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Experts weigh in on human resource (HR) OKR examples that you can personalize to track and measure your organization’s goals.
When it comes to setting goals as a human resources department, it’s critical to approach them with your organization’s values and culture as the North Star.
That’s where objectives and key results (OKRs) come in.
OKR planning is a goal-setting framework that companies use to set and measure goals that support their mission. Once a company’s high-level OKRs are identified, departments are tasked with creating OKRs that align and support the overall mission.
There’s a reason why high-performing HR teams set SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound—goals. That way, they can track and measure how much progress they’ve made towards goals at any time throughout the quarter, iterating on them if need be.
We spoke with Nicole Kahansky, Content Marketing Manager at Hypercontext, who’s an expert in OKR-setting. She said, “There are a lot of jobs HR teams do that are traditionally more difficult to measure but incredibly important. For example, improving company culture or increasing engagement. The beauty of OKRs is that they help break down those loftier goals into incremental, digestible objectives with roadmaps to help you get there.”
Nicole’s biggest piece of advice?
OKRs shouldn’t be top-down. “Developing OKRs together leads to buy-in and a sense of ownership across the team,” she explained.
With that in mind, we break down HR OKR examples by functional areas that you can tweak to make your own.
HR teams are tasked with coordinating the recruiting needs of an organization. In order to keep up with growth, set OKRs to guide team members through a successful recruiting process.
Objective: Launch a long-term candidate sourcing strategy.
Objective: Reduce cost-per-hire.
The compensation and benefits package that an organization offers is what sets them apart from competitors during hiring, as well as is a motivating factor for staff. Hypercontext shared one of their recommendations for a compensation and benefits OKR:
Objective: Improve compensation and benefits metrics while staying within budget.
In addition, here are other helpful compensation and benefit OKRs you can personalize:
Objective: Align paid time off (PTO) policy with industry standard.
Objective: Help employees to take advantage of their benefits.
Your team’s onboarding process sets the tone for what your new hire can expect from their new company.
HRDive reported that 28% of employees leave their company within 90 days for poor onboarding practices. Therefore, it’s crucial that HR teams to focus on a solid employee experience for long-term success.
Objective: Hire and onboard top talent.
Objective: Improve onboarding experience.
Honing in on a company culture supports employee happiness, retention rate, productivity, and much more.
For Oyster, a platform that helps companies hire, pay, and care for their people, they don’t just advocate for hiring talent anywhere in the world. They live by it.
Oyster’s team is made up of 300+ employees spread across the world. Their Workplace team is hard at work to enable employees to do their best work. That’s why they have OKRs focused on employees’ connection with Oyster and with one another. Here’s just one of their culture-related objectives and key results:
Objective: Make working at Oyster the best job ever.
Rhys Black, Head of Remote at Oyster, relies on his team’s OKRs as way to grow quickly and strategically.
“Growing from a 17 to 300+ people team and experiencing exponential revenue growth in a span of one year isn’t easy. However, we’ve set these OKRs to ensure the entire Oyster team feels as supported as possible, while also helping them feel connected to one another, as it is easy to feel alone in a globally distributed, fast-growing team.”
Rhys and his team are setting the bar with culture-related OKRs that push their business forward. Some other culture-related OKR examples include:
Objective: Establish an impactful employee wellness program
Objective: Improve team building through a virtual event
Company training and development programs can benefit retention, culture, and workplace engagement. According to the LinkedIn Learning 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. That data alone should guide your team towards setting training and development OKRs.
Objective: Create a training and development program.
Objective: Improve manager effectiveness.
Employee engagement and satisfaction directly impacts productivity and performance. It’s important to create a positive work environment and give employees a sense of purpose and belonging in your organization.
Hypercontext is highly aware of how employee engagement impacts their organization. That’s why they set this OKR:
Objective: Increase employee engagement across the organization.
Other employee engagement and satisfaction OKR examples include:
Objective: Improve employee morale and happiness.
Objective: Improve employee retention.
Setting OKRs are a great method for HR departments to track and measure their performance. But keep in mind that iterations are welcome as circumstances change.
Take the COVID-19 pandemic for example. A human resources main OKR could have been to scale their organization by 25% before March 2020, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could have triggered the organization to instead scale back the budget and put more resources towards mental health instead.
Reevaluate when need be; no OKR should be set and forget.
For more advice from experts, check out our resources for human resource leaders:
Sarah is Head of Content Strategy at Kona and MBA candidate at Boston University. She helps leaders prevent burnout and build culture in remote organizations.