How to set goals How to write objectives How to write OKrs Inclusive Internal Communications Internal Comms Internal Communication OKR

How do I write my Internal Communication Objectives & Key Results (OKRs)?

Arkan, the internal communicator is in a fix. He is expected to write up his goals for the year and the deadline is fast approaching. He doesn’t know where to start because he was just hired and has limited visibility on all that’s happening across the business. Not that it has been an easy ride. Stakeholders, in a culture of information hoarding and obfuscation, are making life hard for Arkan.

He decides to reach out to his coach and ask for guidance. Here is how the conversation goes.

Share your thoughts on how Arkan can rethink his approach to writing his internal communication OKRs and also re-establish how the function can be best perceived.

Arkan: “Hello, Milan! So good to see you again”

Milan: “Hey there Arkan, it has indeed been a while. How can I be of help?”

Arkan: “You probably know, I recently joined Onward and I am at that stage where everyone is expected to write up their goals for the year. I am stuck”.

Milan: “Ah, that objective-setting time isn’t always easy or fun! But it shouldn’t be, right?”

Arkan: “Yes, it should be easy but I am facing a few obstacles. My global leader expects me to first write it and then will fold them under her broader goals. To me, that feels like putting the cart before the horse? While, she has sent over broader company goals, they are way to distant for me to align my objectives, I think. Also, if I don’t have mine in place, how can I ask for help with people in other markets in Asia where my remit extends? Not just that, while I do internal communications, we don’t work in isolation. There are areas which overlap and boundary-span with recruitment marketing, corporate marketing, human resources and branding.”

Milan: “That’s tough. How about your local stakeholders? Have you checked their goals for the year? Maybe, you can align to theirs?”

Arkan: “I did explore that. However, they haven’t been very forthcoming. Quite strange because I want to help them but they don’t seem to want me to do that!”

Milan: “Yup, it does sound odd. Have you asked why they don’t want to share?”

Arkan: “I have and they say it is only related to their function and doesn’t quite concern me! I did ask them about attrition rates and other measures for employer branding and keep drawing a blank. Having studied the company and talked to people informally, I do know they are struggling with retaining top talent and there has been an exodus of senior leaders, which to me are issues to tackle collaboratively. Only, if they want me to!”

Milan: “So, how do their plans align?”

Arkan: “They align to their global counterparts and don’t apply local goals, which to me is odd considering the impact has to be local before it can become global”.

Milan: “Very true. Have you considered reframing your OKRs based on the situation you are in and providing context on why your goals have limitations based on inputs you are gathering?”

Arkan: “How will that work?”

Milan: “Maybe, you do what is viable within your remit till you get ‘full’ information and support and access. Otherwise, there is very little you have control over, right?”

Arkan: “Hmm…it is confusing. I don’t know where to start. Am I truly giving my best when my OKRs aren’t clear to me?”

Milan: “That’s a tough one. I think I am stumped as much as you are.”

Arkan and Milan decide to catch-up later because they aren’t makin much headway.

  • What can Arkan do? How can he still write up his OKRs and yet be direct and transparent about how he arrived at them?
  • What factors must be consider while framing them up?
  • Have you faced such situations when you don’t get sufficient direction or inputs to set goals? What has been your approach?

Share your thoughts here.

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