Work goals guide: 5 examples + template

Table of contents

As Walt Disney once said, “‘If you can dream it, you can do it.” While there’s certainly value to his famous line, a more real-world version would go something like this, “If you can dream it, plan it, share it and track it, you can do it.”

Goals require work, and work requires goals. We’re here to fill in the blanks and bridge the gap between dreams and reality with our comprehensive guide to setting, maintaining and achieving work goals.

What are work goals?

It’s not rocket science — work goals are simply goals you implement at work. They’re targets set by you or your organisation to help you progress professionally. Generally speaking, they can be professional development, team or wider company goals.

Professional development goals focus on personal progress, whereas team and organisational goals qualify success through collaboration. You can break out goals into short-term vs long-term, ambitious vs realistic and even qualitative vs quantitative, but their purpose remains the same — to motivate you to reach your desired destination.

Practical work goals share some common attributes:

  • Relevance to organisational priorities
  • Quantifiable metrics and indicators tied to objectives
  • Clear milestones for tracking progress
  • Defined methods for capturing updates and insights
  • Reasonable time frames that align availability with ambition

What are the benefits of using work goals in your business?

Goals are the foundation of business and are critical to work development and success. Here are some of the main benefits of utilising work goals in your business.

Greater outcomes

It’s why we set them — work goals help you achieve your desired outcomes more effectively. How? A clear direction allows for better time management, simpler focus, clarity of responsibilities and strengthened accountability.

More visibility

Setting a work goal opens up the opportunity for outcome evaluation and visibility. By measuring your progress, you’ll have the tools to analyse what went well and what went wrong. This also allows space for adjusting the strategy if need be.

Effective time management

If you struggle with time management, goal-setting might be the key to unlocking skills like focus and effective prioritisation. Work goals that are realistic and reflect your intentions create clarity and help you organise your workload.

Improved decision-making

Good goals guide decision-making by encouraging you to be more intentional about day-to-day operations. Whether it’s a simple decision or a challenge to overcome, work goals ask you to reflect on how best to achieve your desired outcome.

How to set goals at work

When it comes to goal-setting, some methods are more effective than others. If inspirational quote posters or whiteboard visualisation works for you, we won’t stop you — but if you’d like to try something with proven effectuality, consider using OKRs.

OKRs — Objectives and Key Results — is a simple method in which organisations can define quarterly goals to create traction and action. How does it work?

  1. Identify your objectives — What do I/we want to achieve by the end of the quarter?
  2. Set your key results — How will I/we measure success?
  3. List your initiatives — What are some ways I/we can achieve key results?

If OKRs aren't working for you, there are several alternatives that you can use, or you can just use the SMART methodology to write down your work goals.

Work goals template

Still unclear on OKRs? Maybe it’d help to visualise it. We’ve devised a template to make writing work goals simpler.

Objective: <List broad objective>

# KR1: Improve <metric 1> from X to Y

  • <List of initiatives>

# KR2: Improve <metric 2> from X to Y

  • <List of initiatives>

# KR3: Improve <metric 3> from X to Y

  • <List of initiatives>

Let’s see this in action. In this example, a tutoring school looking for new students uses OKRs to set their goals.

Objective: Attract new students to tutoring school

# KR1: Increase referral score from 70% to 100%

  • Create a referral incentive
  • Start an EDM schedule

# KR2: Reduce student fail rate from 5% to <2%

  • Provide additional training to tutors

# KR3: Increase monthly web traffic from 1,000 to 2,000

  • Post 8 blogs in July
  • Create Facebook and Google ads

What are some examples of goals for work?

Children learn by example, and so do adults. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of examples of OKRs goals for work to help you visualise how yours might look.

Work development goals

Work development or professional development goals are personal goals for work evaluation. In layman’s terms, they’re individual objectives that allow you to progress professionally. Here are a couple of work development OKRs to get you started.

Objective: Become a known authority in the field of sleep physiology

  • KR1: Increase TV appearances from 0 to 1/month
  • KR2: Increase media mentions from 10 to 15
  • KR3: Increase LinkedIn connections from 500 to 1,000

Objective: Improve WFH productivity

  • KR1: Increase articles submitted from 3/week to 5
  • KR2: Improve delegation of administrative tasks from 10% to 50%
  • KR3: Reduce meetings from 5/day to 3

Team goals

Love it or hate it, teamwork is a part of every job. Setting goals as a team aligns each player, ensuring everyone is working toward a common goal. Here are some examples of OKRs for work teams as a frame of reference.

Objective: Increase email revenue

  • KR1: Increase newsletter CTR from 10% to 20%
  • KR2: Increase open rate from 25% to 30%
  • KR3: Reduce unsubscribe rate from 3% to 1%

Objective: Improve customer retention rate

  • KR1: Increase customer service pulse score from 6 to 9
  • KR2: Reduce call wait times from 5 minutes to 1 minute
  • KR3: Increase total/monthly positive customer reviews from 20 to 50

Explore more OKRs examples →

The best way to set developmental goals for work

Hey! That was a lot of information and we’re stoked you’ve gotten this far. To an untrained eye, OKRs can be intimidating, so don’t be discouraged.

If you’ll allow us to toot our own horn for a second, we have a solution for you — Tability. Tability is an online OKRs platform where you can write, share and track goals with an easy-to-use interface and regular reminders.

There are four easy steps to get started in Tability:

  1. Sign up and create a workspace
  2. Write your first OKRs
  3. Send invites to your team
  4. Create your first check-in

That’s all there is to it! Get a feel for it with a free trial of Tability and make Walt Disney proud.

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Monika Gudova

Content Writer and Editor

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