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  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "In 2016 we rolled out intelliHR, and in 2017 we had our best financial year yet. That makes a massive statement to show how valuable an investment in people and technology can be."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "With the implementation of intelliHR, the improvements in our culture are clearly visible. intelliHR is a tool that helps with our strategic cultural goal of being a great place to work, with improved engagement, communication and goal management now well on track."

  • Belinda Maybury

    Belinda Maybury.

    Sheldon Commercial Interiors


    Since starting regular staff check-ins through intelliHR, we discovered how much more capability one staff member had than we initially thought. We have since assisted his career progression and conducted a remuneration review. The outcome was a happy employee feeling valued and appreciated. Without intelliHR prompting us to address this in real-time, we could have lost this valuable employee.




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| 5 min
How to set OKRs in your organisation
Recently we looked at an overview of OKRs and a framework to consider if they might be suited for your team. If you think OKR’s might be right for your team, read on, because...
| 5 min
Are OKRs right for your team?
If you’ve heard the buzz about OKRs but are yet to deploy them in your own organisation, you might be wondering if they could actually work for you. Maybe you’ve been setting goals with...
| 5 min
10 steps to improve team collaboration with goals
A good team is a team that works together toward a common goal. So when we’re looking to improve collaboration in teams, it makes sense to first look at how we’re setting, sharing and...
| 5 min
7 Stats that will change how you set employee goals in your organisation
Your organisation may be setting goals for employees, but this is not of much benefit unless everyone has the resources to track and measure success, let alone ensure goals are actually achieved! Too often,...
| 5 min
Tips to ace your strategic goal planning in 2019
We are now well and truly into the swing of 2019, but have you completed (or started) your strategic HR planning for the year ahead yet? Even if you are in the midst of...

How to set OKRs in your organisation

Recently we looked at an overview of OKRs and a framework to consider if they might be suited for your team. If you think OKR’s might be right for your team, read on, because we’re going to provide a few helpful getting-started do’s and don’ts.

But wait, before diving in, keep in mind these common OKR pitfalls you’ll want to avoid…


Avoid these common mistakes

Not communicating stretch goals clearly 

The purpose of setting stretch goals (Key Results that push people toward an out-of-reach target) is to give permission and motivate teams to explore and implement completely new ways to achieve outcomes – not to set them up for failure. It’s vital that all team members understand they are not necessarily expected to hit that lofty target straight away, and they will be achieving a great outcome even if they get close to the ultimate target. The last thing you want is for people to fall into a negative mindset where they feel they have no chance of hitting their goals. The purpose is to give them the freedom to reach as high as they can, and if they fall slightly short, know this is better than setting the bar low and hitting it.


Setting Key Results too low

Further to the point above, OKRs only work when the Key Results are ambitious. It’s about aiming higher than what has ever been achieved before, forcing teams to rethink how they do things and find completely new approaches.


Having irrelevant Objectives

OKRs are also beneficial for creating strong alignment throughout the organisation, and among teams, but this comes from how the Objectives are conceived. Objectives should be derived from overarching organisation priorities, creating Objectives for each team that all work together to contribute to these higher-level company goals. If a team’s objectives don’t contribute to any organisational goals, ask yourself: are they really necessary?


Setting too many objectives at the same time

OKRs should serve to provide focus for a team, and allow them to concentrate their energy on a few meaningful outcomes at any given time. Sticking to around three objectives per quarter at most is a good rule of thumb, but this may be adjusted slightly depending on the size of the team and other factors – it may be less! The main thing is to ensure teams aren’t overwhelmed with too many objectives and struggling to knuckle down on any meaningful work. 


Not tracking progress sufficiently

The last thing you want to do is reach the due date of your OKR and find that no real progress has been made. OKRs are designed to make measuring progress super simple, and this is in part what makes them so effective. We’ll share some tips on making tracking easy in the next section.


How to set OKRs

Decide on your objectives

Once organisational priorities are in order, sub-objectives for individual teams can be determined. These should form the basis of all OKRs. 


Set an ambitious Key Result

Remembering that the Key Results must act as a stretch goal, don’t simply define Key Results that are in-line with what you need to hit, but what you could hit if things were done differently and team performance was at its peak. Key Results are always quantitative and measurable.


Determine your scores

One way to measure your Key Results is through a sliding scale, for example between 0 to 1, to show how close the team came to reaching it (1 being they met the goal). For example, if the marketing team had a goal to increase market share by 20%, a 15% increase would equate to a 0.75 score (or 75%). 

This type of result is what separates OKRs from normal goal setting, for example a goal for a 5% increase in market share mostly likely could be achieved by incremental improvements of their current activities, a 20% improvement most likely requires some completely new approaches, meaning the 15% result is actually a brilliant result for the business.


Record all OKRs centrally

One of the benefits of OKRs is they are transparent and visible to the entire organisation, as often they will be being worked upon across multiple teams. Using an online goal management tool will make this possible. Start by ensuring top-level organisational goals are in the system, and then cascade these to all relevant teams, allowing them to set their own supporting goal. Ensure all of these are entered using the OKR framework.

how to set okrs

Track progress

Motivation to strive further and experiment with new approaches is key for making OKRs work. Keeping track of progress online so everyone in the business can see progress updates in real time is a must.

On top of this, tracking progress allows you to see if goals need to be reassessed. For example, major changes in the external or internal environment may necessitate increasing or decreasing the Key Result metric, or perhaps keeping this the same but moving the due date.

You may also want to make decisions about committing more resources to an OKR in order to get it over the line on time. All of these decisions are made possible by having progress visible at the click of a button.

how to set okrs


Reassess goals quarterly

If teams are comfortably achieving their OKRs, they’re too low. A good rule of thumb is that Key Results should be fulfilled at 60-75% of the target level. In most cases if an OKR is fully achieved it wasn’t stretch enough. It’s worth reassessing goals on a quarterly basis to ensure they continue to challenge your teams and goals are also kept in line with current priorities. 

This makes OKR setting a cyclical process that is constantly happening and gradually driving your organisation to higher and higher levels of success. Setting OKRs right and committing to the process over the long term is by far the best way to get the most value from this technique! 

Most importantly, if they don’t work the first time, refine your process and try again. As long as you have the data in front of you, this should be easy.


So there you have it, our guide on how to set OKRs in your business. Remember, being able to manage all your people’s goals in one place is easy when you have the right tools. If you’d like to learn more about managing goals through intelliHR, get started here.

Are OKRs right for your team?

If you’ve heard the buzz about OKRs but are yet to deploy them in your own organisation, you might be wondering if they could actually work for you.

Maybe you’ve been setting goals with the same overall framework for years and are unsure if it’s worth reinventing the structure of your goals. 

After all, what’s the point of changing how you set goals unless it’s actually going to improve your results as a firm?

Today we’re going to explore what OKRs are and how they can be beneficial, so you can decide if they might work for your teams.


So what is an OKR?

OKR simply stands for Objectives (and) Key Results. 

As the name suggests, OKRs are focused on attaching measures to goals (both a quantitative and qualitative component) that can then be used to push assignees toward the desired outcome.

The purpose of adding these measures is to help align teams, add transparency and increase engagement on common goals.


So why don’t we just call them Objectives? Or Key Results? Why do we need both?

It’s important to make the distinction between what these individual phrases actually mean, because they have very different meanings and contribute to the overall OKR in different ways.

The objectives or key results alone would not be effective – but it’s when they come together that the magic really happens.



Objectives show your team the big picture of what they are working towards. If you wanted your team to build a sandcastle, your Objective would be the boundary around the sandpit. 

These would typically be put in place on a quarterly basis, depending on the nature of the business. 


Examples of Objectives

  • Deliver better customer service
  • Improve employee retention
  • Become the number one brand in our industry

Note that these are high level aims and usually purely qualitative.


Key Results

This is the quantitative part of the OKR where we attach a numerical measure to aim for. 

The difference with setting a Key Result as opposed to a SMART goal is that the number should be set beyond what is thought to be possible. The key is not setting a goal so unachievable that it sets people up for failure, but rather a stretch goal that will encourage the team to reach further and encourages them to consider new approaches rather than incremental improvements. 

When determining Key Results, it’s vital to consider both quality and efficiency in the calculation. What is the highest possible target to aim for that can be completed with the resources available, and while maintaining the standard of quality your customers know and expect?


Examples of Key Results

  • Achieve an average 4.9 star rating online within the next 3 months.
  • Reduce annual employee turnover to 10% within 12 months.
  • Increase market share to 20% in 6 months.

Because these Key Results are stretch goals, it’s actually intended that the team will not completely hit the set target. The point is these goals are highly ambitious, and they should be designed in a way that even if only partial progress is made, the business is still far exceeding their previous results.

For example, achieving 75% of an OKR would be seen as a great result. For example, if annual turnover is currently at 20% and our target was to reduce it to 10%, a reduction to 12.5% is still an excellent result.


Why use OKRs?

You might be wondering how the simple structure of OKRs actually helps teams get things done. Besides the stretch nature of OKRs that help motivate your people, the simplicity really does add to their effectiveness.

Because OKRs don’t specify how the goal will be achieved, they provide the flexibility and encouragement to get people thinking outside the box on how they will make these goals happen. 

If you’re using an alternative goals framework, you might be focused on setting goals that are realistic and achievable. The potential problem with this is that incremental and achievable goals can be reached by simply doing things the way they have always been done, and hence don’t always encourage the fresh and transformational ideas that can lead to breakthroughs in efficiencies and subsequent results. The OKRs approach changes all of this.

“Either the goal is met and everyone succeeds together, or it is not and everyone fails together.”

Another benefit of OKRs is alignment, both within teams and throughout the organisation. When teams share an OKR they are working on together, this is a group effort. Either the goal is met and everyone succeeds together, or it is not and everyone fails together. This alignment is key for driving teams to pull together and achieve goals as a unit.


Who else is using OKRs?

OKRs were first used at Intel but gained popularity after being adopted in the early days of Google in the year 2000. 

Sears Holding Company is another organisation who put OKRs in place. This increased employees’ average hourly sales by 8.5%

OKRs are also known to be used by Accenture, Adobe, Amazon, Asana, Dell, Deloitte, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, Gap, GE, GoPro, LG, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Oracle, Panasonic, Salesforce.com, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Slack, Spotify, Tableau, Twitter, Viacom and Zendesk to name a few – so it’s safe to say they are pretty popular in top firms.


Will OKRs work for me?

OKRs are definitely not just for businesses in Silicon Valley, and can work for just about any organisation in any industry. Even if goals are being met currently, but perhaps performance could be further improved, or you want to increase alignment between team members and across the business, OKRs are definitely worth exploring.

We recommend trialing OKRs in your business, even in one team to start with, and see how this affects performance before rolling it out to the rest of the business. In order for OKRs to work, it’s vital to back them up with the permission and support to try new solutions. Without this support on a culture level, OKRs will never reach their full potential.

Next week we’ll be exploring how to set OKRs, so you can get started implementing them in your organisation.

10 steps to improve team collaboration with goals

A good team is a team that works together toward a common goal. So when we’re looking to improve collaboration in teams, it makes sense to first look at how we’re setting, sharing and working towards goals together. 

Today we’ll share some must-haves for ensuring your team can collaborate seamlessly on shared milestones, and actually achieve them!


Start with great goal setting

Before getting into the how, let’s make sure the goals you’re setting for your team are going to be effective at contributing to the bigger picture. You’re probably familiar with the SMART goals framework, let’s breakdown the components of that. 


Set specific goals

A specific goal is a meaningful goal. “Raising brand awareness”, “improving customer service” or “generating more sales” are not goals. Goals should provide enough information to clearly communicate to the whole team what is required. On top of being specific, goals must be measurable.



Make goals measurable

We all know there isn’t much benefit to goals that can’t be measured, but some are easier to quantify than others. All goals should have either a numerical target attached or at least a checklist of milestones that need to be met before the goal is achieved. This way, your team can celebrate progress as you go, and clearly know when the goal has been achieved!


Ensure goals are achievable and realistic

When setting these targets or milestones, measures and deadlines should never be pulled out of thin air. But what should we base them on? Where available, consult past data to see what previous results looked like. Consider these benchmarks as well as the resources available. Do you want to achieve a result that’s going to double last quarter’s results? It’s doable, but you may need to allocate extra professional development, man-power or better equipment to get it done. Determining strong targets will help get your team to the next level without setting unattainable expectations. 


Only set goals that are relevant

Any goals you set for your team must be aligned to higher level organisational goals. If they don’t contribute to the big picture, why are you working on them? 

Not only does this alignment make goals more meaningful, but it also helps team members understand how they contribute to the bigger picture, providing a sense of purpose. This can then be kept accountable using continuous feedback, allowing staff to communicate with their manager and vice versa about how they are progressing and where they might need help.


Set deadlines

Having deadlines on goals adds a sense of urgency and motivation to complete them on time but also helps with planning and prioritisation. Make sure your team know when things needed to be done and get reminded when the due date is looming. Better yet, check in on progress periodically to make sure things are one track. 


Get the tools to manage goals and get them done

Keep things centralised

Visibility is crucial to clear communication, so the first step is to have one centralised place for goals to be managed across your team. This enables everyone to see what the priorities are, where they fit in, and how they can help contribute and collaborate as a team. 


Track goal progress together 

It’s one thing for the whole team to be able to see it’s goals, but to see how everyone is tracking? Even better. 

It’s essential to be recording your goals in a system that allows for progress to be tracked in real-time. This helps keep everyone motivated by seeing the progress of themselves and their team, tangibly as it happens.

Leaders can also see what goals might require extra resources, support or help removing roadblocks, as well as which goals are running ahead of schedule and could be reassessed. 


Align goals between leaders and direct reports

Collaboration Nirvana happens when goals are not only visible to everyone in the team but goals can actually be aligned between managers and direct reports, or shared between peers.

As a team leader, think about how your team members can individually help contribute to your own high-level goals, then cascade these down to your direct reports and let them set their own goals to help fulfil it. 


Stay agile 

A lot can change in a year, a quarter, or even a month. It’s important to regularly reassess goals if there have been changes to resourcing or organisational priorities, or something has otherwise become more or less realistic to hit. 

Having a continuous feedback process in place will help to uncover these changes, and make adjustments to these goals as required. It’s therefore vital to set your goals in a system that’s quick, easy and can be used on the go. 


Use goals to shape roles

Rather than relying on static position descriptions, individual employee goals can be designed to shape individual roles. This turns a mere list of tasks or responsibilities into a clear set of measurable and actionable targets. Team members still know what they need to get done, but it’s now more achievable, and expectations around results are clear. 

Those are out major tips for improving team collaboration using goals. Have these inspired you to make any changes to how you set goals for your team?

7 Stats that will change how you set employee goals in your organisation

Your organisation may be setting goals for employees, but this is not of much benefit unless everyone has the resources to track and measure success, let alone ensure goals are actually achieved!

Too often, we see individuals setting goals using an excel spreadsheet, or writing them down in a notebook. This is a good start, but the problem with these static methods is it’s too easy to close the spreadsheet or notepad and never think about these goals again. What’s more, progress is not being tracked and leaders in the business have no visibility, or ability to share goals to create alignment.

We’ve gathered some research on these factors and others that affect goal performance, along with tips to help update your own employee goal setting procedures.

Ready? Let’s go.



Individuals are 42% more likely to achieve goals when they are physically recorded.

Dominican University of California


As mentioned, physically recording goals is a good place to start; just writing goals down is already 42% more effective than keeping them stored in your head. Better still, is recording goals in a way that they’re visible and can be updated with progress over time.

The problem with recording goals in a notebook or spreadsheet is they simply do not stay top of mind, nor does that offer a way for your team leader to support goal execution. This is what makes our goal management tool so effective; everyone in the organisation can not only set their goals, but track progress, allow team leaders to support, and see a real-time overview of their goals in their dashboard each time they log in. This way goals stay top of mind and remain a priority!

We also designed this feature with gamification techniques in mind. By making the act of tracking goal progress fun (almost addictive, even) this gives all employees extra motivation to keep coming back and working on their goals consistently over time.



Only one third of senior managers can name their firm’s top priorities.

London Business School

40% of managers cite failure to align as the single greatest challenge to executing company strategy.

Harvard Business Review

Just 16% of front-line employees have a clear understanding of their connection with corporate priorities.

Harvard Business Review


These (somewhat concerning) stats demonstrate there is often a disconnect between what individuals are working towards and what is actually required to meet organisational objectives. With this in mind, individual goals and their setting process offers a great opportunity to communicate strategic alignment and help each team member to understand how they can play a role to support organisational objectives.

When goals are managed within intelliHR, any elected members of the leadership team are able to see every single goal that has been set within the organisation and who is working on it. On top of seeing the goal itself, they may also see the progress achieved so far and communicate with the goal-holder in the comments section to check in. This can be a powerful way to identify even if a small roadblock is preventing progress, so managers can help mitigate this and get staff back on track.

Goals are not only visible but also cascadable, so the CEO can set a goal for a department manager, who can then set complementary goals for their direct reports to help the original goal reach completion. Peers can also share goals with each other when working on projects together as a team. In this way, it is so simple for everyone to have visibility over what is required, see where they fit into the big picture, and stay on track.



One third of managers say adapting to change will be their biggest challenge in executing company strategy in future years.

Harvard Business Review

Companies that set performance goals quarterly can generate 31% more returns than those reassessing annually.

Josh Bersin


With the rapid changes happening in today’s environment, organisations need to be more agile than ever. One of the first steps that can aid in maintaining agility is setting goals more frequently, to keep up with changing external factors and subsequent shifts in priority.

Not only this, but more frequent goal setting has been shown to improve revenue over time. This way, goals can stay realistic to market conditions at the time, and shorter timeframes also give staff more urgency to reach their goals on time.

To support agility, we recommend monthly continuous feedback between each manager and team member, with a focus upon supporting goal acquisition. To make this engagement richer, intelliHR’s One-Click Performance Reporting instantly provides the team leader all the information they require to provide feedback, clear roadblocks, set training and provide additional strategic alignment. This approach supports ongoing and regular goal setting, and ensures your Performance Reviews become more forward looking, rather than tediously looking at past events.

It’s important to consider how frequently your organisation needs to be reassessing goals, to find a timeframe that works best for your needs.


Any of these tips sound a little different to the way you’re setting goals at the moment? Get in touch with us and we can help get you on track with the tools you need to make goal setting as effective as possible in your business.


Tips to ace your strategic goal planning in 2019

We are now well and truly into the swing of 2019, but have you completed (or started) your strategic HR planning for the year ahead yet?

Even if you are in the midst of fulfilling a 3 or 5 year plan, in today’s environment things move fast, so it’s always a good idea to reassess your organisational direction at least once a year. What better time than right now?

In this blog we’ll explore the best practice method to conduct your own goal setting for the year ahead.


Get aligned with leadership

First, all department managers should receive direction from the CEO or MD to gain a full understanding of where they envision the company going in the next 12 months. This is vital to get all leaders in the business working towards the same outcomes and understanding how they can individually contribute to shared goals.

This could be achieved via one on one meetings in smaller organisations, a group meeting for larger headcount businesses or even through a video call in situations where staff are physically disparate. In any case, with the technology available to us today this step is not only important but very achievable for any type of business to accomplish.

“It’s so important to be on the same page as the leader of the business, so you understand the pain points and where they see the biggest challenges coming through”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO


Consider the customer

Placing the customer at the centre of planning and decision making is not just a responsibility for the marketing team. In fact, it takes all areas of the organisation working together to fulfil the customer’s needs. After all, no business can exist without them!

In the HR department for example, understanding customer needs and how they are evolving over time should inform decisions about the skills needed in frontline staff and the training required to get there.

This is just one way the HR team can become more customer-centric. Some additional areas that should also be considered include:

  • Gathering continuous feedback from staff
    • This is a great way to get insights from the front line on what customers are experiencing.
  • Assisting staff to set goals that directly reflect customer outcomes
    • This allows performance to be measured against the results being delivered to customers
  • Prioritise lifelong learning
    • Provide training opportunities and make sure employees receive the professional development required to stay at peak performance.


Put the right tools in place

Support for HR technology is growing fast, and it’s easy to see why when we have tools that not only make our lives easier but also have better outcomes. With all the advancements available at our fingertips today, there’s no need to rely on manual processes anymore. These new tools allow you to take a strategic focus, delivering insights and helping drive your business forward, rather than focusing on administration and compliance.

Chances are, some of your goals may relate to phasing out these manual processes, or perhaps something you want to achieve hinges on becoming more efficient or removing human error. If this is the case, don’t focus on converting your old processes into a digital equivalent, think about the ultimate outcome you want to achieve, and then determine if there is actually a completely new and more effective way to reach it.

“It’s about focusing on the actual outcomes you’re trying to achieve and then selecting the right tools that are fit for that purpose. We need to understand that systems of the past don’t necessarily fit in with the tools of the future. So much has changed, even the expectations of staff. We must all step back and look at solutions.”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO


Measure your progress

In order to achieve the goals you set, it’s important to be able to measure them and make use of all available tools that can help support goal progress along the way. Having access to accurate and digestible data is imperative to this.

With a people management system like intelliHR, not only can you measure goal progress but also access a range of HR Analytics on important trends within your organisation that can be affecting performance and hence, the customer experience as well.

“HR should be seen as the facilitator of business performance, and it should be about enablement and making things easier for staff to better look after their customers”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO

When choosing a people management system to help facilitate your success throughout the year (and beyond) you’ll want to select an integrated system that includes all of these must-have HR tools in one seamless package:

  • New Team Member Onboarding – Give your team the best start possible
  • Continuous feedback – Understand insights across your organisation
  • Performance Management and Reporting
  • Goal Setting


Set goals up for success

Writing out goals in an excel spreadsheet and then forgetting about them is unlikely to help anyone in the business succeed. For goals to have the best chance of success they need to be visible, measurable and adaptable.

Within intelliHR, employees can set goals, track their progress, reassess goals and communicate about them with their manager in one place. When you take this tool and couple it with an organisational culture where goal setting is prioritised, everyone in the organisation is empowered to achieve their goals and get assistance along the way if needed.


Remember why goals matter

Ultimately, all of the above practices are important because without having everyone heading in the right direction, organisations will often underperform, rarely succeed – and always fail to reach their true full potential.

“Everyone comes to work to do a good job. Simple things like continuous feedback, setting and establishing expectations, and keeping track of goals and how they are going shows employees that the business is investing in them, and sets them up for success. If everyone understands what they need to do and that is what the business actually wants, then you’ve got everyone on the bus, in the right seats, and the bus is moving forward in the right direction.”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO