Do’s And Don’ts Of Stretch Goals For Your Business

Performance Management

Performance Management

If you have been using the OKR framework for a while; you know how inaccurate and unrealistic OKRs (Objectives and key results) can break your team’s morale and confuse them. The process is simple, but it’s hard to decide on the things that matter the most for the business at any given time.

Employees can boost their performance by 22% when they align individual goals with organizational objectives.

Teams can create two types of OKRs: committed and aspirational. Aspirational goals are stretched, and committed ones must be achieved 100%. The trick is to use both of these OKRs in a balance. Learning stretch goal-setting takes a significant amount of team discussions and experimentation.

You have to challenge the employees with ambitious goals without making them feel they’re unachievable. There are no standard rules to follow when developing stretch goals, but you must always ask the same question – Is it valuable for the business? See how to make more effective stretch goals by following certain practices.

Do’s of creating and implementing stretch goals.

There are no standard rules you can use to create appropriate stretch goals. The OKR framework is the best methodology an organization can use to develop and manage ambitious goals.

Connect the goals with business priorities

There is no point in developing aspirational goals if they are not meaningful for the business. Moreover, employees can feel disengaged when they find out their efforts are not making a difference in the business. You must get the team of leaders together and discuss creating business-aligned goals that are aspirational yet realistic.

Involve the team in the goal-setting process

A highly aligned team works in the same direction with focus and agility. This kind of alignment is achieved by linking people’s jobs to the relevant critical business objectives. Make employees accountable by including them in the goal-setting procedure. This bottom-up can be made successful by using the OKR framework. Perfectly aligned OKRs boost innovation and more effective strategy execution.

Create clear and specific goals

Useful goals are self-explanatory and target specific business priorities or outcomes. If you use OKRs, make sure they are clearly defined.

Communicate them effectively

You must make the team believe that the chosen stretch goals are achievable. You can use a OKR management software to communicate and manage the goals successfully.

Set the deadlines

Goals are just statements when you don’t set deadlines for them. Due dates urge people to move out of their comfort zone and perform better.

Allocate the right resources and support

Aspirational goals require special efforts and resources. While staying lean and achieving more with less is always better, you may require additional resources for specific operations.

Check-in regularly

Routine team meetings are the only way to keep track of the progress on aspirational business goals and improve performance. Now, you can conduct check-ins with your remote working people on a goals-management framework.

Don’ts of creating and implementing stretch goals

The following points mention some things you must remember while developing and executing the stretch goals or OKRs. Some of these practices are learned only after some experience with goals-based operations.

Business-as-usual goals and OKRs

People must use the OKR framework to achieve things that the business needs to scale effectively. It’s different from the usual operations employees involve in their daily work. Make sure you create goals that motivate people to do more than just go through the day. Give them the purpose and means to align their work with critical business goals.

Cascade every goal down

When each goal or objective is cascaded top-down without inputs from the frontline workers, it does not fulfill the purpose of using goals-based management. The team feels barriers in collaborating cross-functionally and aligning with each other.

Too-easy or weak stretch goals

Easier goals don’t motivate people to get out of their comfort zone and innovate to achieve more meaningful goals for the business.

Irrelevant goals or OKRs

This seems like a given, but many businesses that use the OKR framework fail to create meaningful key results.

Creating too many OKRs

The OKR framework is based on the idea of achieving more with less. It spotlights business priorities and critical goals for the organization. Creating too many KRs creates confusion, and people cannot engage in fruitful execution.

Insufficient KRs for the objectives

There is a direct link between the objectives and key results. You achieve objectives only when you complete your KRs. It takes time to understand the KR-making process. Ensure all the KRs achieve an objective’s intent, keeping the objective’s business value in mind.

Startups or companies new to a goals-based framework like the OKR framework require a proper understanding and plan to roll out goals initially.

We can help you establish OKRs for your business based on the strategic evaluation and create a plan to execute them effectively. Talk to our OKR experts now.


1. Can I connect organizational vision and missions with OKRs?

OKRs are a great tool to communicate the company’s vision and missions to the most junior employees. It brings everyone on the same platform.

Top-level leaders can link the company’s vision with business-level objectives that you can cascade down to the whole organization. 

2. Can I align my business strategy with OKRs?

It’s a perfect plan to combine your business strategy with OKRs. Doing this ensures that you focus on all critical business priorities and goals.

Our experts at JOP can help you analyze your business and create OKRs suited to your organization.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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