Companies and teams usually set OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for the year or quarter, which help focus employees and remind everyone of a shared, overarching goal. If you’re on a small team (even a team of one!), setting personal goals for yourself is a great way to stay focused and quantify your growth.
But OKRs don’t have to be set only at a company-wide level. Amanda Schumer, Senior Manager of Employee Experience at Beeswax, says setting personal OKRs kept her honest and accountable—and helped her grow in her role along with the company.
To start creating your own, take a look at your (or other) company’s OKRs for inspiration and structure.
Tips for setting personal OKRS
Example OKR: “Plan and implement 1 employee experience event per month.”
Setting aggressive OKRs may be a good strategy for a business as a whole, but for personal OKRs, realistic goal setting is best to avoid feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you’re feeling particularly sluggish in your current role, setting a strongly competitive OKR could help push your professional boundaries. Whichever route you choose, try to set at least one quantitative OKR as it will be easy to measure.
Example OKR: “Track how much time I’m spending on specific tasks and projects.”
Understanding where and how you spend your time is invaluable. Schumer started paying attention to how long it took her to set up, run, and break down Beeswax’s weekly All Hands meeting and realized it took more than half of her day. She said tracking her time helped prove to her boss that they needed to hire another person for her team. That insight also showed her why she wasn’t able to hit certain deadlines. If you use Managed by Q's Task Management tool, you can export valuable data like how long it takes you to complete certain tasks or projects and see firsthand where your time and energy is going.
Example OKR: “Write template emails for onboarding.”
We all have items on the back-burner that we’ve been hoping (for maybe a long time) to get to. Adding one of these long-standing tasks to your OKRs will help you actually buckle down and do it. Don’t worry if the goal is small—you’ll love crossing it off your list!
Keeping up with your personal OKRs
Share with your team. Update your manager or teammates on your OKRs and your progress during your 1:1 or weekly meetings. They’ll help you stay accountable and give you direction and encouragement when necessary.
Be honest about what worked and what didn’t. The only way you can grow from your personal OKRs is by reflecting honestly about what did and did not work. If you don’t reach your goal, try to identify why. You may discover problems you never realized you had or could solve.
Use personal OKRs to build out your resume and/or LinkedIn profile. Setting personal OKRs automatically creates a log of your accomplishments. Add those wins to your resume!
Personal OKRs are a relatively easy and direct way to discover insights about your work, achieve more in your role, and set yourself up for your next professional milestone.