2020 there are so many more new innovations happening all the time. Right? And so, and when you guys are incredibly innovative organisation, but with that task that you’re doing or that role that you’re doing, can I improve in certain areas with that? Why am I just accepting? Because it’s always been done this way. Why do I need to accept that into the future? You don’t. Right. And so that’s an opportunity then for people to put forth, take some ownership of your role and put forward some suggestions. Now this also needs to come from a, an organisation that’s prepared to welcome on that feedback, right? And foster that feedback, empower the staff to provide those sorts of suggestions. But wow, what a wonderful opportunity. If I was an employee and able to have a say in the role that I do, that is A I feel like I’m adding more value to the business. I’m getting a chance for me to be heard. I think it’s really exciting.

Lauren: It is a good feeling that you’re creating value for the business, that you fit in. That you’re a sort of aligned.

Tony: Yeah, you know, I mean, I’m an entrepreneur. That’s what I do. But there’s also options. Not everyone wants to go out and do what I’ve done and leave a corporate job and start your own business. And I, and I respect that. So there’s opportunities now for people to be intrepreneurs, you know, that is, I have an entrepreneurial flair, but I work within an organisation. And what are the things that I can do that are a little bit entrepreneurial but within my business, and again, that requires a culture you know, from the top down, that’s where culture starts. A culture that encourages people to put forth wonderful ideas and challenge the status quo and you know, look to stretch and, and grow both as an individual but also as an organisation.

Lauren: Fantastic. All right. So a bit of change of pace new year, 2020. You know, I was at your disrupt speech last year and it was fantastic. Really excited. And one of the things that you said was that, you know, is it 85% of new years resolutions usually crash and burn by about the end of January? Yeah. So did you set any new year’s resolutions?

Tony: No, I set goals all year round. Right. And so I’m not a big, hey, it’s the new year because I’ve got big goals for myself. Right. And so society says set a new year’s resolution. I don’t know, I just, I’m constantly challenged myself. Yes. I’ve got big goals for my business this year, whether it be my financial goals, I want to spend more time on stage and you know, impact more people. You know, I just introduced us in Sydney this last weekend. I introduced a new program that I’m going to be rolling out, so I’m in Brisbane this weekend and selling that. So yeah. So I’m going to be doing more of those sorts of things, but you know, I am constantly setting goals and challenging myself, so I’m not a new years resolution person, but, but yeah. You know, so what is something I’d like to do personally? I’d like to lose a bit more weight. You know, so I lost a bit of weight a few years ago and I’ve been enjoying a good time at very focused on my business and it’s something I’d like to do, but I haven’t set myself a resolution. You know, persé. Then I want to, I’ve been focusing on rolling out my program and now that I rolled that out for the first time last weekend, now it’s about switching focus to incorporating some, you know, some weight loss in there as well. Or just, you know, just being, being healthy generally. But you’re right. So people, you know, they get to that second week, that third week of January, and they do, it happens because I do it for the wrong reasons. And so one of the reasons I touched on it is because society says it on the 1st of January, you must set a goal, A new year’s resolution. Well, maybe that’s not right for you. Or maybe, you know, so there’s other times that you could do it or maybe you’re only setting it because society says, you know, and so that’s not a deep enough reason, right? You need to be not at all, not a good North star. It’s not at all. Right. And so it’s about being deeply connected to that thing that you want to achieve for yourself. The best question to ask is why do I want to achieve it? You know, so spend a lot of time on the why is it so it’s one thing to have a what. Hey, I want to have a business that delivers $1 million. Or hey, I want to lose some weight, or whatever it might be. Why do you want to do that?

Lauren: Well that makes me feel a whole lot better cause I did not set any new year’s resolutions this year. I’ve listened to your speech and went, right. There’s, you know, I’ll just keep doing the things that I’ve been doing. And you know, that’s all on track working well for me.

Tony: And that’s what it’s about. You know, it’s about just because society says you’re still setting goals, right?

Lauren: Oh yeah. It’s more of a dynamic process though. You know, I took that one off.

Tony: That’s it. And that’s perfect. Right. But it’s just that the majority of people tend to use news resolution as their time because the reality is they’re not setting goals for the rest of the year. So at least they’re attempting to set goals once, once a year being that time. But unfortunately, because of that approach, then they’re all, it’s all falling apart the second or third week in January. And you know, here we are. So it’s because you know, falling over because it’s not linked to purpose. Perhaps it’s because they’re too big goals. That is, I’m going from here and I want to climb a mountain or do something that’s quite extreme. That’s a reason perhaps I’m trying to do too many things. It’s, Hey, I want to get that promotion and get $1 million and climb a mountain and get a new partner. All these things, right. And you know, Bill Gates famously talks about people will overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years. And it’s a, it’s a timely time to talk about that quote because we’re at the start of a new decade. And so, you know, we’ve got 10 years ahead of us in this decade. And if people take a more methodical and measured approach to achieving their goals over the next decade, then they will find that come 2030 that they will have accomplished an enormous amount as opposed to trying to jam it all into 2020 falling short in the majority of those goals or all of those goals. And then when you fall short with all of your goals, how do you feel?

Lauren: You feel dreadful not inclined to set new ones?

Tony: Right? And so it’s like, well, I don’t feel good about it and so I’m just not going to bother and I’m just going to go on meander through life. And then on the 1st of January, 2021 ah yes, that’s right, I’ve got to set these goals and I reactivate about myself as opposed to setting goals in a more measured and methodical fashion. So, so that’s a, that’s another reason. You know, we talked about the fact that you’re setting, people fall over because of fears. So they don’t achieve their goals because they have a fear, a fear of failure, a fear of being criticized by the people. You know, fear of not doing the things that they want to do. Perhaps the people around them preventing them from achieving their goals, which is a big one. Perhaps I don’t have an accountability partner to help me through the goals. It’s not easy to accomplish goals and achieve, achieve your goals. So it’s about, is there someone around you that can help you, that you can be your buddy to help you through and you know, whether it be in a work setting, you know, having team meetings and creating that culture where we’re all in the boat together and, and having often regular feedback. Absolutely correct. Correct. Absolutely right. And so there’s all these types of things that, you know, if you don’t have some of those systems in place, then you won’t achieve the goal for yourself. So know it’s about recognising your environment. So what’s happening around you? I touched on before the whole, you know, friends, people you know, and Jim Rowan, he’s, he’s passed away now, but a very famous guru in the personal development space talks about you’re the average of your five closest people. Now, I believe it’s broader than that. I believe it’s, you’re the average of your entire network. But nonetheless, the people around you will have a very large determining factor as to whether or not you’re successful. If people around you are negative perhaps you know, throwing stones at your ideas or putting you off or saying, don’t do that, that’s too scary. All those types of things well, you won’t do it.

Lauren: No it doesn’t really help you feel courageous.

Tony: It doesn’t. And sadly it comes from the people that love us the most, right? It comes from parents or family members and and they do that because they want, they think they want to keep us safe, right? They don’t want us to fall over and make mistakes and I get that. But mistakes equals learning equals growth. And not everybody has that mindset.

Lauren: I can attest to not wanting people around you or that you care about to get hurt. You know, like I was talking to you about before, you know, I’ve got a one year old and he’s exploring everything. You know, he wants to eat everything. He wants to climb everything. And you know, there’s, I’m torn right down the middle between, I want him to have all these experiences and to grow and to stay out of his way so that he can do that. I don’t want him to hurt himself. I want him to, you know, get scared or break himself or, yeah. So, yeah. You know, there is that really sort of a balance that you’ve got to find.

Tony: Oh, it’s, it’s this internal tension. Yes. It’s an internal tension. Yes, it is. It is. You know, it is, and it’s not easy. Right? And as, as a parent of two kids, it, my kids are a bit older but it’s not easy. Right? Parenting is, is incredibly challenging. Right? And you know, you’re dealing with little people who have their own little personalities and you know, and, and I’ve got two kids and they’re two very different kids who I can’t use the same method of the one Parenthood, you know, child number one to the same as child number two because they’re different and given it’s your first, you’ve never parented before, so you.

Lauren: I don’t know what I’m doing.

Tony: Right. That’s right.

Lauren: That’s not a good thing to say on camera though.

Tony: I mean, the reality is that you’ve never parented it before. No. And so you can read a book, you can have all the theoretical knowledge in the world, you can watch a YouTube clip, etcetera. But it’s still, you roll the sleeves up and get down and do that thing. And in this instance it’s parenting. But in a work, example, it could be trying a new task or, or whatever it might be until you actually get on the field is when you have the true growth and, and you’re going to make a number of mistakes. And as a parent, as an employee, you need to accept that you are not going to get it right. And that’s okay because if you have a growth mindset that says, well, I’m going to make mistakes, but I’m going to learn from those mistakes. I’m going to be better tomorrow than I am today as a result of it. And then that’s about constantly progressing in a forward direction.

Lauren: So make sure that the mindset’s working while the skills and the knowledge part catches up kind of thing.

Tony: A hundred percent a hundred percent right. And again, then the knowledge, you can have all the knowledge in the world, right? But it’s not until you actually get on the field and become a parent or do a particular role in your job that you actually start to get some real life experience, some real life feedback as to how you’re going. And then we do plenty of stuff that you do really well, which is awesome. And you want to recognise that, right? And also, there’ll be stuff that you go, yeah, you know, I, I would’ve liked to have done that differently.

Lauren: Next time I would do this.

Tony: Absolutely. You know, but this comes down to I have to, as a, as a coach, I have two questions that I always ask all of my clients at the start of every meeting. And that is what went well and what could you do differently? And so maybe we haven’t seen each other for two weeks. And so you want to ask the question, what went well? Because if I asked the question of someone, how are you going naturally our natural disposition, this is a generalisation, is to rattle off all the things that have gone wrong, all the negative stuff as opposed to I deliberately say, what did you do well? What are the things that are going well for you in the last two weeks? What have you done well right now? We’ll get a chance to go through the, Hey, what would you like to do different? We’ll get to that 100% but it’s about what are the things that you have done well, and that doesn’t just have to be in a coaching setting. So we can all do that as individuals in our jobs on a daily basis or at the end of the day. Now I say to people at the end of the day, do some reflection, right? It might be for a minute, right? Ask yourself today, what did I do well? What were the things that I’m really proud of that I do today? Great, okay, I did that, blah, blah, blah. But then also say, well, what is it that I could improve on? What would I do differently if I had my time over? Ryan? And again, this comes down to taking the time to reflect on how we’ve gone today, not with a view of dwelling on things that have gone wrong and missed opportunities and woe, woe is me. It’s about going, okay, well that happened. Yeah, that didn’t end up the way that I thought it would. But next time that happens, here’s what I’ve learned from that experience. And if you do that regularly enough, then you’re starting to get more attuned to you and you’re starting to become more conscious around the things that you’re doing and you give yourself a choice then to change The better.

Lauren: It sounds like a really good habit to be developing. And I was just thinking it could really apply well for managers helping their people, you know, to achieve goals. Yeah. You know, there’s always talk about, you know, a great manager is actually a great coach. You know, someone who they can see the potential in the person, they can help them set those goals, but then they’re the one that helps them to achieve it. Cool. It helps them to find it within themselves to achieve it. Oh, exactly. So, you know, as a manager you could ask those two questions of, of your people.

Tony: And that’s where I got it from. Right. So I’m not going to sit here and say that I invented this. So I used to be a sales manager in a previous life and we would go in and visit fast moving consumer goods outlets and at the end of the call rather than diving to, well, my opinion is blah, blah, blah. I would always ask the sales rep what went well? Hey, we’ve just finished the call. Tell me what went well, great. This went that went, Oh, but this one, no, no, no, no, no. We’ll get to that. What went well? Then once I’ve done that, then I say, okay, what would you have done differently? Right? And they go through, here’s the things that I’ll do differently. And typically the things that I would do differently is a longer list than than what I went well, particularly early on. Once people got used to working with me and the questions that I was asking them, then we started to have more on the what went well column, but early on there’s going to be a lot more in the Hey, what did I do wrong?

Lauren: It’s a default setting isn’t it?

Tony: It’s a default setting, right? And then as a manager, once the employee or the sales rep in that instance said what they went well, what they would improve, then I would provide my feedback and give the, give the individual a chance to become self aware. Because when you have self-awareness, you still have a choice. Right? So just because you are self aware of something that you do, doesn’t mean that you will go and change it, but at least you’re now aware of it. Right. Whereas the majority of our day we operate from a subconscious position that is, we’re not even aware of half the things.

Lauren: You’re in it, you’re not looking at it.

Tony: Yeah. Yeah. Correct. And the example that I use often, I used it on the weekend in my presentation I use it often is when, and I’ll ask you directly, Lauren, so when are you driving along and someone cuts you off in their vehicle what do you do?

Lauren: You just have this moment of shock usually and then, well, I’m, I’m working on it now because there is usually some language that comes out to.

Tony: Like I said, it’s language, there’s frustration, there’s anger, there’s probably clenching of, you know, maybe in some instances know people are flipping birds, all those types of things. Right? But we’re doing that in an instant and we’re doing that because that’s our default. And so then the opportunities at the end of the day to sit back and reflect and what went well, but then this in this instance, what would I like to do differently next time? So perhaps when you reflect on that that incident you go, huh, yeah. Okay, well next time I do that I’d like to be more calm, about it. I’d like to breathe a little bit more. Am I safe? Yes. Is my baby safe? Yes. Is my car you know, unscaved yes. Maybe it’s added two seconds onto my trip. So what. You know what I mean? So you take a more correct, a bit more perspective about it. And that doesn’t mean that you do this once. And the next time, Hey, I’m chilled about it. You know, cut me off. Do whatever. No, but you’ll get slightly better and you’ll do it again and you get slightly better and you’ll do it again. You get slightly better. And so this is called progress, right? So as long as you’re progressing, it doesn’t matter if you’ve gone from here to here, it’s progress. You don’t have to go from here to here.

Lauren: Progress is better than perfect.

Tony: Every time a hundred percent progress beats perfection. And so this is just about progressing. And the more that you do this, and you touched on the beautiful world earlier, which is habit. You create the habit to reflect on your day, to ask yourself those two questions. And you doesn’t have to be the end of the day. It can be E as in a sales call. Perhaps as a HR manager, maybe you’ve had a difficult employee conversation. Ask yourself, Hey, what did I do well in that conversation? What could I improve in that conversation? All right, so you’re asking yourself those sorts of questions. If you’re a manager who’s just run a team meeting, ask yourself, Hey, what went well in that team meeting? Right? And so you don’t need to ask these things out loud, walk around the office and Hey, what went well? You know, and it, you know, you just, you can have that internal, you have an internal dialogue.

Lauren: And what do you think about probably make this my last question but in terms of those reflections and that habit of, you know, what’s going well and what would I do differently next time? Do you think it’s more powerful to have that written down somewhere that you can refer back to? Or is it more a thing that you just do in the moment?

Tony: Writing is excellent. Right? So it, because it’s reinforcing. So it’s one thing to think about it, but now when I write it now, when I see it now, when I read it, that makes sense. I’ve gone from doing one step to now I’ve done four steps.

Lauren: Which means four cycles. Fantastic.

Tony: Correct. And so, and so, whether it be on the positive side or the corrective side, I’ve gone and reinforced that. And again, this is what this is doing and this is elevating things from our subconscious to our conscious and we’re in our conscious then it’s about, I now have the choice in our subconscious. I don’t have the choice because I’m operating on default. I’m doing things automatically when it comes into my conscious. Now I have the choice. I can still choose to do nothing different, but it’s, but I have the choice or I could choose to go, huh, I want to be better tomorrow than I am today and I’m going to do something different.

Lauren: Fantastic. Alright. Well I had could ask so many more questions. Sure. Goals in life and all that sort of thing. But we might wrap it up. Okay. If I wanted to know more about goal setting or effective processes, is there any resources that you got for that?

Tony: There’s heaps of resources that I’ve got. So firstly I’ve got social media pages, Tony Meredith coaching on Facebook, on Instagram on LinkedIn, Tony Meredith, the YouTube, Tony Meredith. But I’ve also got a 12 page goal-setting playbook that I’ve written that are giving away to people for free to help them with that. It walks them through the exact process that I use with our clients. And so people can do this in their own pace and it’s all about, again, starting with the Indian, Melinda touched on it earlier but then it’s about working backwards. So working backwards. So when you have a 12 month goal, where do you want to be in six months, where you want to be in three months? Where you want to be one month, two weeks, one week, etcetera. And so start with end in mind, work your way backwards. That is you’re creating the plan and then obviously you work in a Ford direction to activate on that plan. And I suppose the thing is, I just want to finish on Lauren with goal setting is fine, but ultimately it’s goal achievement. Yes. Right.

Lauren: Setting review to make it actually happen.

Tony: You can have the most well-written down plans in the world that can be beautifully presented. But again, if you aren’t activating on that plan, what does it matter? And it goes back to the point I said earlier about knowledge. To know not to do is to not know at all. You can apply that similar saying to goal setting, you can have a well-written out goal. If you’re not doing anything with it, then it doesn’t matter. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Three ways to make sure you’re contributing to company goals

When you’re part of any workplace, naturally you want to make sure that what you’re doing every day is actually making a positive contribution towards the company mission. In fact, you’re probably expected to do this and even measured against it! But how can you actually make sure your efforts are aligned with where the business is going? Today we’re going to share a few tips on doing just that.

Before we start, let’s make sure you actually know what the current company goals are. Hopefully, these have been shared with you somewhere along the line, but in some cases they might be stuck sitting in an annual report somewhere that not every staff member has read or has access to. If that’s the case for you, ask your manager to walk you through where the organisation is going and what you can do to contribute. 


1. Get ideas: Think about your job role and skills

First, take a close look at your standard job responsibilities, think about how these relate to company goals, and start brainstorming ways you can use your daily activities to contribute to these. For example, if your role is in Sales, and you know the business has plans to expand into a new country, what can you do to start gathering leads in that location?

But you don’t need to stop here – think about your wider skills as well. There might be something you can contribute outside of your standard role to add further value. Maybe it’s a second (or third, or fourth) language, a creative pursuit or experience from another industry that can be applied to your current one.

It’s also a good idea to ask your direct manager for their input. They might have an outside perspective that can provide additional ideas, or possibly observed a skill in you that you didn’t even realise you had.


2. Set your own goals: Align your efforts to the bigger picture

Once you have some ideas on how you can contribute, it’s time to set some finite goals around what you want to achieve for the business, and link these directly back to those big picture company goals.

First, make sure you’re using a goal setting framework like SMART Goals or OKRs to ensure your goals are measurable and achievable. If you haven’t used either of these methods before, or there isn’t a preferred method already in place for your team, have a read of the guides linked above to find one that will work for you.

Once you’ve settled on a framework, take a look at where the business is at now, and set yourself a target and a timeframe. Going back to our last example, let’s say you check the CRM and there’s currently 20 leads in the next location you’re expanding to. Taking into account your past results and the resources you have available to you, work out a realistic increase you might be able to achieve. A realistic goal might be to double this – so now you can set your own goal to generate 20 leads for that location within 3 months.


3. Measure your progress: Stay on track

When it comes to review time, or asking for a raise, of course you’ll want to be able to show your manager how you’ve contributed to the organisation’s success and the impact you’ve had. But actually defining that impact and putting a number on it can be difficult. 

So what’s the secret weapon you need? An online tool to set your goals and track their progress. This way you’ll have an ongoing record of how you’re progressing towards these targets, as well as a constant reminder of where you should be focusing your time and effort. 

Physically recording your goals somewhere visible will also increase your chances of actually succeeding in them. Neuroscience explains that those who can vividly describe or picture their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them than those who have loose idea of what they want to accomplish. The reason behind this is two-fold: firstly, having your goal recorded somewhere visible serves as a reminder, and secondly, the act of writing it out further helps imprint the goal into your memory.

Now once you’re tracking your progress, if you notice you’re about to hit your goal sooner than expected, or have an unexpected change of circumstances that could impact your success (positively or negatively), remember to reassess your goals to ensure they’re still realistic.

Pro Tip: If your organisation is using intelliHR, the goals you track in the system will flow directly into the Performance Summary Report that your manager will use at review time. This really helps make justifying your contribution easy!


Will you be putting these tips into action? If you have any questions about what you’ve read today, drop them in the comments so we can help!


4 Tools leaders use to effectively implement company goals for employees

Keeping Leaders, HR Managers & Teams Aligned & Collaborative


Going into a new year is the perfect opportunity to refresh your team members on the mission they’re all helping work towards, achieve alignment throughout the business, and get everyone focused on what they need to accomplish in the year ahead. 

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the big picture, but it’s vital to revisit what it is your team is really trying to achieve to ensure everyone’s time and effort is being spent on the tasks that contribute.

So how can you clearly communicate the company goals to your team, show them how they can play a part in success, and keep them on track? Let’s explore four ways you can better communicate company goals for employees’ benefit.


1. Cascaded goals

Cascading goals mean you can set a high level goal with the business owner or CEO, and then “cascade” them down (or across) throughout the whole business, allowing everyone to set complementary goals that contribute to their team’s goals and so on. Now everyone has visibility over what the company goals are every time they view their goals, and more importantly, they can set goals that actually help work towards the company mission.


2. Goal comments

Once employees have their goals set, goal comments can also be used to check in with staff and ensure they’re fully across what they need to do. The comments sections allow for a two-way conversation between a manager and their direct report, a great opportunity to ask questions or communicate about how a goal is progressing.

This is particularly beneficial if managers notice a goal is falling behind or has not been started by an appropriate time. Use this as an opportunity to touch base and see if you might need to provide any support or further training around what is required.


3. Continuous feedback

Consider incorporating a check-in on goals to your continuous feedback process. This could be as simple as adding a multiple choice question regarding the current company goals for employees to respond to. This is a really easy way to get visibility over who has a good understanding of company goals and who might need a refresh. Just head into your Form Data analytic and you’ll be able to see what answers were submitted across the whole business. You may even observe trends in a certain cohort or team that has a particularly low or high knowledge of your company goals. In this case, you can take learnings from the sections of the business who are across company goals and apply them to the rest of the business to help get everyone on the same page.

To take this a step further, you could add another question asking people to share their progress on their own goals contributing to these. Following these check-ins, monthly one-on-ones are then a great opportunity for managers to revisit company goals again with each of their direct reports and clarify any confusion around them.


4. Performance summaries

Using intelliHR, all of the progress on these goals, as well as inputs from continuous feedback can be drawn into a performance summary for formal reviews. In order to fully ensure company goals for employees are communicated clearly (and actually prioritised by everyone) they need to be prioritised in the review process as well. More importantly, your company’s core goals, and each employee’s subsequent contributing goals, are what their performance should be evaluated on first and foremost. If not, this sends a message that the company goals aren’t actually a priority, and they risk being abandoned.


Now you know how to effectively communicate your company goals across the business (and hold everyone accountable), what will you change in your processes? 

If you’re not sure where to start, our team is on standby to answer all your burning questions here.



What to do when goals fall short

We’ve spoken a lot about setting goals, but we don’t often talk about what to do in cases where goals aren’t met. 

How do we keep up morale?
How do we help people move forward?
How do we improve our chances of success in the future?

Part of getting value out of goal setting is being able to acknowledge when goals have fallen short and take action to get things back on track. Today we’re looking at some practical tips to make this happen.


Were the goals right?

It can be difficult to always set the right goals every time, particularly for a new role or team member. If goals fall short, it’s a good idea to reflect on whether this goal was actually worth reaching for, or if that employee’s time and effort is better spent elsewhere. 

Perhaps they missed one of the goals they set for themselves, but they achieved great progress in another area that wasn’t even being tracked. Does this contribute to the company mission and help their team? If so, maybe reassess and set new goals in this area instead.


Find out why 

Beyond this, and especially if the goal set was highly relevant, the first thing we need to do is uncover the reasons behind this. Keep in mind the employee’s personal effort and performance are only one small contributor to their overall results. 

You will want to look at past feedback from check-ins, like Happiness and Sentiment data to see if there were any other factors impeding on that team member’s progress. For example, you may find they’ve been distracted by other tasks or requests that don’t contribute to any of the big picture goals for their role. In other cases, it could come down to a lack of resources like budgets or equipment, or even a skills gap that can be addressed with the right training.


Address the gaps

Once you’ve uncovered these reasons, you’ll be able to start addressing them. As mentioned, some of the most common reasons why you might find a team member hasn’t been able to achieve their goals is a gap in skills or resources.

Perhaps they needed some additional professional development, different equipment or more support from their colleagues to get the results they were aiming for. 

This is a good opportunity to put a training plan in place, and ensure the team member is equipped with the skills they need to achieve at the level they’re expected to. This could involve investing in some external training, or even just getting a more senior team member to help mentor and support them for a period of time.


Reassess for the future

With the resources and skills available at the time of setting the goal – was it actually realistic? It can be difficult to set benchmarks when working towards something that hasn’t been done before, so having to reassess is normal. Ideally, you’ll want to do this at regular increments before the goal deadline and reassess proactively.

But if the deadline has been reached and the goal hasn’t been hit, it’s time to look at what was achieved and use this as a measure of what’s realistic for the future. In doing this, also consider the extra training or resources the team member will be receiving and how this might impact their potential results.


Stay accountable 

Another key step is to make sure any future goals are set up for success from the start. Good goals should be clearly defined, visible and measurable. Having a central record of all goals that allows the goal owner to track their progress is essential to helping everyone stay on track and minimising any expectations gaps between managers, direct reports and peers.

Another tip is to use a goal setting structure like SMART goals or OKRs to ensure the goals you’re setting are specific enough. SMART goals are a good starting point for most teams, whereas OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) can be used in high-performance driven teams where outputs are easily measurable. We’ve shared some tips on how to decide if OKRs are right for your team here.  


So there you have it, our key steps to help get back on track when goals fall short. If you’d like to know more about any of the tools we’ve mentioned, get in touch with the team here.

Infographic: 2020 New Year’s Resolutions for HR Managers

To bring in the working year for 2020, we wanted to round-up some New Year’s Resolutions you might relate to (plus how to follow through on them).
2020 New Year's Resolutions for HR Managers

The power of goal setting to the critical path

The HR Manager’s Guide to Goal Setting and Tracking to Empower Your Team

2020 is fast approaching, and now is the best time to be planning the year ahead. Regardless of whether you are starting a new strategy, or part of the way through a five year plan, it’s imperative to review and update. Things are always changing both internally and externally in any organisation, so a review prior to or early in the new year is a great habit to have. There’s a saying, “Do not rush to fail” – it’s a way of saying that regardless of what is happening, always take the time to plan. Planning ahead is about setting goals, and there are a number of schools of thought around this (just think S.M.A.R.T or B.H.A.G). However, this article is about looking at the ‘Why’ behind goal setting, how that aligns to organisational objectives and importantly, what is the critical path.


Power Up #1 -Alignment to the Organisation

This sounds so obvious, but it’s not always the case as teams and people can go off on a tangent and can be focusing on non-critical paths. Alignment with organisational objectives requires effective communication and leadership. This information should flow down the leadership structure from the CEO or MD through to management, team leaders and team members.


Start with the BIG picture

The flow of information is essential in gaining an in-depth understanding of where the organisation is envisioned in heading over the next 12 months. Start with the end in mind, map out projects for the year, and understand the objectives to be met. For leadership, how to communicate this can be achieved through several options. However, for the Human Resources Team, it’s important to encourage executive leaders, department managers and team leaders to look at how this will be structured. Understanding the big picture is more than just hearing the strategic plan for the next 12 months, it’s about how it applies to their team.


“It’s so important to be on the same page as the leader of the business, so you understand the pain points and where they see the biggest challenges coming through”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO


Goal setting and tracking

As mentioned earlier, there are several schools of thought around how goals should be actioned and achieved. Whichever option your organisation goes with, setting goals is the first step.


A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

– Zig Ziglar, Goal-Oriented Motivational Speaker


Just as important as setting goals, is setting the right goals and framework. The other important aspect of goal setting is to ensure that there is accountability. To achieve this, it’s important to ensure that you are providing leadership, managers and team the right tools to get the right outcomes.

Goal setting and goal tracking go hand in hand when it comes to meeting outcomes and working collaboratively. This is also important for the HR Team – imagine the benefit of complete visibility. Understanding that team member goals are being achieved which feed into departmental goals, which in turn are fulfilling the organisation’s objective. Being able to have your finger on the pulse like that is so advantageous. HR technology continues to advance and create tools to assist in goal setting and tracking, removing the need for manual processes, spreadsheets and continual follow up – the information is now readily available at our fingertips. Utilising tools around goals will help maintain focus on the big picture, provide insights into projects and deliverability, and assist in driving the organisation forward. In fact, some goals may ascertain to improving business processes, and in doing so remove time-consuming manual processes. Goal setting and tracking are all about reaching the primary objective, and in doing so find efficiencies that relate to the objective.


“It’s about focusing on the actual outcomes you’re trying to achieve and then selecting the right tools that are fit for that purpose. We need to understand that the systems of the past don’t necessarily fit in with the tools of the future. So much has changed, even the expectations of the staff. We must all step back and look at solutions.”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO


Be Customer Centric

Marketing and Sales teams are very aware of being customer-centric, however other departments within an organisation, particularly those that are not customer facing often do not consider the customer in their planning. When it comes to alignment with organisational objectives, being customer-centric is a great perspective to maintain. Even team members who are focused on resolving functional outcomes or administrative reporting benefit from being reminded of the end-user, the customer. After all, no business can exist without them! For the Human Resources Team, comprehending the evolving requirements of the customer, and industry trends is a great way to lean into staffing requirements and upskilling.


Power Up #2 -The Power of Goal Setting

The success of any organisation is directly attributed to their ability to set a vision and mission statement and then go out and meet those goals. An article by Bob Proctor, Chairman and Co-Founder of Proctor Gallagher Institute referred to a ten year study of some Harvard University graduates. 83% had no goals, 14% had specific goals that were not written down – the 14% were earning three times as much as the 83%.

Further to that, there was a 3% group of the alumni who had their specific goals written down clearly and reviewed regularly. This group was earning ten times as much as the 83%. This is part of the crux of this article, if you are in HR and you can implement goal setting and tracking, you are helping towards the success of the company.


Do Not Rush to Fail

This phrase, “Do Not Rush to Fail” came from a leader in the Australian military. His men were under some unexpected enemy fire, not part of the plan. Their training had become instinct and their professionalism kicked in. During this fire fight, there was concern because it was not in the plan, it was unexpected. He called on the leaders in the team to ‘plan’ their way out of the situation. He had full confidence in his soldiers to carry out their duties, which gave him and his leaders the chance to plan their next move. Knee jerk reactions are a sign of rushing to fail. Create time to plan, even when it’s all hitting the proverbial fan – this is always better than failing.


Make It Easy, Make It Empowering

Being on the Human Resource team, we are all well aware of the power of goal setting and tracking – but getting team to participate can sometimes be like herding cats, right?

For goals to be profitable, they must be:

  • Visible – as in easily accessible and reviewed. Not hidden in the back of the drawer or some long lost spreadsheet in an obscure folder somewhere.
  • Measurable – even B.H.A.Gs are measurable – there has to be an identifiable outcome, and
  • Adaptable – this flexibility is necessary, which is part of the not rushing to fail concept, and it’s also part of the concept behind regular reviews. Things do not always go to plan, so adaptability within goals continues the progress.

intelliHR effectively uses its own goal setting and tracking component of the HR system. Team members have great access to see the bigger picture, and from there can set their goals. Team leaders can assist with this, and work with them in tracking performance. This is about empowering the intelliHR team to pursue their goals, to contribute to the bigger picture and to enhance their development. Culture contributes significantly here.

All that said, the system has been purposefully designed to ensure that the use of the Goals component is easy. Due to it being visible and measurable, it’s empowering. If you want to gain a better understanding of how the intelliHR system achieves this, jump on the website now and start chatting with some of our team.


Interactivity Creates Stronger Collaboration

Using goal setting and tracking software allows for greater visibility for both leaders and for team members. For the team member, they get a clear insight into how their goals contribute to the greater objectives. They have ownership of their individual goals and they see the greater value in what they achieve.

For leaders, they are able to view the big picture and how cascading goals are impacting projects and outcomes. They are able to work closely with their team members to assist, give guidance, recognise and reward efforts.

Most importantly, teams and inter-departmental collaboration soars as interactivity around goals is enhanced. Collaboration between departments is vital for any organisation.


Power Up #3 -Stick to the Critical Path

The critical path consists of the necessary steps required to achieve an objective or outcome. These are the non-negotiable requirements to reach success. When it comes to goal setting, it’s these steps that must receive greater focus and prioritisation. Non-critical aspects are what would be nice to have, but not necessary. To help with this, consider the aspects below;


Direction and Clarity

When it comes to goals and alignment with organisational objectives, direction and clarity is imperative. This comes from leadership, so it needs to be communicated to be understood. If a leader can not clearly explain the organisation’s projects or objectives to a primary school aged child, then expect goals to have some vagueness or ambiguity to them.

In addition to this, there needs to be measurable outcomes. The best way to achieve this is by having everyone utilising the same system and approach. In order to achieve the goals you set, it’s important to be able to measure them and make use of all available tools that can help support goal progress along the way. Having access to accurate and digestible data is imperative to this.


“HR should be seen as the facilitator of business performance, and it should be about enablement and making things easier for staff to better look after their customers”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO


Autonomy and Ownership

When team members are involved in their individual and team goal setting process, it allows them to see the big picture, it allows them to see how their contribution is crucial. In turn, this creates a level of responsibility and obligation to their team.

This is positive and motivates personal ownership of the goals. Ownership is buy-in, it’s employee engagement, and it encourages tighter connection within their team and their workplace. It’s also a sign that they are trusted to perform on behalf of the level. All of this speaks to the value the individual has within the organisation.

As performance continues to develop, so does trust and autonomy. This also speaks highly as to the individual’s value and role within the organisation. Following the critical path is actually also a great way to further train and develop team members, grow leadership and cultivate culture. Do not underestimate the power of empowering your people.


The Icing on the Cake

Once the Critical Path objectives have been accomplished, that is when you add the ‘icing on the cake’. This is where additional features, design, value adds can get considered. With goal setting, these sorts of attributes need to be in the final stages. This is all about the ‘icing on the cake’, it’s less about functionality and more about features and design–generally speaking. Once the critical components have been achieved, and if time allows, this is where going the extra mile comes into play. It should always be scheduled toward the end of the project–it’s important, but it’s importance is only a factor after the critical path is achieved, up until then, it’s nothing more than a desired outcome.

DisruptHR Brisbane 2019 Event Wrap Up

Once again the Brisbane HR space has been disrupted with an influx of new ideas that were shared earlier in November. If you couldn’t make it to the event this year, the videos are now live at  https://disrupthr.co/vimeo-tag/disrupthrbne/, the topics were diverse and engaging branding from goal setting, to job remuneration to neuro-diversity. For now, check out our blogs to get an idea of what was discussed as well as links to the individual videos.


Michael Lang

Michael kicked off the evening into gear by getting stuck into disruptive communication. Often managers will confine themselves into a box of their own creation where not much is challenged which can lead to unproductive management patterns. What he posits is holding a strong conviction, disrupting often and changing perspectives through asking the right questions.


Karen Fewster

Second off the rank was Karen who got aimed to change perspectives surrounding both how HR is perceived within the workplace and also how HR professionals perceive their positions within the workplace. Through undertaking a change led mindset, and to be the navigator of new changes, HR professionals can truly revolutionise workplaces for the better. 



Justin Falk

The times are changing and thankfully Justin provided a new perspective on the technology revolutions taking place in our workplaces. He highlighted the opportunities that tech represents and its ability to get rid of mundane tasks and substitute them with more productive meaningful tasks that can improve the quality of work for all.


Mel Kettle

Human connection isn’t just important for out of work endeavors, but also necessary to stop workplace disengagement. People do business with people that they trust, yet this human connection is currently being disrupted by excessive screen time. Finding balance is the key way to improving both mental stability and workplace relations!


Jarod Hart

It’s not about your culture how, it’s about your culture why! Defining your culture will always be different due to the unique and fluctuating nature of it. Jarod explained how looking after a culture is similar to growing a plant, it needs constant and different attention to help it evolve and this will always be different as different organisations require different tactics.


Rashmi Kulkarni

Rashmi disrupted us with her presentation on paying people for their roles rather than just their job titles. Recognising that people don’t just do their job, they influence their team and encourage a positive culture. When thinking of remuneration we should no longer reduce it to just a value put on a person for their ability to complete a task.


Andrew Boggan

Diversity and its importance have long been proven to be valuable to the workplace but traditionally neurodiverse perspectives haven’t been highlighted in this area. Including people who aren’t neurotypical adds valued perspectives, yet sometimes these individuals aren’t comfortable in an office setting. Andrew posits that to make everyone in your office feel valued, perhaps make social gatherings and open plan offices an opt-in effort.


Kristyn Haywood

Psychological safety has been trending in HR circles recently, but Kristyn wants to disrupt our thinking here. Engaging people with thoughtful questioning rather than seeking to complain can encourage thoughtful conversation and change minds. She speaks about asking more questions and taking time to understand what people mean when they say something you may disagree with.


Jarrod McGrath

Technology is making no qualms about inserting itself into our workplaces, so it’s best that HR as a profession chooses to accept this, and embrace it! To do so, Jarrod recommends forming a digital strategy that focuses on the human side of your workplace and takes on design thinking strategies to encourage adoption.


Tony Meredith

Tony did a fantastic job at closing off the evening by going through goal setting. Setting targets can be a troublesome time with the majority of goals never being realised. Combatting this can be done if one only integrates the goal process with achievable steps along the way and makes an effort to link these steps to your daily routine. 


If these quick tidbits interested you, make sure you check out the full video to hear what else our speakers had to say! There was plenty of thought-provoking ideas that are sure to Disrupt your thinking. 

Due to popular demand, the next Disrupt HR will be held on the 17th of March 2020! Have you got a passion for people, tech or workplace disruption and think you have what it takes? Pop in your speaker application for Disrupt 2020 and get ready to change the game! https://disrupthr.co/city/brisbane/

How to set OKRs in your organisation

Recently we looked at an overview of OKRs and a framework to consider if they might be suited for your team. If you think OKR’s might be right for your team, read on, because we’re going to provide a few helpful getting-started do’s and don’ts.

But wait, before diving in, keep in mind these common OKR pitfalls you’ll want to avoid…


Avoid these common mistakes

Not communicating stretch goals clearly 

The purpose of setting stretch goals (Key Results that push people toward an out-of-reach target) is to give permission and motivate teams to explore and implement completely new ways to achieve outcomes – not to set them up for failure. It’s vital that all team members understand they are not necessarily expected to hit that lofty target straight away, and they will be achieving a great outcome even if they get close to the ultimate target. The last thing you want is for people to fall into a negative mindset where they feel they have no chance of hitting their goals. The purpose is to give them the freedom to reach as high as they can, and if they fall slightly short, know this is better than setting the bar low and hitting it.


Setting Key Results too low

Further to the point above, OKRs only work when the Key Results are ambitious. It’s about aiming higher than what has ever been achieved before, forcing teams to rethink how they do things and find completely new approaches.


Having irrelevant Objectives

OKRs are also beneficial for creating strong alignment throughout the organisation, and among teams, but this comes from how the Objectives are conceived. Objectives should be derived from overarching organisation priorities, creating Objectives for each team that all work together to contribute to these higher-level company goals. If a team’s objectives don’t contribute to any organisational goals, ask yourself: are they really necessary?


Setting too many objectives at the same time

OKRs should serve to provide focus for a team, and allow them to concentrate their energy on a few meaningful outcomes at any given time. Sticking to around three objectives per quarter at most is a good rule of thumb, but this may be adjusted slightly depending on the size of the team and other factors – it may be less! The main thing is to ensure teams aren’t overwhelmed with too many objectives and struggling to knuckle down on any meaningful work. 


Not tracking progress sufficiently

The last thing you want to do is reach the due date of your OKR and find that no real progress has been made. OKRs are designed to make measuring progress super simple, and this is in part what makes them so effective. We’ll share some tips on making tracking easy in the next section.


How to set OKRs

Decide on your objectives

Once organisational priorities are in order, sub-objectives for individual teams can be determined. These should form the basis of all OKRs. 


Set an ambitious Key Result

Remembering that the Key Results must act as a stretch goal, don’t simply define Key Results that are in-line with what you need to hit, but what you could hit if things were done differently and team performance was at its peak. Key Results are always quantitative and measurable.


Determine your scores

One way to measure your Key Results is through a sliding scale, for example between 0 to 1, to show how close the team came to reaching it (1 being they met the goal). For example, if the marketing team had a goal to increase market share by 20%, a 15% increase would equate to a 0.75 score (or 75%). 

This type of result is what separates OKRs from normal goal setting, for example a goal for a 5% increase in market share mostly likely could be achieved by incremental improvements of their current activities, a 20% improvement most likely requires some completely new approaches, meaning the 15% result is actually a brilliant result for the business.


Record all OKRs centrally

One of the benefits of OKRs is they are transparent and visible to the entire organisation, as often they will be being worked upon across multiple teams. Using an online goal management tool will make this possible. Start by ensuring top-level organisational goals are in the system, and then cascade these to all relevant teams, allowing them to set their own supporting goal. Ensure all of these are entered using the OKR framework.

how to set okrs

Track progress

Motivation to strive further and experiment with new approaches is key for making OKRs work. Keeping track of progress online so everyone in the business can see progress updates in real time is a must.

On top of this, tracking progress allows you to see if goals need to be reassessed. For example, major changes in the external or internal environment may necessitate increasing or decreasing the Key Result metric, or perhaps keeping this the same but moving the due date.

You may also want to make decisions about committing more resources to an OKR in order to get it over the line on time. All of these decisions are made possible by having progress visible at the click of a button.

how to set okrs


Reassess goals quarterly

If teams are comfortably achieving their OKRs, they’re too low. A good rule of thumb is that Key Results should be fulfilled at 60-75% of the target level. In most cases if an OKR is fully achieved it wasn’t stretch enough. It’s worth reassessing goals on a quarterly basis to ensure they continue to challenge your teams and goals are also kept in line with current priorities. 

This makes OKR setting a cyclical process that is constantly happening and gradually driving your organisation to higher and higher levels of success. Setting OKRs right and committing to the process over the long term is by far the best way to get the most value from this technique! 

Most importantly, if they don’t work the first time, refine your process and try again. As long as you have the data in front of you, this should be easy.


So there you have it, our guide on how to set OKRs in your business. Remember, being able to manage all your people’s goals in one place is easy when you have the right tools. If you’d like to learn more about managing goals through intelliHR, get started here.

Are OKRs right for your team?

If you’ve heard the buzz about OKRs but are yet to deploy them in your own organisation, you might be wondering if they could actually work for you.

Maybe you’ve been setting goals with the same overall framework for years and are unsure if it’s worth reinventing the structure of your goals. 

After all, what’s the point of changing how you set goals unless it’s actually going to improve your results as a firm?

Today we’re going to explore what OKRs are and how they can be beneficial, so you can decide if they might work for your teams.


So what is an OKR?

OKR simply stands for Objectives (and) Key Results. 

As the name suggests, OKRs are focused on attaching measures to goals (both a quantitative and qualitative component) that can then be used to push assignees toward the desired outcome.

The purpose of adding these measures is to help align teams, add transparency and increase engagement on common goals.


So why don’t we just call them Objectives? Or Key Results? Why do we need both?

It’s important to make the distinction between what these individual phrases actually mean, because they have very different meanings and contribute to the overall OKR in different ways.

The objectives or key results alone would not be effective – but it’s when they come together that the magic really happens.



Objectives show your team the big picture of what they are working towards. If you wanted your team to build a sandcastle, your Objective would be the boundary around the sandpit. 

These would typically be put in place on a quarterly basis, depending on the nature of the business. 


Examples of Objectives

  • Deliver better customer service
  • Improve employee retention
  • Become the number one brand in our industry

Note that these are high level aims and usually purely qualitative.


Key Results

This is the quantitative part of the OKR where we attach a numerical measure to aim for. 

The difference with setting a Key Result as opposed to a SMART goal is that the number should be set beyond what is thought to be possible. The key is not setting a goal so unachievable that it sets people up for failure, but rather a stretch goal that will encourage the team to reach further and encourages them to consider new approaches rather than incremental improvements. 

When determining Key Results, it’s vital to consider both quality and efficiency in the calculation. What is the highest possible target to aim for that can be completed with the resources available, and while maintaining the standard of quality your customers know and expect?


Examples of Key Results

  • Achieve an average 4.9 star rating online within the next 3 months.
  • Reduce annual employee turnover to 10% within 12 months.
  • Increase market share to 20% in 6 months.

Because these Key Results are stretch goals, it’s actually intended that the team will not completely hit the set target. The point is these goals are highly ambitious, and they should be designed in a way that even if only partial progress is made, the business is still far exceeding their previous results.

For example, achieving 75% of an OKR would be seen as a great result. For example, if annual turnover is currently at 20% and our target was to reduce it to 10%, a reduction to 12.5% is still an excellent result.


Why use OKRs?

You might be wondering how the simple structure of OKRs actually helps teams get things done. Besides the stretch nature of OKRs that help motivate your people, the simplicity really does add to their effectiveness.

Because OKRs don’t specify how the goal will be achieved, they provide the flexibility and encouragement to get people thinking outside the box on how they will make these goals happen. 

If you’re using an alternative goals framework, you might be focused on setting goals that are realistic and achievable. The potential problem with this is that incremental and achievable goals can be reached by simply doing things the way they have always been done, and hence don’t always encourage the fresh and transformational ideas that can lead to breakthroughs in efficiencies and subsequent results. The OKRs approach changes all of this.

“Either the goal is met and everyone succeeds together, or it is not and everyone fails together.”

Another benefit of OKRs is alignment, both within teams and throughout the organisation. When teams share an OKR they are working on together, this is a group effort. Either the goal is met and everyone succeeds together, or it is not and everyone fails together. This alignment is key for driving teams to pull together and achieve goals as a unit.


Who else is using OKRs?

OKRs were first used at Intel but gained popularity after being adopted in the early days of Google in the year 2000. 

Sears Holding Company is another organisation who put OKRs in place. This increased employees’ average hourly sales by 8.5%

OKRs are also known to be used by Accenture, Adobe, Amazon, Asana, Dell, Deloitte, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, Gap, GE, GoPro, LG, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Oracle, Panasonic, Salesforce.com, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Slack, Spotify, Tableau, Twitter, Viacom and Zendesk to name a few – so it’s safe to say they are pretty popular in top firms.


Will OKRs work for me?

OKRs are definitely not just for businesses in Silicon Valley, and can work for just about any organisation in any industry. Even if goals are being met currently, but perhaps performance could be further improved, or you want to increase alignment between team members and across the business, OKRs are definitely worth exploring.

We recommend trialing OKRs in your business, even in one team to start with, and see how this affects performance before rolling it out to the rest of the business. In order for OKRs to work, it’s vital to back them up with the permission and support to try new solutions. Without this support on a culture level, OKRs will never reach their full potential.

Next week we’ll be exploring how to set OKRs, so you can get started implementing them in your organisation.

10 steps to improve team collaboration with goals

A good team is a team that works together toward a common goal. So when we’re looking to improve collaboration in teams, it makes sense to first look at how we’re setting, sharing and working towards goals together. 

Today we’ll share some must-haves for ensuring your team can collaborate seamlessly on shared milestones, and actually achieve them!


Start with great goal setting

Before getting into the how, let’s make sure the goals you’re setting for your team are going to be effective at contributing to the bigger picture. You’re probably familiar with the SMART goals framework, let’s breakdown the components of that. 


Set specific goals

A specific goal is a meaningful goal. “Raising brand awareness”, “improving customer service” or “generating more sales” are not goals. Goals should provide enough information to clearly communicate to the whole team what is required. On top of being specific, goals must be measurable.



Make goals measurable

We all know there isn’t much benefit to goals that can’t be measured, but some are easier to quantify than others. All goals should have either a numerical target attached or at least a checklist of milestones that need to be met before the goal is achieved. This way, your team can celebrate progress as you go, and clearly know when the goal has been achieved!


Ensure goals are achievable and realistic

When setting these targets or milestones, measures and deadlines should never be pulled out of thin air. But what should we base them on? Where available, consult past data to see what previous results looked like. Consider these benchmarks as well as the resources available. Do you want to achieve a result that’s going to double last quarter’s results? It’s doable, but you may need to allocate extra professional development, man-power or better equipment to get it done. Determining strong targets will help get your team to the next level without setting unattainable expectations. 


Only set goals that are relevant

Any goals you set for your team must be aligned to higher level organisational goals. If they don’t contribute to the big picture, why are you working on them? 

Not only does this alignment make goals more meaningful, but it also helps team members understand how they contribute to the bigger picture, providing a sense of purpose. This can then be kept accountable using continuous feedback, allowing staff to communicate with their manager and vice versa about how they are progressing and where they might need help.


Set deadlines

Having deadlines on goals adds a sense of urgency and motivation to complete them on time but also helps with planning and prioritisation. Make sure your team know when things needed to be done and get reminded when the due date is looming. Better yet, check in on progress periodically to make sure things are one track. 


Get the tools to manage goals and get them done

Keep things centralised

Visibility is crucial to clear communication, so the first step is to have one centralised place for goals to be managed across your team. This enables everyone to see what the priorities are, where they fit in, and how they can help contribute and collaborate as a team. 


Track goal progress together 

It’s one thing for the whole team to be able to see it’s goals, but to see how everyone is tracking? Even better. 

It’s essential to be recording your goals in a system that allows for progress to be tracked in real-time. This helps keep everyone motivated by seeing the progress of themselves and their team, tangibly as it happens.

Leaders can also see what goals might require extra resources, support or help removing roadblocks, as well as which goals are running ahead of schedule and could be reassessed. 


Align goals between leaders and direct reports

Collaboration Nirvana happens when goals are not only visible to everyone in the team but goals can actually be aligned between managers and direct reports, or shared between peers.

As a team leader, think about how your team members can individually help contribute to your own high-level goals, then cascade these down to your direct reports and let them set their own goals to help fulfil it. 


Stay agile 

A lot can change in a year, a quarter, or even a month. It’s important to regularly reassess goals if there have been changes to resourcing or organisational priorities, or something has otherwise become more or less realistic to hit. 

Having a continuous feedback process in place will help to uncover these changes, and make adjustments to these goals as required. It’s therefore vital to set your goals in a system that’s quick, easy and can be used on the go. 


Use goals to shape roles

Rather than relying on static position descriptions, individual employee goals can be designed to shape individual roles. This turns a mere list of tasks or responsibilities into a clear set of measurable and actionable targets. Team members still know what they need to get done, but it’s now more achievable, and expectations around results are clear. 

Those are out major tips for improving team collaboration using goals. Have these inspired you to make any changes to how you set goals for your team?