3 minute read – Posted by – February 12, 2021

How many goals should each individual set per quarter?

Ask the Expert with Ashleigh Myerscough — Episode 25

Ashleigh Myerscough is a Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese, a Paycor Company. She answers your questions about human resources and people management. 

Q: How many goals should each individual set per quarter?

AM: At 7Geese we use the OKR (objectives and key results) philosophy and best practices, which show that 3 -5 OKRs per person, per quarter, is the sweet spot. 

The reason for this is that in one quarter, one three-month time span, working on 3-5 goals, each with 3-5 measures of success, is a good amount of work. 

Let’s say we have four goals with 4 measures of success. In the OKR world, that would be four objectives with four key results each. That would mean we have approximately three weeks of dedicated time to achieve each goal. 12 weeks divided by four goals = three weeks per goal. 

Now, if we decided to have eight goals with four success measures each, that would be A LOT of work to get done in 12 weeks and wouldn’t set us up for success. We’d be more likely to get to 50 or 60% of the 8 goals compared to 95 – 100% of the four goals, which I think we can agree would be better overall in terms of job satisfaction. 

The kinds of goals to set each quarter

Now what about what kind of goals these 3-5 need to be each quarter? Well regardless if you are a CEO or an individual contributor, we love to see 2-3 goals that are business aligned and one or two that are personal/career development aligned. 

Why? If you conquer the personal and career development goals, that will allow you to apply your skill-building as you are contributing to the business goals. This is what makes you and your business go further, faster. Personal quarterly goals could be tied to annual Professional Development Plans or they could be a space for you to hone your skills for your current role. 

If you’re a manager, people leader, or coach, we love to see one goal per quarter all about how you show up in that capacity and how you want to be better. This continuous personal improvement is just as valuable as your business-aligned goals. Measure what matters and what matters will get done. For more information on how to set your goals and see how we leverage different goal types in 7Geese, reach out for a tour.

Ashleigh Myerscough

Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese